Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard Review

Age: Young Adult
Source: Gift
Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They've never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia's boyfriend. When Julia dies suddenly, Cold tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he's kept.
Review: At the end of reading this, I was not quite sure if this was truly amazing, or only close.

Was the writing good? Yes, Hubbard has a way with words that kept me turning the pages. I really loved Colt, and thought he was a great narrator. He's simple, sweet, easy-going, down to earth. No complications.

Julia, the girl Colt had been seeing for a year in secret, was a little more complex than he was. I found her journal entries to be a major point of interest, and I kept changing my mind about her. Was she a rich, snobby b.... (well, you know), or was she sweet, and totally in love with Colt? Julia just seemed like she had it all, and she wanted it all.

The story line is obvious, he can't really mourn her because he wasn't supposed to have even known her. His guilt is obvious, and as the pages turn, you begin to understand more of why he feels guilty for Julia's death.

Oddly enough, I found myself really torn between whether or not Colt and Julia were doing something bad, by being together. I've never thought in my life that cheating was okay, but I can understand why Julia would adore Colt so much. I just can't understand why she wouldn't just dump Austin, her real boyfriend.

Highlights: Hubbard's writing really gives you a feel for Colt's feelings. His loss, love, pain, and everything else, I could really feel it. The characters felt very real, and I found myself unable to separate myself from this novel for more than a few minutes.

Lowlights: I found it predictable, so I can't really give it a full rating. In the end, I wanted more. But I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Hubbard.




  1. Great review!

    I'm glad you thought the characters were realistic and that the writing was good. I want to read this book now :)

  2. Thanks for the review! I can't wait for my copy of this to arrive!

  3. Oh my, I thought this sounded really good but I just don't find cheating and deception okay. I guess I need to read it to really make a fair judgement.

  4. Great review! I'm with Becky that I normally avoid books with cheating, but it sounds like Hubbard has a way of explaining it that maybe, just maybe, makes it seem okay. I might check this one out, so thanks! :)

  5. As usual, complete and well done review. Thanks!

  6. Sounds great! Just a few more days until I get to buy myself a copy. :D

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