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Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
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Sweethearts

by Sara Zarr

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864None10,356 (3.85)45
  1. 10
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    weener: Both interesting books about not-really-romantic love relationships between young people.
  2. 00
    Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (writemeg)
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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I think this was a really well-written YA novel, that dealt with some heavy topics - about identity and self-discovery, about friendship and growing up, about what we tell people & what we keep to ourselves - in well thought out ways. It was an intriguing premise - what if someone you thought had died, someone who knew you as a child, before you'd made so many 'improvements' and changes to yourself, suddenly reappeared? What would you have to face about your past, about yourself, about your relationships? I don't know: there was a lot here, and I liked that the author didn't hand out any simple answers to impossible questions (while at the same time providing a satisfying conclusion to the story). Good book: liked it a lot. ( )
  NTE | Sep 20, 2013 |
There are some friends in my past, from high school and college, that I really miss. I don't know why I lost touch with them but I did. I am talking about people I feel that marked me in an indelible way and yet somehow situations shifted and we were no longer in touch. This was before cell phones and emails, maybe it would be different now, if I was growing up now. Maybe not. But every now and again I am sad about it, about the loss of them -- wondering where we would be as friends if I had done what I was supposed to and stayed in touch. I guess regret is normal with the passing of time. But it sucks.

What if you had a chance to meet that person again that you miss so much? How would it be? If you ran in to them now, talked to them now, who you are now .. and they just join your current life now, as you are now. What would happen? Do you stay who you are or do you revert, degress, devolve? Can this fantasy ever turn out good?

Sweethearts tries to answer this question. [a:Sara Zarr|19093|Sara Zarr|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1302718823p2/19093.jpg] does it in her typical fashion with richly crafted characters that appear in situations that seem so real and solid that I may have experienced them at one point in my life.

Even though it is a mere 217 pages, this book addresses in a thorough manner parental neglect, childhood abuse, bullying, overeating, and the stress of high school social relationships. I am not sure how Zarr manages to do it, but she is brilliant. Despite my love for this book, [b:Story of a Girl|33906|Story of a Girl|Sara Zarr|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344270520s/33906.jpg|2420507] and [b:How to Save a Life|10757806|How to Save a Life|Sara Zarr|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337211222s/10757806.jpg|14982110] are my favorites by her so far. But it is a silly ranking, maybe even a waste of time because all three are amazing. When this story ended I cried. I cried for the characters and maybe I cried for myself. It isn't a sad book or a depressing book, but it is real. ( )
  ReginaR | Aug 3, 2013 |
Jennifer changes her looks and her life but cannot forget the experiences of her childhood and her first friend/love. Told in flashbacks with increasing promises of horrors of the past, this was a dramatic and memorable read. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
I think my biggest beef with this book is the cover and title. The story itself was good and fairly moving at times. The characters were interesting enough. But the romantic element that the cover and title lead you to expect? Yeah, not there. You can't call a book "Sweethearts" if there isn't a romantic element! You can't put a pink heart-shaped sugar cookie on the cover if there is no romance! WTF, people? I mean, okay, the main characters were CHILDHOOD sweethearts. 8 YEARS ago. That doesn't count! Was the bite out of the cookie supposed to indicate something to me that I didn't pick up on? I guess that's what I get for not reading the inside flap carefully enough. Although it doesn't lead you to believe that there won't be romance in the book! *Pssshhh*

ANYWAY, the story is interesting. I thought Cameron was a really complicated and intriguing character. Jennifer/Jenna... meh... I thought she could have used a little more development over the course of the story. You could tell she grew a little bit, but it was SLOW. I mean, she had her issues... but I dunno. They just didn't seem like enough to me—enough to be such a strong motivation in her life. *shrugs*

So yeah, it was an all right book. Not my favorite. ( )
  saraferrell | Apr 3, 2013 |
This is the second Sara Zarr book I've read (listened to on audio), and I really, really like her writing. Jennifer Harris/Jenna Vaughn is a completely believable, compelling, and sympathetic character. As a pretty, popular high school student (Jenna), she is ashamed of her fat, lonely younger self (Jennifer), and afraid that if her new friends find out what she was really like, they won't like her any more.

But this is far more than a shallow story about a girl who's afraid her friends won't like her if they really know her; the story hinges on a traumatic event in Jennifer's past, an event that took place at her friend Cameron Quick's house on her ninth birthday. Cameron was her only friend, and shortly after the birthday incident, he disappeared; other kids at school told Jennifer he died, and she believed them. So it's a shock when, on her seventeenth birthday, he returns.

Cameron's return prompts desperate questions and swirling emotions on Jenna's part, jealousy in Jenna's boyfriend Ethan, curiosity from her friends Katie and Steph, and guilt in Jenna's mom. Readers will be eager to find out the answers to Jenna's questions - where has Cameron been? If he knew where she was, why wasn't he in touch earlier? The truth about what happened when they were nine is revealed in pieces interspersed with the present narrative. Overall, Sweethearts is a truly satisfying story.

Quotes:

...I'd spent all of junior high and high school observing those around me to see what "normal" looked like. I'd tried to learn it from the outside in... (disc 5 / p. 176)

...the longing that lurked just beneath all my looking began, finally, to poke through the surface. (disc 5 / p. 210) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Some memories are slippery.
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Book description
Jennifer and Cameron were best friends as children, drawn together because they were both social outsiders. Then Cameron disappears, and Jennifer hears he is dead. When Jennifer's mom marries, they can afford decent clothes and a better school. She transforms herself by losing weight and copying how the popular kids act, calls herself Jenna, and soon has many friends as well as a boyfriend. Then Cameron reappears, and Jenna/Jennifer has to decide who she really is.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316014567, Paperback)

As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.

When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.

From the National Book Award nominated author of Story of a Girl, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:39 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After losing her soul mate, Cameron, when they were nine, Jennifer, now seventeen, transformed herself from the unpopular fat girl into the beautiful and popular Jenna, but Cameron's unexpected return dredges up memories that cause both social and emotional turmoil.… (more)

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