Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Because love, love is never finished. It circles and circles, the memories out of order and not always complete"
This one line basically sums up this book, the story about a teenage girl dealing with the loss in grade school and reemergence during her senior year of high school of her childhood best and onetime, only, friend. After his departure, she reinvented herself to avoid getting lost in herself, and when he returns she must come to terms with who she is, was, and will become while also trying to understand the abuse and hardship that led to his leaving in the first place. All at once, they are grappling with having grown apart, yet still in some ways being exactly where they left off, and also trying to discover what they mean to each and the roles they will or will not ultimately play in each others lives.
This touching story evokes memories of friends found, friends lost and friends rediscovered. It touches on a kind of love that many don't understand, or choose to acknowledge, as it is about as far from black/white as you can get. As much as many of us do not like to admit, some love is so firmly rooted in the gray areas that it will never be fully understood. This can be a torment, but can also be a blessing and a lesson, which is what this novel wants to say. And while teenagers of course do not know it all (as many of surely thought we did back then!) the world as seen through the naive eyes of young adults can sometimes be the most thought provoking, and Sara Zarr does a wonderful job of channeling this innocence.
This is a easy read without much challenge or overly exciting writing to it, but where it lacks in those areas it definitely makes up in substance and thought provoking ideas.
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