Thursday, April 26, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year
By Jennifer R. Hubbard
Source: Bought
Book Description:
How do you get over someone who has never really yours to begin with?

Julia and Colt were together for a year, but nobody knew of their secret love. Then Julia dies, and Colt’s life spirals out of control. He is haunted by her memory, and things only intensify when her journal falls into his hands. Can Colt bring himself to read Julia’s diary? Or will he live without answers to his burning questions about a romance that changed him forever?

A quote:
"Like I told you on Thanksgiving, pretending is a lousy way to get through life."

Expectations: I have heard few things in reviews, mostly good. The summary on the book also seems intriguing, which is why I bought the book. The truth is, I’m not sure it’s worth buying, especially for those who rarely buy books like me. I would borrow this from the library and would definitely give it a try because it’s worth trying. It’s a really good debut.

About Setting: The story takes place in a small town, but there is a clear division between the rich people who live on Black Mountain and the middle to poor class who live in the “flats”. The tagline goes: “Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly”. It felt very much like The Outsiders, especially in a specific scene. The tension and anger in this town is probably enough to cause a big riot.

About Characters: When you can’t talk to anyone about a person that you lost, it hurts. And you can’t help but bottle it up inside. This is what Colt experiences throughout the book. The aching pain inside him made me feel incredibly sad for him. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough to entirely connect with his character. Maybe because he was so driven by sex, hence his relationship with Julia, which was mostly physical. It did feel like he knew her, but not very well. Colt and Julia needed to hide their relationship from everyone because of their class. Colt belongs to the flats and Julia is high class. There is  Romeo and Juliet’s theme of forbidden love. The other characters were so greatly developed. Kirby, Austin, and Michael all had important roles in the story.

About Plot: The main topics this book focuses on are love and loss. There were plenty of times when I thought my chest would fold into itself. Hubbard did an amazing job creating and wrapping the story with enough suspense to keep me going.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y
The Secret Year is a very contemporary read. It’s sad and real, but there is a message tied with the ending that should reverberate among all YA fans.

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