Wow. I can relate to so much of this book from my own feelings and childhood. It struck a cord and the writing was beautiful. Couldn't put it down. See my full review at http://fireicephoto.blogpsot.com later.
met Sara Zarr soon last month after completing her book "Once Was Lost" at the "Beautiful Creatures" release party. She was sitting on the couch and I knew no one else around, as our friend Brodi had not yet arrived. I went up and introduced myself in a Jennifer Harris moment of my own. I tried to spark up conversation about my opinions of her book and in the process made a complete fool of myself. Sara was down to earth and genuine. Meeting her made me want to read more of her work.
Sweethearts was so realistic and heart warming for me personally. Cameron Quick is the kind of friend you want for all of your life, despite his understandable walls and ability to disappear. I could relate to much of their life story which is I think why I was pulled completely into the pages. I finished it in 24 hours and it left an impression I am sure I won't forget. Having worked for several years as a child protective service and foster care worker for the State, I see so many of Sara's descriptions as real-life struggles for teens seeking independent living and seeking to break the cycles of their childhood.
Sara tackles every day issues in today's world like abuse, single parent homes, popularity, school bullies, religion, compulsive eating, and teenage relationships. She leaves you hopeful that there are every day heroes and loves that endure the bounds of time and space. Five out of five stars for "Sweethearts." I think it would be an excellent book to explore in the classroom.
Watch a fan made trailer on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM8gfCJUTMs