Sunday, November 25, 2007


When Jennifer was younger, she couldn't imagine getting through life without the help of Cameron Quick. Jen was overweight, lispy, and a bit smelly, due to the fact that her single mom was working full time during the day, and in nursing school at night. But Jennifer's life was not nearly as scary as Cam's, as she witnessed one year on her birthday. Now she knew why she wasn't supposed to go over to Cameron's house.

Everything changed for Jennifer when Cameron just disappeared. The mean kids at school told her that Cameron was dead. When Jennifer went home crying to her mother, her mom did not deny the fact. And Jennifer just about shut down.

Now in a different part of the city and in high school, "Jenna" is completely transformed. She works hard everyday to keep the weight off, to remember that boyfriends like Ethan like "happy" girls, and that Jennifer Harris no longer exists. Her mom ended up marrying Alan, and nobody around knows anything about Jenna's past.

And then, Cam comes back.

Jenna doesn't know what to think. Cameron Quick is supposed to be dead! That's the main reason why Jennifer Harris is no more. Not only is Cam in town, he's in her school and looking to deal with the past. A past that only exists in Jenna's head as slippery memories. What will happen when Jenna and Jennifer collide?

Sara Zarr has written an intense story that called to my mind The Rules of Survival by Werlin. Jennifer didn't have any adult help, and as a result, she and Cam had to survive together. What they have is beyond love and friendship. The reader feels real empathy for most of the characters in the book (save Cam's dad), and I found myself willing Jenna towards the truth.

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