Book: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
Genre: YA Romance -ish
For: YA Romance Challenge
This was my second Sara Zarr experience. I enjoyed the first one (Story of a Girl) but it was quite depressing to me. So I was curious to see what my reaction would be to this one. And result? Actually, I enjoyed it better. Though, it was still sad and not the happily ever after type of ending I typically enjoy.
The story is about a girl named Jenna who reinvented herself once she hit high school. She's become a whole new person from what she was as a kid. However, we see flash backs and memories of elementary school where she was fat, neglected, teased and picked on. Her only friend back then was a boy named Cameron, who was also an outcast. They quickly bonded. Then on her ninth birthday, they both went through a terrifying experience that cemented that bond forever.
One day, Cameron disappeared and she never knew what happened to him. But then, years later in high school, he shows up again. All those memories and all those things she was before come rushing back. She has to choose who she is now, the new Jenna or the old.
This was a wonderful, quickly-paced story, and yet again, one of those that get you thinking about life and what really matters. I've come to realize that Sara Zarr is another of those YA authors that write about real world problems, which, quite truthfully, can be depressing. Yet at the same time quite rewarding for getting you to think.