Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer R Hubbard
Release Date - January 7, 2010
Publisher - Viking Juvenile
Pages - 192
My Rating- 8/10

Synopsis from GoodReads
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia's boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?
The premise of this novel really intrigued me. I couldn't imagine loving someone and not being able to mourn them if they were to pass away. It would be hard to go on as if nothing had happened, as if everything were fine. Colt is faced with that exact situation in this novel, and the author manages to make you feel the hurt, confusion, and numbness that Colt is going through.

I feel that Colt's character is really what makes this novel. His reactions (and sometimes non reactions) to things were what grabbed me. He seemed like a typical teenage boy (motivated by girls, sex and spending time with his friends). The one scene that stands out is him talking to Pam, who was driving the car the night Julia died. It's the first time he's gotten to speak with her, and all he wants are details about the accident. Every gory, excruciating detail. This is happening even though NOBODY knows he was involved with Julia. It's uncomfortable for him and for Pam, and you can feel his desperation for anything to help him understand.

I enjoyed the subplot with Colt's brother Tom. He was interesting too. He provided some new insights into Colt, and I would have liked to have seen more of him.

I wish we had gotten to know Julia a little better. We only know her from Colt's memories and the letters she wrote to him in her notebook that he is given after her death. Her death is the central focus of the novel and I found myself wondering more about her.

The author managed to make me feel like I had shared a part of Colt's journey with him, and that is pretty amazing. One of the things I love about book is their ability to make us feel, and this one did just that.

1 comment:

  1. Nice cover. Seems like an interesting book. Great review :)


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