Good Reads Summary
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also each other's only friend. SO when Cameron disappeared without warning, Jennifer thought she'd lost the one person who would ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she is popular, happy, and dating—everything "Jennifer" couldn't be. But she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.
When Cameron suddenly reappears, they both are confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.
Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.
When you first come across Jenna, it seems like she's acting, playing pretend. She describes her life as an observer. From there you clearly get a sense of how she was versus how she is. But what's surprising is how neither of those two pictures are pleasant. If in the past she was a sad loner, prone to binge eating and crying and devoted to one individual; in her present life, she plays at being perfect: the perfect daughter, friend, girlfriend and what have you. These two versions of her are set apart by the presence/absence of one person: Cameron. It is when he reappears that things get more complicated for all those involved.
That they were each other's rock both broke my heart and had me hoping. As kids they turned to no one but each other and this is what I suppose strengethend a relationship that's simultaneously simple AND complicated. Simple in that they did turn to each other, but complicated because what were they to each other, even when they were young, and what would they be for each other now that they were a little older?
That he sought her out and never lost track of her; and that, at the same time, she believed him dead was ~at the risk of sounding redundant~ heartbreaking. With him gone, she changes; apart from her, he survives, but neither really thrives. It was the unfinished nature of them that had me hoping. But It is the closure he sought, that raised him up some more in my esteem. What a good man in the making.
That her life wasn't perfect, rather merely seeming so, made her relatable. The way she coped, what she did to "turn her life around" was impressive... but frustrating! But it was Steph who added the necessary clear thinking that made Jenna and Cam's story more plausible. It seems, the bestfriend types in these books always know best. It is Steph who came across as wise with her philosphy of letting things be the way they were, accepting things as is; her non-drama dramaness added a dash of thinking to this otherwise emotional book.
I wouldn't call it a love story in the same way that Jenna wouldn't say she was "in love" with him because Sweethearts goes beyond those things. Their history broke my heart; his story broke my heart, but they both left me hopeful.
*I will definitely be reading other stories by this author.