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After Losing Her Soul Mate, Cameron, When They Were Nine, Jennifer, Now Seventeen, Transformed Herself From The Unpopular Fat Girl Into The Beautiful And Popular Jenna, But Cameron S Unexpected Return Dredges Up Memories That Cause Both Social And Emotional Turmoil I do havememories of Cameron, things I know for sure, good and bad Like How us being together all the time made us a bigger target, the whole of our exile being greater than the sum of our outcast parts How we didn t care because we had each other Initial Final Page Thoughts.I loved that ending and it was so perfect and exactly what would happen if this book was real life but I couldn t help being underwhelmed by the whole story I wish I hadn t started off my Zarr ventures with How To Save a Life because that book spoiled me But even though I wasn t too struck with the story and the characters the writing, in true Zarr form, was breath taking and toe tingling High Points.Cameron Jennifer Drama club The past Strength Friendship Childhood First loves Security Letters Dollhouses Family Cheap, blue rings That ending Low Points.You know when you finish a book and you re like eh But you can t pinpoint why This was one of those books for me I didn t like Jenna as a narrator and I m not sure why I wish this book had been told from Jennifer s p.o.v, I connected with her a lotand I would have loved to see what she would have come up with.Also, and I hate to keep comparing it to HTSAL but I m gonna do it anyway, I so wish that this book was told from dual perspective Cameron s story was so compelling and the snapshots I got just wasn t enough I didn t feel like I knew him at all I love the cover but it gives me the overwhelming urge to snaffle delicious sweet treats all the live long day Heroine.Just building onof what I said above, Jenna was a tricky heroine I didn t hate her and she wasn t too dumb or that much of a push over and she kind of had a good head on her shoulders.I feel like I may need to useitalics to emphasize my point It seemed like Jenna was just there She wasn t making waves and I like my heroines to make waves.Jennifer on the other hand who was Jenna before she became Jenna don t worry, she s not an alien OR IS SHE was brilliant She was feisty, she was strong, she was no nonsense, but she was also vulnerable and I had a lot of time for her I just couldn t help but think Jenna was a shell of what she used to be and it made me sad Maybe that was the point But it still made me sad Love Interest Hero.Yeah, he s a hero, right He s definitely not a love interest unless you count mine Which then, yeah he s totally a love interest Sorry what was I saying Oh yes Cameron Oooh Cameron You little cherub.I won t talk too much about you because I think you re background is best not known if you haven t read the book.But I loved you in the past, the present and the future And I wish we d heard things for your side.Also, I always thought that sending anonymous bouquets of sun golden roses was the epitome of romance and it still is But, let me tell you, making a girl a dollhouse for her birthday from scratch would come pretty damn close.Theme Tune.Basic Space by The XXWhenever listen to The XX is always have this urge to turn the lights off in my room, crawl under the covers and just immerse myself within their music The same thing goes when I read a book by Ms ZarrI m setting us in stonePiece by piece before I m aloneAir tight before we breakKeep it inKeep us safe Fragility, desperation, loss, hope, determination, love When I thought of Jenna and Cameron s relationship, I instantly thought of this song.It s just stunningI ve been underwaterBreathin out and inI m think I m losin where you end and I begin Boy Angst.2 10 You ll probably wonder why I ve even bothered putting this in because the scoring is so low But I wanted to include two points, not for Jenna, but for me This is just a personal gripe but it annoys me so much Why do YA heroines always need a mysterious and sexy boy with dark hair to make them realise that their current boyfriend is dull, boring, chauvinistic and blonde not right for them Ethan Whatever with you and your entire existence Sadness Scale.8 10 You ll probably wonder why, seeing as I ve been whinging all the way through this review, I ve given it such a high rating This is all down to Ms Zarr s ability to write emotion like it s coming from her soul Or something equally as dramatic and metaphorical Her writing is so subtle and quiet but oh my gosh can she pack a punch when she wants to Her writing is so raw and powerful that even though I wasn t fussed about Jenna, I couldn t look away just in case I missed a sentence that made my heart tremble We all know that there s certain Aussie lady who can portray human emotions in this way and when I say this I mean clutch at your heart and shake your soul and make your muscles ache with the beauty of the words and um well, you get it but I have to say, judging by the feeling of shock, awe, numbness and understanding I feel after I ve finished one of her books, Ms Zarr is standing right beside her I don t want to go into the nitty gritty of the story, because like I said, it s best not knowing.But this book is truly sad considering every thing that happens to the characters in the past and the present However, the issues are dealt with tact, understanding and, most importantly, without judgement.Recommended for.People who like to read books that are about friendship People who aren t fussed about a clear happily ever after People who like dollhouses People who have ever wished they could press the reset button on their life People who like it when they get notes in their lunchboxes People who enjoy Milky Ways People who have ever wondered what happened to their primary school crush Basically, he got HOT You can read this review and other exciting things on my blog here Bleh I kept thinking I would start liking this book, but I never did I just wasn t sympathetic to the character at all, and I felt like the author was shoving it down my throat that I should sympathize with this poor girl who has had it so hard And through the whole book, she keeps alluding to this deep, dark secret thing that happened to her as a childyou get little pieces of that story as mini flashbacks, but she doesn t reveal the whole thing, to keep you in suspense, I guess Finally, at the end of the book, you find outNOTHING happened So why is this the defining moment of her life Why does it make her start binge eating when she thinks about it Spoiler ahead And the most frustrating thing was that the author has built this whole story around a relationship the main character had with a childhood friend whom she lovesthan anyone else He comes back after 8 years, and all she does is think about him and want to be with him In fact, she is the very reason he came back, so clearly, he s feeling the same way But do they end up together No, he goes back home to California, and the book ends. Because love, love is never finished It circles and circles, the memories out of order and not always completeI read this as a way to cure my reading slump thinking this would be a cutesy read but I once again committed this fatal flaw of judging the book by its cover But although I erred about this being a light, easy read, I m still very glad that I read the book because this is one of the most genuine realistic YA fiction I ve ever read.At the age of nine, Jennifer orpopularly known as Fattifer was the school s target of all bullies Everybody seems to hate her except for Cameron Quick, the sweetest, most carefree young boy and together, they made the most popular pair of pariahs in their school They didn t care though as long as they had each other.Eight years later, the readers are introduced to the new Jennifer now called Jenna Accepted and part of the school s elite group, Jenna is finally living a good life But the Jennifer inside is still attached to Cameron Quick who vanished into thin air eight years ago Care to find out the rest of the story Then I suggest you read the book.Truthfully, I find so many flaws in the book The irregular transitions, the flawed plot, the lack of resolution and yet it s amazing that it still managed to puncture my heart The writing is simple but truly very adorable, there are so many lines I want to quote The messages of the story are also very inspiring and very true and although the ending left me in quiet tears, I must say that this is one of the sincerest bittersweet conclusions I have readThere are certain people who come into your life, and leave a markTheir place in your heart is tender a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are uselessI have Neil to thank for this very memorable read You do have excellent taste in books 3.5 stars I have only read one Sara Zarr book before this one, 2011 s How to Save a Life, and as I read Sweethearts all I could think about was how much the author has grown as a writer in the three years since this one was written I love the theme of this book overall, which explores the bittersweetness of people coming in and out of your life I didn t even mind that we don t learn as many details about what happened to Cameron back in the past as we might ve hoped Or that the main character spends so much of the novel frozen in time.What kept me from enjoying thisthan many of my friends have, however, is that emotional urgency and truth often seemed to be secondary to the writing style I think the structure of alternating back and forth, and the cliffhangers that purposefully were staged because of that, just left me feeling too jumbled and disjointed Especially since it s fairly easy to guess what s going on, and there are only so many times you can chop up one very important anecdote flashback without leaving the reader frustrated Jenna herself also felt a little unreal to me While I thought the author did a great job with writing a believable character who feels out of place even though she has everything she thought she d ever wanted I especially liked the moment when she equates sex with her boyfriend with her fixation on food enjoyable, but something that she also wished were over so she could move on with her life , it was stretches believability to me that Jenna was so self aware that she could pinpoint Cameron s departure as the catalyst for her changing herself and her relationship with her mom, and that that became such a driving force in her life Don t get me wrong, I m well aware of how strongly certain relationships can pull at you, particularly childhood ones But Jenna seemed to think of so little else and was such a stranger in her own land that it felt very odd and not entirely realistic.I really loved Steph, however, and the note of truth in that friendship And Cameron s letter and the unresolved feelings that lie there felt very real I just wish I felt as strongly connected to the overall plot of the story, although I m still very much looking forward to this author s next book So overall, I did like it, though I didn t quite love it the way I thought I would.