The Compulsive Reader: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Jenna and Cameron were best friends as kids, until Cameron disappeared suddenly when they were nine. In the years since Cameron’s disappearance, Jenna has done her best to transform herself into a social, happy person. When Cameron returns just as unexpectedly as he left eight years earlier, Jenna is forced to confront questions about her identity, her feelings for Cameron, and the terrifying event that occurred before he disappeared that bonded the two forever.

Zarr’s second novel examines the far-reaching effects of Jenna’s friendship with Cameron, and how one person and one experience can have such a formative effect on one’s life. With inner strength and the malleable nature of memory as major themes, Zarr weaves in tense, high-stakes flashbacks to a pivotal moment in Jenna and Cameron’s friendship alongside the present action of Jenna’s transformation to becoming more self-aware of her own strength. The journey is a bumpy one, and Zarr doesn’t give readers a completely clear and satisfactory ending. Sweethearts is a book that poses many questions about friendship, forgiveness, and memory, and leaves readers to wrestle with the answers.

Cover Comments: I like the concept of this cover, but I think the brightness of the background and the pink sugar cookie really belies the darkness in this book. I supposed I wouldn't say that this book is dark, but it doesn't warrant a sugar cookie cover either. Still, it is a great cover image.

Book purchased from my indie.


Anonymous said...

One of my favourite YA books.

The Compulsive Reader said...

I love everything that Sara Zarr writes. I'm excited for Roomies!

Mari said...

I enjoyed this one a few years back. :)

Sarah Laurence said...

You are reminding me that I really do need to read a book by Sara Zarr.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read anything by her since Story of a Girl. I will pick this one up! :) (Now that I'm reading a bazillion books a month...okay ten, but it still feels like a lot)

Hope all is going well on Packet 3!