Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sweethearts - Sara Zarr

From Goodreads: 

As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also each other's only friend. SO when Cameron disappeared without warning, Jennifer thought she'd lost the one person who would ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she is 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 both are confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have take. 

Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.
From Me: It's the kind of a book you sink into and feel immersed in the world and story. It was a quiet but compelling read and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. Zarr has this way of writing so that her sentences are emotive in the most subtle and unassuming of ways. I don't know how she does it, as her prose is quite simple, yet I felt moved as the story unfolded and I was captivated by both Jenna and Cameron's story.

Cameron and Jenna are achingly flawed and struggling within themselves. The romance between them may be understated compared to other wildly falling-in-love YA, but the bond between them feels all the more stronger for it. It actually felt real.

At the end, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I liked this one more than Zarr's Story of a Girl which had the same lingering, quiet emotional feel about it.  This story will definitely linger and the message resonates. Especially Cameron's story which is painful and makes you want to reach into the book and wipe his past and pain away.

I don't want to say too much, as I really enjoyed reading it without knowing the direction the plot will take. But I will say, I think Zarr has her own little niche at really tapping into how teens think and feel and she presents a realistic struggle without making things easy on the characters or giving readers the happily ever after that so many books create.

It's like a blend of:  Bloom - Elizabeth Scott and The Only Alien on the Planet - Kristen Randle  (in terms of plot, themes, feel), but really Zarr has her own style that is different from other YA authors. I recommend it if you like realistic contemporary reads and are not afraid of a not-so-perfect ending...

Oh - and the cover = <3. It has a lovely matt texture and the eaten heart matches the themes in the book and the use of white space is evocative.


  1. You make me wanna go out and grab this book right now!
    I have yet to read a Sara Zarr book *hangs head in shame*..but I think I'm going to change that.
    You're so right about the cover. It's simple yet evokes so much.
    <3 the review!

  2. I absolutely LOVED story of a girl!
    *adds book to list*

  3. I love this review. I am definitely adding this to my TBR pile..sounds so good!

    Also, I adore your inkcrush banner at the top! I want to make it my desktop picture :)

  4. Your review makes me want to date this book. It sounds fantastic!

    I friggin' ADORE your blog name & header, amazing!

  5. Wow. I'm going to have to get this one. And that cookie on the front makes me hungry. Great review as always.

  6. This sounds exactly like a book I'd love to read. I'm ordering it! Thanks for the review.

  7. Great review! Sounds like you really fell for this one- will have to add to TBR pile!

    I adore your blog! Gorgeous! The header is awesome.

    Thanks for following and now I'm following you too! :)

  8. Omg, that cover is gorgeous (would totally read it for the cute cover alone hehe) and I really want to read it now - great review Nomes!

  9. fantastic review... this looks really good!

  10. Excellent review, I haven't heard of this book before but I really want to read it now. I love the cover, yummy biscuit!


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