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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*Sweethearts* by Sara Zarr- young adult book review  
Sweethearts
by Sara Zarr
Grades 7+ 224 pages Little, Brown February 2008 Hardcover    

They used to mimic her lisp and called her Fattifer. Sheíd get staples flicked at her and be called Big Fat Baby when she cried. Her only friend was Cameron, an outcast at school just like her. During elementary school, Jennifer and Cameron were always together. They only had each other: no one else to turn to- not even their parents. Itís because of Cameronís loyalty and Jenniferís courage that they both survived those early years - including what happened in Cameronís bedroom on Jenniferís ninth birthday.

When Cameron disappears in grade five, Jennifer hears she died, and no one tells her any different. Now in high school, Jennifer is known as Jenna. She has plenty of friends, a steady boyfriend, nice clothes, and no lisp. She even laughs now more then she cries. On Jennaís seventeenth birthday, though, she learns that she might lose it all.

At seventeen, Jenna has to confront her past. As she does, she goes back to binge eating and stealing food to numb her memories. She lies to her boyfriend, her friends, and even her family. But as her questions about the past are answered, Jenna begins to see whatís in her heart and who her heart belonged to all along. As Jenna becomes more honest with herself and those she knows, she sees sides of herself she never knew existed. She stays friends with those who accept the real her and keeps in touch with those sheíll never forget. By the end of the book, Jennaís memories donít weaken her as much as they used to, and sheís more accepting of her life - both past and present.

Sara Zarr first book, Story of a Girl was a National Book Award Finalist in 2007. She lives in Salt Lake City.
 

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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