Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Pub. Date: January 7, 2010
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Format: Hardcover, 208pp
Age Range: Young Adult

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 Secret Year is an emotional and compelling debut...

I loved Colt’s personality. I found myself living inside of his head and couldn’t help but be drawn into his emotions about Julia. Hubbard did a great job with the complexity of the characters. His family had me cracking up in one particular scene but it was his sarcasm that had me laughing throughout this book.

Hubbard’s writing drew me in from page 1 and I could not put this book down. This is another one of those books outside of my genre that I was totally surprised by. I found myself engrossed in this book especially trying to discover why Colt felt guilty about the night Julia died. There was no point in this book where I thought, “there’s no way that would happen in real life.” This is one of the reasons I have a hard time crossing over to contemporary novels but Hubbard made a believer out of me.

My heart broke for Colt throughout this book and I appreciated how the story unfolded. I think it allowed me to connect more to Colt and empathize with what he was going through. All I can say is what a great debut by Hubbard and I will definitely be reading more future novels by her.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

21 comments:

  1. great review! I hope to get to read this very soon. I have been looking forward to it and now that you gave it a positive review it gives me even more hope that I will love it.

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  2. Thanks for the great review. I don't usually read out of my genre either but you've made me want to add this to my list of books to read.

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  3. I always love your reviews! I really want to read this one.

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  4. Awesome review - I am excited to read this one...

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  5. I wanted to read it after the Q & A. Now it's sick how bad I want it!

    Great review!

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  6. Rad review - this sounds like a book that will without a doubt make me cry!
    I'm glad that this book managed to "make a believer out of you." Although I find that sometimes I love totally unbelievable books. . .

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  7. This book sounds so good to me. I think that Colt sounds like an amazing character. Thanks for the review.

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  8. I think the premise of this book sounds very interesting but have been a little leery about the execution and Colt's character. Glad to know it's well done!

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  9. I really like the premise of this book and have heard mixed reviews of it around the blogosphere...so I am excited to read it!

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  10. This sounds so good, heartbreaking, but good.

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  11. Great characters, great writing... this definitely sounds like a great book! Sweet review :)

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  12. Sounds like a great debut effort...

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  13. I have heard nothing but good about this book. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy and read it! Thanks for the review and for keeping it spoiler free.

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  14. This is the first time I heard about this book...but I am glad that I did hear about it. I am now really excited to read it. Thanks! bekki1820cb at gmail

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  15. Great review *thumps up* It sound's very interesting.

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  16. Thanks for giving me a better understanding of what to expect from this book. I have looked forward to reading it and it's definitely a story line I have never read before so I am excited.

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  17. This sounds like quite the book. I read an excerpt a week back and I completely enjoyed Hubbard's writing. Sounds like a book I need to get my hands on ASAP. Great review!

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  18. Great review! I'm hearing such good things about this book. I can't wait to read it.

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  19. I'm so glad you liked it! Can't wait to read it!

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  20. You drew me in when I read your synopsis. Romeo & Juliet and The Outsiders are awesome!! I loved reading both books!! When I taught writing (to elementarty and middle schoolers), I always taught them to have a catchy lead, or a hook to draw the reader in and make them want to read more. You nailed it!! I definitely want to read more!! :)

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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