Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sweethearts by Lara Zarr

Though the title of the book Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr sounds like a romance, it is actually more of a mystery. Sweethearts is about two young children, Jennifer and Cameron. They are friends because they are both outsiders in school. Jennifer is overwieght and often teased by classmates about her size. Cameron's father drinks too much and he lives in constant fear of his father's abuse. Because of they're different they bond together and form a tight friendship. Suddenly, though, Cameron disappears one day and is not heard from again.

Fastforward ten years. Jennifer, now Jenna, has transferred to another school. She has lost weight and is extremely popular. She has tons of friends and a popular boyfriend. Still, though, she thinks about her old friend Cameron and wonders if the rumors that he died are true. Her whole new perfect life is turned upside down when Cameron suddenly reappears after being gone for a decade. Where did he go? Why is he suddenly back? Will Jenna be able to fit Cameron back into her life? Will her new friends find out about the unpopular, overweight Jennifer that she's worked so hard to hide?

This is probably more of a book for girls, though I can see how the mystery might entice some boys to read it. It is not a super long read and it goes pretty fast once you get into it because of its suspenseful plot. Most of the characters are pretty realistic, though some are pretty flat. I think that Sara Zarr is a solid new writer of young adult lit and that we'll be reading more of her books in the future! (She has another book called Story of a Girl. I have couple of copies if you're interested in that title.)

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