Friday, January 11, 2013

Book review: Sweethearts


Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

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.


I don't have a whole lot to say about this book.

I loved Jenna's voice. I thought it was realistic and easy to relate to. All the characters were really well written and believable -- I didn't ever look up, didn't doubt any of the characters' actions.

I liked the depiction of her high school relationship, too. The way sometimes we were in relationships and didn't really know why except that the other person was reasonably good looking and wanted to kiss you.

I also really enjoyed Jenna's journey of self-discovery. She really grows as a character through the book, which is something I think a lot of the books I've read have been missing lately, so yay!

The author does that thing where there's a mysterious event in the past that they keep referring to and is revealed over several chapters. I usually don't love that tactic. I'd rather learn it all at once and create tension and interest in other ways. But it's a tool authors use often, so I try not to judge it too harshly.

Overall, I thought Sweethearts was really well-written and believable. I gave it three stars, because it's good, but it just didn't speak to me in particular... ya know? But I definitely recommend it as an easy, quick read. It delves into a few deeper/darker subjects and handles them really well (specifically, eating issues, abuse, and learning to be yourself).

Have any of you read Sweethearts? What did you think?



10 comments:

Kate said...

Ok, so I tried to leave a comment earlier and got an error message, so let's try this again.

I haven't read this book yet, BUT I am currently reading Stay by Deb Caletti (which I know you've reviewed before.)

And I can't agree with you more about the whole event in the past that authors slowly tell you about.. Sometimes, it's great and needed, like in the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. But sometimes? I feel like authors just use it because they're not really sure how they're ever going to have a climax in their book. It's used so often, but I feel like it's not always necessary! Grawr.

That's What She Read said...

Haven't heard of this one, and totally agree about the ambiguous past thing, I always get so impatient! :) Am I just now realizing you like in Kansas? I am just less than 2 hrs away from KC, in northwest Missouri!!

Jordan said...

I think when used right that tactic can really make a book. However, it is a little overused in Young Adult books. Either way, this book sounds interesting so I'm adding it to my "to-read" shelf - you can never have too many right?

Amy said...

I can't wait to read this one! :)

Cait said...

so anxious to read it! thanks for the review!

Katie said...

I've never heard of this one! Sounds like something I would like though, although I totally agree with you on the "mysterious past situation" tactic. Overused.

Linny said...

I haven't read this book, but it does sound pretty interesting! Thank you for sharing!

Shoshanah said...

I've heard great things about Sara Zarr although have yet to read anything by her. But this one does seem like a fun & cute book, and a great book to spend an afternoon reading.

Katrin said...

I haven't heard about it but the plot sounds pretty interesting!

Recently Roached said...

I love love love a good book review. I've heard of Zarr, but haven't checked her out. But she obviously has excellent taste when it comes to naming her characters :) Jena for the win!

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