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Sweethearts
Cover of Sweethearts
Sweethearts
by Sara Zarr
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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.
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.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.4
  • Lexile:
    720
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of The Lucy Variations, How to Save a Life, What We Lost, Sweethearts, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl. Her website is www.sarazarr.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 24, 2007
    This book about a former misfit who must face her troubled childhood is dark and engrossing, thanks to Zarr's (Story of a Girl
    ) full-bodied characters and creative storytelling. Through well-timed flashbacks, thin, popular high school senior Jenna remembers being fat Jennifer, who along with her best friend, Cameron, endures teasing in elementary school and a hard home life (her single mother is almost never home, and his abusive father traumatizes both children). After Cameron moves away, Jennifer's cruel classmates tell her he has died, and her mother corroborates the story; readers may find it hard to believe the subsequent revelation that she has, in fact, lied. But they will appreciate how honestly Jenna reveals the toll it takes on her when Cameron suddenly reappears, transferring into her senior class (she starts stealing and binge-eating again); their rekindled connection forces her to decide if “Jenna” is really who she wants to be. There is harsh material here, in the characters' presents as well as their pasts: Cameron is now an emancipated minor, and Jenna's family temporarily takes him in when he becomes homeless. Flashbacks to a horrifying episode with Cameron's father are revealed slowly and carefully, filling readers with a sense of dread, but ultimately her memories teach Jenna something surprising about her own strength. Other realistically flawed characters, from a mother who must learn truly to help her daughter to Cameron himself, round out this complex and bittersweet story of friendship and the meaning of “unfinished business.” Ages 12-up.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2008
    Gr 7 Up-Jenna, 17, has remade herself. She's lost weight, is invited to social events, likes her alternative high school, and even has a boyfriend. In vivid detail, she recalls the bittersweet events of her earlier life. One of the few non-Mormons in her Salt Lake City grade school, she was a social pariah with only one friend, a boy named Cameron, another outcast. Readers are given fleeting glimpses of happy memories as well as the horrific traumas of their past, including a devastating experience with Cameron's cruel and abusive father and Jenna's belief that Cameron moved away and then died. When he reappears during her senior year, she reassesses her situationand the person whom she has becomeand realizes that the strength of her relationship with her friend spans time and makes her current relationships seem trivial. Zarr's sophisticated writing style, bouncing back and forth in time, teasing readers with further details, is wonderful. The main characters, and their unique bond, are well drawn and believable. Jenna struggles to see the child she was more clearly, to find a way to integrate her past into her present and to work toward self-acceptance. Despite its title, "Sweethearts" is not saccharine; it is substantial."Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL"

    Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from January 1, 2008
    Zarrs debut novel, Story of a Girl (2007), drew many teen readers with its heartbreaking depiction of a girl whose identity is defined by a mistake made when she was 13. Her second novel speaks to the deep friendships that grow among young people who have suffered trauma. At age nine, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were school outcasts and each others only friends. After Camerons father verbally abused them and tried to force the children to engage in sexual activity with each other, Jennifer and Cameron escaped, but they never told anyone of the incident. Cameron and his family abruptly left town, and Jennifer was told that Cameron had died. Now 17, Jennifer has changed her name and her image: pretty, popular Jenna has an equally pretty and popular boyfriend and is a model of self-confidence and responsibility. Then new student Cameron arrives, and Jennas world turns upside down. Her strong bond with Cameron is still there, and together they attempt to confront their shared past. Zarrs writing is remarkable. Through Jennas matter-of-fact first-person narrative, she conveys great delicacy of feeling and shades of meaning, and the realistic, moving ending will inspire excellent discussion.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

  • VOYA on How to Save a Life, starred review Praise for Sara Zarr:

    * "Zarr has established herself as an author who must not be missed."—VOYA on How to Save a Life, starred review

  • John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, on Story of a Girl "Impossible to put down...stays with you long after you've finished reading it."—John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, on Story of a Girl
  • Booklist on Sweethearts, starred review * "Zarr's writing is remarkable."—Booklist on Sweethearts, starred review
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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