by Sara Zarr


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316014564
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 217
Sales rank: 417,687
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, California. She is the author of How to Save a Life, What We Lost, Sweethearts, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl. She is also the coauthor of Roomies, with Tara Altebrando.

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Sweethearts 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 237 reviews.
Paige Draheim More than 1 year ago
My heart brokee at the end. If i where her, i would go wherever he went. I really cryied at the end. I couldnt help it.
moviebuff95 More than 1 year ago
I read the back of 'Sweethearts' and felt that I just HAD to read it. I wish someone had been there to talk me out of it. The whole book's just a bunch of the main character, Jennifer, trying to avoid making choices. "Should I stay with my boyfriend or not?". Then there's her childhood friend who returns out of the blue and she struggles with deciding if she likes him enough to dump her jealous boyfriend. Not to mention that periodically throughout the book there are segments that describe an "incident" that Jennifer and her old friend had with her friend's father. Those segments make it sound like a big, gross, unfortunate, heart-breaking incident, when it just turns out to be a bunch of running, yelling, and threatening. Plus there's Jennifer's never ending self-consciousness that just gets old after about 70 pages. This book did have me going for the majority of it because I wanted to see what Jennifer did with her life, does she start a relationship with an old friend or does she stay with the guy she knows is crazy about her? So when I was reading I didn't mind her quirky personality, the slow pace of the story, the strange rambling monologues she had, or the even stranger habit she had of stealing small items- mainly food- from convenient stores. Really, what killed this book for me was the pathetic ending. It was pointless and it seemed like the author just gave up or rushed to meet a deadline. It definitely wasn't worth the pages it took to get to the ending. While the book isn't a complete waste- since there is some delightful humor swirled in- it wasn't worth the money and time I devoted to reading it.
KelliNicole More than 1 year ago
Sweethearts is about a boy adn girl who grow up together. Just like anyother love story you would think that they would end up together. But in this book, Sara Zarr takes a turn on the love story. Jenna used to be the un-popular kid in her old school. But once her Mom got married and she moved, she was one of the popular kids in her school. She was no longer fat, and there was nobody to make fun of her. She had the boyfriend that anyone could have wanted. She also had a boyfriend. Her old time friend, Cameron, left her 8 years ago. So when he finally decideds to show up in her life again, that's when her world comes crashing down. Her boyfriend, Ethan, get jelous, and Cameron won't even hang out with her friends or even talk to her that much. Sooner or later he finally decideds that he will hang out with her and her friends. After about half a year or so, he then starts to question why he came back to see Jenna. In the meantime Jenna is falling in love with him. Later Ethan and Jenna brake up and Jenna tells Cameron, while he is sleeping, that she loves him. Then when she wakes up Cameron is gone. And Ethan and Jenna already broke up. So Cameron went back to California to help out his family. There is a lot of baggage in the book that you will have to find out for yourself about Cameron adn his dad, brothers and sisters. That is the reason why he left Jenna. This book is full of love, secrets, lust, friendship, partying, and just typical teenage stuff. I saw this book just sitting on the shelf, picked it up, read the back, and decided to read it. I recommended this book to my friends, and will recommend it to you, too. This is a must read book. Short, ease chapters.
vampirereader9897 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Its really deep and compelling and emotional. Its so amazing how these two characters find their deep friendship, that helped them get through so much once again. I recommaned this to everyone because it is amazingly great.
Swept_away More than 1 year ago
Amazingly written and and agonizingly heart-wrenching in a way that leaves you teary eyed and smiling for a reason you can't seem to relate with anything that concluded the book... except maybe hope.
This book is not at all hard to get into, extremely hard tpo put down, and most difficult to remember that it is simply a story. It drags you in- no wait, you come willingly- and you follow to the end. There are parts where you gasp or drop the book or want to scream and throw the thing across the room... It also makes you smile so brightly and sincerely at the events that only an alternate reality could produce.
The characters are created wonderfully and possess details that make them so real and individual that you feel you know them completely and even find yourself predicting the next line and enjoying the naturality of their personalities.
Anyhow... Lastly, I say that as for happy endings, it depends how far your understanding of happiness goes; be prepared for an extreme anticlimax.

even now, so long after having read the story, thinking about it almost puts me in a calm, thoughtful state. Fragile and filled with consideration... This book REALLY NEVER leaves you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cooldudet63 More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing but i cant help wondering is there going to be another book to follow?????????? i hope so!!! this book was soooo good that it made me cry yes cry! this is a must read book go out there and buy it then read it and cry all you want! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked how the author really got into the feelings of the main characters. The book was great, althojght it was short and i hated the ending. Cameron and Jenna didnt even like date at any time throughout the book which was a letdown. But its cute and fun, and A greay read
Michelle McGettigan More than 1 year ago
It was okay, i guess. I read and finished it in a whole day and wasn't every impressed with it. The end of the book left you hanging, like it wasn't finished.
ruffruff Perez More than 1 year ago
This book made me cry i wish the endng was different
kayla88 More than 1 year ago
this is such a cute story. it made me cry, and its so sad how the boy has to leave again!! i wanted them to be to gether forever, like it should have been. Not exactly the happy ending i was looking for. :/ still really good though (:
YOU More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. The story was very realistic and touching. I was surprised at the end that Cameron and Jenna never went back to his house. But I would defiantly recommend this to anyone who loves to read unforgettable,emotional, and beautifully written books.
teenroses More than 1 year ago
It's really emotional, and great, and its story line is TOTALLY touching!! i loved it! the charcters are great, and the whole thing is definitely, DEFINITELY unforgettable!!!
book__lover__987123 More than 1 year ago
Sara Zarr's Sweethearts is a heartwarming book the story of the two teens that have romantically reunited, uncover the teens past of bully's tragic memories and realizing who they are. This is a good book for people that like an adventure and some romance along the way! When young Cameron mysteriously dies in a car crash, that's when Jennifer Harris learns that she will never be able to live with herself, so she changes her name to Jenna Vaughn, starts a new school and makes new friends! But when she realizes that Cameron was never dead, her last year in high school becomes her worst nightmare. She starts to become more like Jennifer Harris her old self. In this book young Jennifer will never be the same she will have to change her name and even move to a different school if she ever wants to fit in. Between her boyfriend, friends, her overloading schoolwork and Cameron, Jenna finds herself realizing who she is and never was!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a great book! One of my favorites. The authors ability to connect to the reader is amazing. It can get a little slow, but still keeps your interest. It was one of the most heart-touching books ever. A must read for everyone!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a child, Jennifer Harris was a social outcast. She was nicknamed the Fattifier, because she was chubby, and made fun of for her lisp. Her only friend was another outcast named Cameron Quirk. They were always there for each other, and Cameron made everything bearable for Jennifer. And when he suddenly leaves without even saying goodbye, Jennifer is devastated. She thinks that he is dead, and no one tells her otherwise. Now Jennifer Harris is Jenna Vaughn. Her mom got married and Jennifer changed her name and her personality. She's got friends, a first boyfriend, and a loving family, all that she could ever want. But she can never forget Cameron, and memories of him haunt her constantly. So when Cameron just shows up one day at school, everything is changed for her. Throughout the story, Jenna has flashbacks to when she was Jennifer. And Jenna is not quite sure if she likes who she is now, and not sure if she wants to become Jennifer again. When Cameron was her best friend, she could be anyone she wanted to be, but as Jenna, her whole life seems to be a lie. Sweethearts was a beautiful story about how the strongest bonds of friendship can span any distance or amount of time. It was one of the saddest and most romantic books I have read in a long time, and it made me cry. It was filled with such raw emotion that I felt I was inside Jenna's head, living her life with her. And while the ending isn't perfect, it is filled with contentment and hope. I highly recommend Sweethearts to everyone, especially girls who can't let go of their childhood sweethearts. It was a beautiful story, and I am glad I took the time to read this incredible story. I hope all of you get to read it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok i dont know what to say.....this book was the best thing that i ever read!! like some other people said before it just sticks with you...i hope this book will be with me forever! And i recommed it to my friend Rachel. I hope it speaks to you about letting go of the past and moving on with the future!
galleysmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zarr writes with such eloquence and emotion it would have been difficult for me not to feel a connection to her characters and the stories she builds around them. A shorter book by the numbers, it carried with it as much bang for the buck as a story of much greater length. What I appreciated about her writing is that it made me see and feel without being too flowery in it¿s prose. On top of that she¿s created a great plot in which she¿s infused the story of Jenna and Cameron¿s relationship with a mystery from their past. She kept me wondering and searching; giving us little bits and pieces here and there until the very bitter end where all was ultimately revealed. Admittedly, I did have some idea of what certain circumstances related to the mystery might have been but there were an equally number of surprises that when revealed I really enjoyed. What this equaled to in the end was that I was able to take the journey with these characters as opposed to knowing it all before they did and that made for an excellent read.Jenna and Cameron are two youngsters bound to each other by their outcast status. Clinging to each other through life¿s horrible circumstances (most specifically Cameron¿s family issues) they are quickly and mysteriously separated when he vanishes. At this point Zarr delves into deeper exploration of each of the characters on an individual level as well as in the ways they eventually interact with each other.Jenna¿s mother soon remarries and the family is relocated where no one is familiar with her past thus she becomes a girl reborn. No longer the social pariah she was in younger years her new found popularity provides her the much longed for, and missing, comforts of friendship and acceptance. Despite having built new relationships, she still longs for the deeper connection she had with her best friend Cameron.Cameron, on the other hand, is a child of bad parenting. Having returned to where Jenna lives after having been missing for so long we learn of the many changes in his persona as well. He¿s distant and self-sufficient, secretive and hardworking. He¿s alone in the world, but for his rekindling friendship with the one person in his life he could ever trust. Jenna.A dynamic story of friendship, love and family Zarr paints a very strong picture of dysfunction on several different levels. She digs deep into motivation and morality to create long lasting relationships. I was rooting for Cameron and Jenna to come out the other end successful and together. You¿ll have to read it to find out if they did though!
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jenna has reinvented herself since the days when she thought of herself as fat and unpopular and friendless except for Cameron Quick. When Cameron disappears and she is told he has dies, she is devestated. Suddenly eight years later Cameron reappears in her life turning everything upside down and making Jenna confront her past. I was worried about how dark the secret would be...but my imagination was worse than what was in the book.
TigerLMS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cover screams CHICK LIT. The contents do not. Zarr's 217 page young adult novel is concise and well written, but readers have to get past the incongruity of the cover versus content first. Jenna Vaughn is a happy, popular teenager with a boyfriend. Jennifer Harris (fattifer) is Jenna eight years ago, who was constantly picked on by the popular girls and who had just one friend-- Cameron, whose sudden disappearance left Jennifer certain that Cameron had died. When Cameron suddenly reappears on Jenna's 16th birthday, her world turns upside down as memories of their friendship-- and the dangers they faced together-- return. Young men and women will relate to Cameron and Jenna, as well as Jenna's self-serving boyfriend Ethan. One of the most sympathetic characters is Jenna's step-father, Alan. Kids from abusive households, or who know kids from abusive households, will undoubtedly relate to the book, although the on-page abuse is mental and very brief, although some sexual abuse is threatened. Zarr's copy is clean-- one four letter word is simply spelled out ****. Ultimately, this is a story of lost friendships and finding the other side of you-- and that might be the selling point I use when book talking this title.
dance4luv3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Story of love and heartache. Reinvented Jenna Vaughn's life is perfect. She forgot all of her horrible and wonderful memories of her life as Jennifer Harris. All of the memories of her only and best childhood friend, Cameron Quick, are stripped away, and all of the memories of being teased and ridiculed are forever gone. Or so Jenna thought. When Cameron Quick, her childhood friend whom she thought was dead, returns unexpectedly, her life is completely and forever changed. A boy whom Jenna loved with all of her heart and soul, and the one she still does. Hiding her past from her friends and her boyfriend, and even her mom and step-dad got even harder when Cameron comes back. When he asks her to tell her mother an unbearably tearful memory that she has forever kept a secret, she becomes closer to her mom than she ever thought possible. A heartwarming story of a girl's first love and her painful past. A must-read for every teenage girl and boy.
59Square on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like Sara Zarr's books - she takes typical themes and creates something very meaningful around those themes. Jenna was once Jennifer - a fat girl who was very unliked by her schoolmates. She was teased cruelly except for one friend - Cameron Quick - who had his own problems. Jennifer's mother was working full time and going to nursing school, and she really neglected her allowing a terrible episode to happen with Cameron's abusive father. Then Cameron's family disappeared, Jenna believed they were dead, and she created a new life where she was popular and organized. Suddenly Cameron returns - causing her to question the life she has. The biggest part of this friendship and connection for Jenna and Cameron is what has happened to them together, and what Jenna's mom calls unfinished business. This sense of togetherness and love is amazing, strong and trumps everything else going on her life. I think this is a great story about friendship between a guy and a girl that never turns into anything romantic - it's just a strong connection that cannot be denied. I was also apalled by the mom and Jenna's relationship and how terrible it had become because of what had happened when she was nine. Very thoughtful, thought-provoking and unusual.
molliekay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bittersweet book about friendship and loss. Cameron and Jennifer were soulmates in elementary school who experienced the harshness of reality together. Suddenly, Cameron is gone, and Jennifer makes a new life together. When Cameron unexpectedly returns, Jennifer is forced to come to terms with their childhood and decide what kind of life she wants to lead.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were one another¿s only friends back at their cruel elementary school. They didn¿t need anyone else, and their exceptionally tight bond transcended all forms of regular friendship. When Cameron and his troubled family suddenly disappear without a word, Jennifer is devastated. However, a move gives her the opportunity to change herself. So Jennifer Harris sheds a few pounds and becomes Jenna Vaughn, but constantly lives with her old self¿s insecurities.Now, as a high school senior, Jenna has everything that ¿Jennifer¿ couldn¿t have: friends, a place at her school, and even a boyfriend. But then Cameron suddenly comes back, and brings with him all the emotions and events that Jenna has tried to suppress for years. Will inviting Cameron back into her life bring her back to where she started: an overweight, insecure, and friendless girl? Will Cameron even stay this time, or is he still keeping secrets?SWEETHEARTS is a short but sweet read about a relationship, an emotion, that is not quite love, not quite just friendship. It¿s always difficult to write about anything that straddles the border between two distinctive places, but Sara Zarr does an admirable job of pitching the unspoken past against the possibly false present.Unfortunately, it is also this attempt to stay ambiguous that pulls this novel down for me. Maybe it was just the timing of when I read this novel; while I appreciated the non-fairy-tale-like ending¿so much more realistic than happily-ever-afters¿I wanted perhaps a more definitive resolution. An epilogue of sorts, per se. This book left me with the feeling like I missed something, like this was just two crazy weeks in a difficult-to-understand girl¿s confusing life, two weeks that will fade from her memory over time.If you want to read something that¿s a little more challenging, a little more thought-provoking, and definitely well-written, SWEETHEARTS is the book for you.
katiebug41295 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I was reading it ever chance I had and did not ever want to put it down. This was a book I would read over and over again. It was very well written and was unpridictable at some parts. This was a story that many teens can relate to. Great book.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a sad book. Not sad in the sense of Big Tragic Event That Happens, but in the sense of the overall way things went: how the characters' lives played out and why. This is also not to say I didn¿t like it; Sara Zarr is one of my favorite YA writers, and here she ropes you in from the very first page.Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were childhood friends who bonded because they were both Rejects with big problems that made them prey to bullies. Jennifer, daughter of a single mom who worked two jobs and was never home, stuffed her hurts and fears and anxiety back down inside her with food. Schoolmates called her ¿Fattifer.¿ To make things worse, she had a lisp. Cameron had an abusive father, and often had to skip school, presumably because of bruises or breaks. He too had a speech impediment. No matter what they endured, however, they always had each other. Cameron made Jennifer feel ¿special, protected, and watched over, loved.¿ When still just little kids, Cameron gave Jennifer a ring and told her he loved her. Then on Jennifer¿s ninth birthday, he disappeared. Kids in school said Cameron was dead, and Jennifer¿s mother didn¿t tell her otherwise.Without Cameron, Jennifer knew something had to change, because she was all alone now. She learned to cope better, and practiced her speech until the lisp was gone. In the summer before seventh grade, her mom got married to a nice man, Alan, and they all moved to a different school district. Jennifer grabbed at the chance for a new identity. She changed her name to Jenna, so no one could call her ¿Fattifer¿ anymore. She lost weight and exercised and made friends. In high school, she even got a boyfriend, Ethan. Then on her seventeenth birthday, Cameron came back.What happens next is so touching and affecting. Both Jenna and Cameron were so damaged, and both have so much to overcome. And there is so much unfinished business between them.Evaluation: I loved this book, as I have loved all Zarr¿s books. Her characterization is excellent, and her plots are creative without resorting to the bizarre. Clearly she understands teens and the thorny issues that they face. This bittersweet tale is perfect for Valentine¿s Day