Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr

In this beautiful and poignant story, Jenna has to confront her past when her childhood sweetheart Cameron returns from the dead and shows up at her school in her senior year. Her friends and boyfriend assume that Cameron and Jenna have a romantic thing going on, but it is much more complicated than that. While never able to adequately explain their emotions, Jenna and Cameron both learn a great deal about themselves and their relationships with others through the experience.

A surprisingly spare yet emotionally intense novel. The beginning and end are notably outstanding. Zarr's previous Story of a Girl was a great (albeit mildly flawed) book, but she is building up her talents. In this case, I found the middle section a bit dull and lacking direction, but the bookends make up for it quite adequately. Anyone who isn't crying through the last chapter has a heart of stone. Highly recommended.

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