Monday, February 8, 2010

Review: The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Hardcover:192 pages

Released: January 7, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0670011537

Teaser quote:

"I didn't really believe all that stuff Julia had said about me being better at kissing than Austin. I figured she was just mad at him, and horny, and I happened to be there, so what the hell." (pg 21)

My rating: 5 /5

My thoughts:

For the last year, Colt and Julia were living double lives. Julia was from the rich side of town, had a long-time boyfriend and was a frequent visitor at the country club; Colt lived in the flats. One day they meet at the river & somehow, against the odds, they connect. Without anyone knowing, they met up almost every Friday, but tragedy strikes when Julia is killed in a car accident. Colt is finding it difficult to mourn her loss with no one to talk to - until Julia's brother discovers her journal. The journal never mentions Colt by name, but each entry is written to his initials and gives us a little more insight to Julia's thoughts over the last year. Can the journal give him some answers & peace of mind to move on?

I read this over a week ago but kept thinking about how to start my review. The fact that I'm still thinking about it is a big reason I'm giving it 5 stars. Any book that keeps you drawn into the story that long is a definite re-read in my books :)

I can't imagine having to deal with grief with no one to lend an ear. The character development is phenomenal as we watch Colt go through many stages of grief. I loved Colt and really felt for him as he struggles to come to terms with Julia's death. Julia I'm still on the fence about. Was it more about the game they were playing, the secret OR did she really care for him? Was she ashamed to have feelings for him OR scared of change? I wonder if Colt knew the 'real' Julia OR was she just as bad as the others who thought they were better then everyone else? See, I told you this book stuck with me! An awesome debut novel, I hope to see more form Jennifer!


  1. Your review is well written and beautifully done :) I've heard many good things about this book!!

  2. I love books that have great characters. Need to read this book, cause it reminded a reviewer of Julia and Romeo! Great review.

  3. Just spotted a shout out at Ning! Great review! I so want to read this one!!

  4. Book monster ~ thanks, it really is a great read

    Nina ~l loved it but not sure about J&R other then the class differences & forbidden love (well assuming their friends would have stopped them).

    Aths ~ thanks for stopping by & glad you liked the review :)

  5. I've heard such great things about this book. Your review makes me want to read it even more! I love stories that sick with you long after you've finished.