Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Teen-aged Jenna is smart, pretty and popular.  What her friends and boyfriend don’t know is that Jenna used to be Jennifer–a shy, overweight, picked-on child with a soul mate who disappeared.  Jenna’s past and present converge when Cameron, her one true friend, abruptly re-enters her life.

After being so intensely affected by Sara Zarr’s newest novel, Once was Lost, I was apprehensive about reading her earlier work.  The bar had been set so high for me, I was worried her previous novels wouldn’t live up to my expectations.  Boy, was I wrong.  Sweethearts is a tender, realistic portrayal of one girl’s difficult youth including her flawed but well-meaning family and her indescribable connection with a boy who needed a friend as desperately as she did.  A beautiful novel.

~ Tricia is CPL’s teen librarian and is currently preparing for an orientation for her summer teen volunteers.