Title: Sweethearts

Author: Sara Zarr

Goodreads summary:

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 taken.

Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.


It’s easy to relate to Jennifer Harris, who has reinvented herself as Jenna Vaughn. Who didn’t have some part of them as an adolescent or adult that they wished that they could change or hide?

And can’t we all think back to a childhood friend that we’ve lost touch with? That one that floats up into our mind in a “Huh. I wonder how they are now?” sort of way.

Except that my childhood best friend and I didn’t share a deep and very dark secret like Jenna and Cameron, who share an uncommon bond. When Cameron left, Jenna had thought he was dead and lost to her forever.

But now Cameron is back.

As Jenna tries to make her peace with what happened on that day so long ago, she also deals with her anger towards her mother, a boyfriend she isn’t sure that she wants to be with, and tries to sort out how she feels about Cameron.

Jenna’s teenage emotions feel very authentic while reading them and I genuinely appreciated the ending. I will certainly be making it a point to read more of Zarr’s work.

Rating: 4/5.