Book review #35 The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system)
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 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'm so pleased with The Secret Year, it had everything I wanted and more. Right from the beginning I got sucked until the very end. The writing is simply wonderful , it has a way of really grabbing your attention, making it hard for you to put down. Romance, heart-break, loss, all topped up with a male POV made this one pleasant read.
The Secret Year starts off with the scene Julia's death and Colt's reaction. You early on discover that Julia and Colt had a shared a secret relationship, that no other single human knew about-including Austin, Julia's regular boyfriend. Julia and Colt had a lot in common...aside from their lifestyles. Julia lived on the Black Mountain Road, where the rich people lived, while Colt came from the flats;which is a lot more complicated than it sounds. After Julia's death, Colt is left confused and heart-broken. It's hard having feelings that you can't share with anyone else. One of the biggest things he has to deal with is guilt, which you don't really understand why until the ending.
A few days after Julia's death, Colt finds himself attached to a notebook filled with letters written to Colt by Julia that was given to him by his older brother. Colt hangs on to the life of this journal reliving almost every moment they shared together, along with Julia's fears and personal thoughts. I think the most people agree, that the notebook was one of the best things about the book.
The characters were so real and dimensional. The feelings that they had were so true and honest that it really affected you. Colt, I don't know exactly why, but I adored him. I liked the way he thought, how he showed his sensitive side, and the fact that he was just different than other guys. As for Julia, I felt like I've known her forever. I kind of felt sorry for her, she was definitely torn with what she wanted. Together the Julia and Colt were even better. They were so different with each, showing a side you don't get to see in their regular lives.
Other characters do emerge into the story, such as Kirby. A possible love prospect? Syd, Colt's friend that he's known since he was little, was not one of my favorites. She had her share of problems, but the way she handled them was not right. I almost forgot about Tom-Colt's older brother and perhaps one of my favorite characters. He was so outspoken and experimental that just made you admire him.
The ended wasn't how I would have liked it to be, it was a bit rushed, but other that I can't think of any complaints. I can't explain, but I was really comfortable with this story, somehow it made me feel warm inside. The Secret Year is one story of love, loss, and self-discovery. Overall, a very enjoyable read. I definitely recommend giving this one a chance.
I'm a seventeen year old Muslim girl living in Kentucky. Coming from a huge family, I tend to be a bit shy, but never afraid to speak my mind. Growing up without a TV in the house, I willingly turned to books. Ever since I've been a proud book-aholic. Since I love reading I decided to write a review on every book I read (mostly YA fiction) from here on out to share my thoughts and opinions. I love comments and am open to any book suggestions :)