Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard - Book Review #19

Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Secret Year
by Jennifer Hubbard

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.

I had mixed feelings about this book before I even started to read it. I wanted to read it, because synopsis sounded interesting, it even had a pinch of mystery in it; and I didn’t want to read it, because I was sure it will be sad, maybe even devastating. So book was laying on my desk for weeks, before I dared to pick it up.

The novel turned out to be sad and devastating, as I expected, but also happy and reassuring at the same time. It wasn’t one dimensional. It didn’t have the usual straightforwardness of YA novels. It had so much more. This novel was like a real life, where nothing either black or white.

I was also pleasantly surprised how unusually deep and philosophical this book was. I enjoyed Jennifer Hubbard’s writing style. The novel was so perfectly polished – nothing was there that shouldn’t be and nothing was left out that was important.

I didn’t see too many YA books written by female author from a teenage guy point of view, where guy would be at least somewhat believable and not the perfect I-wouldn’t-wanted-to-have-a-boyfriend-when-I-was-in-High-School or a total jerk. I’m not a guy and certainly I never was a teenage guy, but I think that author created Colt to be vividly real and believable.

I loved The Secret Year – it is a great d├ębut, from my point of view. I would definitely have Jennifer Hubbard on my watch list. I think we would see some great novels from her in the future.

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