Monday, March 22, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Released: January 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 192
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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, Colt 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.


This is going to be another review where I had tons of mixed feelings, and hopefully I make some sense to you guys. I want to start it off by saying that Jennifer Hubbard is a very good writer. I loved the way she portrayed her main character, Colt. There was no sugar coating him and he was one of the more realistic teen guys I have read in a while. Actually all of her characters were very realistic. I love it when an author can make me think this could all be real.

Since I had heard such great reviews about this one, my expectations were pretty high. I kept hearing people refer to it as a Romeo & Juliet and even some saying it was like The Outsiders. But I never saw it as either. And I really didn't like Julia. I found her journal entries to be very bland, and the more I learned about her, the more irritated I got. Even by the end of the book, I never fully understand why Colt would waste a year with her.

Then there was the rival between the rich kids and the poor kids. I'll be the first to always jump on the poor kids' side. Rich kids in books usually piss me off. This was no exception. How everyone treated one another was also very realistic. (Yes, I know I keep saying that word, but it's true.) But that part of the plot just lacked a certain punch. My favorite part of this book would have to be Colt's family. Those were definitely my favorite scenes to read. All in all, I think this story just had too much trying to go on at once. Maybe if my expectations hadn't been so high, I might have enjoyed it a lot more than I did. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's not one that I would call a favorite.



brizmus said...

I've been wanting to read this because of the comparisons to the Outsiders that I had heard about. I'll have to remember your review before I read it, though, so I don't put it on too high of a pedestal.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Thanks for the honest reviews! I've read some mixed reviews so I can't wait to see what I think of it once I get around to it! I am quite intrigued by the premise though!

Erica said...

I felt about the same way. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a favorite. I had heard amazing things about it before I read it, so I think my expectations were a bit too high.

Sab H. said...

You're totally right! When I read it (I think it was around Aug 09) I hadn't heard anything about it, and it was a pleasant surprise. I loved Colt. I loved the way she used the male pov. But what I meant is that expectations always do affect. When I hear a book is bad, I normally find it better than I was expecting and viceversa... ;D

Monster of Books said...

Awesome, detailed Honest Review. I'm unsure about this one. I want to read it, but yah.

Maria said...

Great, honest review! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as you would have liked to. I am going to give this book a try, but I don't have that high expectations :)

Amy said...

love your review-i think I'm just going to get this from the library. It sounds like there's not much action at all :0

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your honest review! I've heard lots of good things about this book, but it might be one that I borrow rather than buy.

Anonymous said...

Great honest review!!! I really want to read this book!!