Saturday, June 13, 2009

Review by Alex- Sweethearts

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

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.

Sweethearts has all the elements that would have made it interesting. But it just didn't really work for me. I wasn't into the book, wasn't at all invested. I was disappointed in Sweethearts and my reaction to it, to say the least.

Jennifer is an interesting character. She could have been great. She just fell flat for some reason. She's had a troubled past, but now she's got a good life. That isn't to say she's happy. When Cam moved away, Jennifer thought he died shortly after. She was devasted but she tries to move on, going to a new small school made for kids who don't quite fit in, being non-Mormom in a Mormom town. But don't worry, this isn't a religious book if that's what you're thinking.

The first half of the book is in the present with flashbacks to Jennifer's childhood. Mostly it's on one specific memory involving Cam and Cam's dad. The suspense was good, cutting to a flashback, then going back to the present when it got intense, then going back to memories, etc. But then when the whole memory is revealed, I was like, That's it? I guess I was just expecting more. Yes, that memory is pretty terrifying and could be scarring, but it didn't really match up to my expectations.

Cam comes back and of course Jenna feels something for him. She thought he was dead for one. I thought Jenna's reaction to Cam's reappearance was a bit weird and off, personally. Of course Jenna has a boyfriend, so she doesn't know what to do. Should she break up with her boyfriend and get together with Cam? Or are her emotions to confused and she doesn't really want to? Poor baby...

Meeeeh. It has what I usually like, but this book... just, no. Nothing really did much for me. Cam wasn't even that exciting for the male lead. I couldn't really sympathise with any of the characters. Plus, the ending was very unsatisfying. It made sense, and is probably realistic, but I just wasn't happy with it. Some realistic endings, I'm fine with. But in Sweethearts, no. I don't really know why I didn't like Sweethearts that much, but I didn't. Maybe others will though, so don't let my review stop you from reading it, if you haven't already. Sweethearts came out a while ago...

Still, I prefer Story of a Girl much more, and would recommend that over Sweethearts.


  1. Hmmm... I'm not sure if I'll read this. I don't know if I'd enjoy it. Thanks for an honest review :)

  2. Alex, you helped me work out my big issue with Sweethearts. There was so much placed on the foreboding elements of what happened that day. I actually thought the dad made them do something together that they shouldn't or he did something to both of them (trying to be extremely vague). In the end the amount of foreboding didn't correlate with the actual event.

    Oh well~

    Enjoy Going Too Far - I suspect you'll LOVE it!


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