Monday, January 4, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

This book will be available January 7, 2010.

Grade: B

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?
Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 5/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Setting: 9/10
Total Score: 50/ 70

Obtained: Mooched from Jill (Reading is Bliss)

Age Appropriate? PG-13
Cussing: A lot.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: Teen drinking, alcoholism, mention of drugs.
Sexual Content: Happens a lot.
Disturbing Images/ Violence: A brutal and bloody fight.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The plot was well executed. The order of events was strategically placed and kept me hooked on reading more. The voice was unique and believable. And I loved the setting! The setting played a significant role in the book and seemed to be a character unto itself... my favorite character quite honestly.

That brings me to the characters. I didn't connect to them. It may be because the morals of the characters are so different than mine that a wall was breached between us. Or... it may be because the writing. All the characters in this novel had messed up relationships. Yes... this is true in real life too, but reading it got a bit exasperating. His life sucks, her life sucks, everyones life sucks! That was the vibe I was getting. I felt like I was watching a television show while reading this. In all the characters, you only see their face value. It didn't seem to dig too much deeper than that.

Colt's journey of coping with loss and with secrecy was an interesting one. Julia's journal entries scattered throughout the book provided him with a guide of sorts... sometimes helping him, and sometimes hindering him. Letting Julia go was the biggest conflict Colt faced, and proved to be a strong aspect of the book.

Overall, I didn't like this book. But I don't regret reading it either. If it seems like something you would enjoy, I would encourage you try it out.

Jennifer R. Hubbard's Blog

Jeniffer's Bio at Teen Reads

Jill's Review


  1. Interesting review. It did kind of seem like life sucked for a lot of the characters, didn't it? I really did love Colt's voice though, because I really felt like he could have been real.

    I'm still glad you enjoyed it, even if it wasn't your favorite! Thank you for the honest review!

  2. I like the honest review. This book looks interesting enough, but I'm not sure if it'll capture my attention. But thanks for reviewing it!


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