Nine-year-old Jennifer Harris is overweight, doesn't wear the right clothes or live in the right part of town, and her mother doesn't make enough money. She is nicknamed "Fattifer" and teased by all the other kids in school. She doesn't have a single friend until she walks across the playground one day and befriends the other social outcast, Cameron Quick. Jennifer finds a soul mate in Cameron, and soon they become the closest of friends. Until, one day Cameron mysteriously disappears without a trace. Years pass, and Jennifer Harris transforms herself into Jenna Vaughn, a popular girl with a large circle of friends and the perfect boyfriend. Jenna's life is great until it is turned upside down when a new kid shows up in her senior class - Cameron Quick. Jenna is faced with the memories of her old friend and her old self - two people her new friends know nothing about.
I just read Sara Zarr's first novel, Story of a Girl, and couldn't wait to dive in to her second. Sweethearts did not disappoint. I loved Jenna. I loved her struggle with her haunted past and her present image. I thought the whole story was very realistic, and I loved that Zarr included some not so pretty pictures. Life isn't always pretty, and I'm really enjoying YA Fiction for portraying that truth again and again. I can't wait to get my hands on Zarr's third novel, Once Was Lost.