Like many women, I need the occasional sob-fest to release pent-up emotions. I can definitely say that I had one tonight. I just finished Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, and I am now an emotional wreck. At the end of this book, I was crying so much that I had to wipe the salt residue off my glasses. It takes a powerful book to make me do that.
(Before I really go into what this book is about, let me say that the cover is misleading. It shows a partially eaten, pink-iced, heart-shaped cookie, and the title is, of course, Sweethearts. I immediately thought I was in for a piece of fluffy chick lit. Not so.)
Sweethearts is the story of Jenna (formerly known as Jennifer) and Cameron. When these two friends were nine, they endured something traumatic, and Cameron disappeared shortly thereafter. Jenna was told by several people that Cameron had died. He was her only friend in the world, and she was left with a life that was virtually shattered.
Eight years later, after Jenna has completely transformed herself from nerdy fat kid to popular girl, Cameron suddenly reappears. Jenna is understandably shocked, and both she and Cameron are forced to confront memories that were long buried and face futures that are uncertain.
Like I said before, this is a very powerful book. It is definitely a tear-jerker. Make sure you have plenty of tissues handy.