Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mock Printz: Sweethearts

Title: Sweethearts
Athor: Sarah Zarr
Publisher: Little, Brown.
ISBN: 978-0-316-01455-7
Starred Review: PW and Booklist

Plot: Jenna used to be the over weight and unpopular girl in school. She had just one friend, Cameron, a boy who had a troubled home life. When Cameron disappears in third grade, kids at school tell Jennifer that he died. Her single mother allows her to believe this and soon after thier life changes. Jennifer works hard to lose weight and get healthy, her mom marries and they move to a better part of town which means a new school for Jennifer. Jennifer changes her name to Jenna and makes a life as one of the popular girls (or at least one with friends). Now 17, Jenna is confronted with the truth when Cameron returns.

My thoughts: I never thought I'd be one of those people whining “But what about the happily ever after ending!?”, but I am on this book. I thought Zarr did a great job of dribbling out the details of Jenna's 9th birthday and it created an erie feeling at the start of the book that worked well. I liked the subtle hints of Ethan's possessive/controling personality before Cameron even entered the picture and I loved the fact that the blonde bombshell of a friend was the one who showed herself to be more insightful and true friend to Jenna. I disliked the fact that we didn't see Jenna actually tell her friends about her past. Maybe not all of it, but I would have liked to see her confide in at least one of them. Cameron leaving broke my heart and I hated that the mom was right and they they would probably feel like that had unfinished business until the day they died. In the end, I wanted her to make that trip across country and see him. I wanted her to find a way that worked for them to be together, but life isn't that easy or simple. Overall a good book, much better than I anticipated, but still not great. If I were the reviewer, I doubt I would have starred it.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I agree with alot of what you're saying. The book was good, I enjoyed it, it made me tear up but I don't know about starred. The ending did try for "realistic" vs. "happily ever after". I would have definitely preferred a cross country trip too ( I like happy endings in sweet fiction) but I understand why Zarr didn't go that route. What I really liked about the book was Jenna had very real and relatable insecurities. Her relationship with controlling Ethan and her decision they shouldn't stay together just so she could not be single. Her bond with Cameron gave him some liberties, because of what they meant to each other as kids and the ordeal they went through with Camerson's skeevy father *shudders* but Cameron had his demands too. What I also liked about Jenna was SHE took steps to make friends with Cameron, get them safely out of Cameron's room, get herself healthy and confront her mother for hiding the truth about Cameron's disappearance.