Sara Zarr is the author of the much-loved and rather brilliant Story of a Girl. Sweethearts is her second novel, and, in my opinion, the better of the two (which, seriously, is so impressive; her first book is amazing!).
In elementary school, Jennifer Harris was an outcast. She was chubby and usually alone, until she met Cameron. Cameron had his own struggles, and the two of them became friends. They were each other’s best friends, only friends, really, with a bond that was far deeper and stronger than those of most kids that age, who may be friends bonding over tuna fish and jump rope one day, and bitter enemies the next. Cameron was all Jennifer had, but then, one day, he disappeared.
Then she hears some awful news: Cameron’s dead.
Or is he? Years later, Jennifer has moved, gotten a new stepfather, and new identity. She’s now Jenna Vaughn, a pretty, thin, popular high school senior. And then, her world turns upside-down: Cameron may not be as gone as she thought. She gets a note from her supposedly-dead best friend.
I don’t want to give too much away here, but, seriously, wow. This is an amazing book. The characters absolutely shine. They are so fully-developed, and incredibly real. Their relationships, too; Sara Zarr has a wonderful grasp of human relationships. Her writing is really incredible. She draws the reader into the story so completely. Sweethearts totally blew me away, with Sara Zarr’s amazing ability to capture the characters, the voice, the feelings–everything–absolutely perfectly. Readers will be racing to discover the truth about Cameron and Jenna, their pasts and presents. The narrative encompasses stories from their past and from their present, sacrificing neither. The ending wasn’t what I would have preferred, but it fit the story. The only thing I would have liked to be different about this book is a bit selfish–I wish it was longer! The characters are amazing and relatble, and I love the story, and I just would have loved to read more about Jenna and Cameron. This book comes out February 1st, according to Amazon, and I highly suggest that you rush to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy as soon as possible.