Sweethearts by Sarah Zarr is a YA guy-from-her-past comes back and reminds the protagonist of her former fat/shy/teased self eventhough she’s got friends and a popular boyfriend now.
I couldn’t help comparing it with Bloom, which I enjoyed more. And it took me a while to figure out why. There isn’t anything really that jumps out at you as done badly in this book. The characters are sympathetic, the writing is smooth, and the main character’s worries, insecurities, and feelings about her old fat self made me cringe (which is a good thing.)
But in the end, it was bland. I think there just wasn’t as much passion in the writing as I found in Bloom. I didn’t feel the connection between the protagonist and the guy-from-her-past possibly because they didn’t spend that much time onscreen together.
And possibly because the horrifying event from the past turned out to be just a “tip of the iceberg” in terms of abuse and didn’t seem worthy of the protagonists’ nightmares about it.
So, I guess the book was so so for me.