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Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

March 3, 2020

Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were tight. Being the outcasts in elementary school meant they had to stick together through the toughest times. As best friends, they could never be split apart. Suddenly, without notice, Cameron disappeared and was never seen again, leaving Jennifer all alone in a world full of choices. 

Now, in her last years of high school, Jennifer is known as Jenna, the popular one, with new friends and a boyfriend. But she doesn’t feel like her true self anymore. How could she push the memories of Cameron away when he was the only one who saw her for who she really was? And what would happen if he reappeared? 

I loved how Zarr could write about a touching relationship between a girl and a boy without making it romantic. She created such a nice bond between the both of them, starting from when they were little and giving readers vivid sensory images of how they grew up together. Throughout the book as  Jenna gets older, Zarr connects all the puzzle pieces along the way to reveal how Cameron disappeared.

There’s depth and emotion in this book, especially in how Jenna and Cameron get to relive their childhood memories together and feel nostalgic for the old times once they are finally reunited. They are a strong duo, and it is nice to watch them grow as people when they are together. 

I enjoyed the pace of this book because it wasn’t slow, and it wasn’t fast either. I think Zarr wanted her audience to savor the moments in time and intrigue us more and more every chapter.   

I found it interesting how Zarr made the book two different genres: teen fiction, which gave readers the relatable moments of being a teenager throughout the whole story, but it was also a mystery because each step she incorporates flashbacks that Jenna keeps having from when she and Cameron were young. Little by little, readers figure out why Cameron disappeared, which I thought was cool because it felt like I was solving my own mystery. 

Overall this book was touching, and the theme was relatable for me. It was nice that it was in first person so readers could be in Jenna’s perspective and read about her thoughts and feelings as time goes on. If you’re the type of reader looking for a book that is a heartwarming story about two best friends split apart, I think this is the right book for you. 

Sophia

Little Brown, 217 pages


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