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by Sara Zarr

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-01455-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

After years working to achieve popularity, Jenna tries not to think about elementary school: the lisp, the tears, the fat. When her childhood soul mate Cameron Quick miraculously reappears, Jenna’s carefully cultivated persona begins to unravel. Tension builds as readers wonder how long Jenna can keep up appearances, what made Cameron vanish so many years ago and whether the two will consummate their love. Jenna and Cameron’s preternatural bond remains at the core of this original story. Readers will find their fascinating connection at once believable and unfathomable. Intermittent flashbacks cast a murky, nightmarish hue and culminate to reveal a horrific moment that united Jenna and Cameron forever. This haunting and ultimately hopeful novel asserts what many teens feel acutely: that childhood experiences often leave indelible marks. A convincing, first-person narrative voice makes the painful ramifications of exclusion palpable. The costs of popularity, eating disorders and abuse also find resonance. Zarr transfixes teen readers with enticing explorations of identity and enduring love. (Fiction. YA)