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Keeping You a Secret

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  19,587 ratings  ·  719 reviews
With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This movin ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 4th 2005 by Megan Tingley Books - Little, Brown and Company (first published 2003)
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
7th out of 920 books — 2,337 voters
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah WatersFingersmith by Sarah WatersAnnie on My Mind by Nancy GardenKeeping You a Secret by Julie Anne PetersFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Lesbian Fiction
4th out of 1,095 books — 1,347 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Honestly, I didn't know what I was getting into when I plucked this book from the Kobo Store. I was bored last night, waiting for my sister so we can fire up our little New Year's Eve party, and decided to flip through a short book on my phone. I was feeling like a contemporary so looked up the genre and got a bunch of hits. There was no synopsis' on the kobo site, so I picked this book because the cover reminded me of My Sister's Keeper and the name sounded mysterious.

Wow. This book is so Stro
i know all of you are off writing your damn novels this month, but don't forget to support me in my own writing project: NaReWriMo, where i write reviews for teen fiction and you all applaud my brave attempts to keep up despite finding it harder and harder to be charming as every book underwhelms me and i am forced to resort to gimmickry like adding soundtracks; a different song to each paragraph.

this is my last gay teen novel for class, so i wish i could be all flamboyant and anthemic and proud
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

The second book I've read by Julie Anne Peters, KEEPING YOU A SECRET is another sure-fire winner about the highs and lows of first love, the terror and joy of "coming out", and the good and the bad that is the thing called family.

Holland Jaeger is the "It" girl everyone envies--she has great friends, she's President of the Student Body, she's the girlfriend of Seth, she's the popular girl who can be counted on to always get along with everyone. That is, until
I have been reading a few lesbian romance novels lately and haven't written a review on them because I was kind of hoping they would just fly under the radar here on goodreads and not get noticed. I'm sure that anyone that knows me, and knows that I am a 29 year old straight man will probably think that I'm just reading them because I'm a dirty old pervert who wants to read about two women together. If that's what you think then you are only about 5% right, the thing is I grew up on horror. That ...more
Nov 14, 2009 jo rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids, queer
i'm on a semi-professional kick of reading books with young protagonists dealing with sexual awakening. it's semi-professional because, while i'm slated to teach a class about teens' sexuality, teaching is never far from the soft nub of my life, and i tend to teach what my mind is working at figuring out at the time. managing to do this requires a constant whirlwind of reading-list changes and in-between-semesters reading -- my mind re-adjusts its focus constantly, and even a tiny little adjustm ...more
Reading through the YA fiction available for GLBTQ readers has been a somewhat disappointing experience. I would really give book this book 2.5 stars because there are some things the book does right, but really I can only classify it as "okay."

While the topic in this book is really important, I would love to see it handled by a truly skilled writer such as Laurie Halse Anderson. The writing in Keeping You a Secret is just not that great and I'm sorry that GLBTQ YA lit often seems to fall into t
Lisa Buccieri
when i first bought this book from the store i didnt read the back cover or the first page. I just thought the title was interesting and decided to give it a chance. To be honest, looking at it during first glance i thought the cover was of a boy and a girl and didn't even realize it was a gay couple. Reading the first few pages i was alittle skeptic on weither i'd like it or not because id never read anything like it before. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful and amazing stories i ha ...more
Jul 02, 2013 Vaughn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This is a story about a girl that loved a girl and lost everything because of it... and BECAME. Many call this a coming of age story, but its far more than that. This is a true account of what really happens still today. Holland found herself when she met a girl that changed everything that she knew and allowed her to be her true self. But as many discovered this secret, she found herself left by all that she once called friend, and all she loved as family. When all was said and done, the one th ...more
Let’s start with some positives.

I loved the writing. It was simple, yet so captivating. I read this book in only two hours. Peters also really gets you to care about the characters. In most books, sure I like a certain character, but I wouldn’t be sad if they suddenly vanished. But I very much would have cared if any of the characters in Keeping You a Secret had vanished. (Actually, there was one character I didn’t like—but we’ll get to her later.) Holland especially had a very real personality.
I really didn't like this book!
It was given to me by a friend who figured I'd like it because I like girls, too.
How wrong they were.
Cece doesn't seem like any person I know or would encounyer, as I doubt anyone is quite that out there about being, well, out. That didn't bother me so much as just how manipulative Cece was as the story progressed.
She seemed to not even care about Holland, just so long as she had her own place that she could crash at. The "big reveal" about a previous girlfrien
When I saw it on when I was looking for books one or two years ago, I had no idea it was a GLBT novel. Although, I read GLBT fan fictions, reading a novel about sexuality is just refreshing.

This book gave me some sort of connection to Holland. I can identify myself with her in terms of just being who I want to be. It's hard to live on people's expectations that once you've got the freedom of doing what you want, you don't know what you would do with it.

Julie Anne Peters showed in this
Franki Quinliven
Why do our queer novels and movies always have to write about this massive plight that their gayness inevitably is? Everything that happened was so extreme and exacerbated to the point of annoyance. A girl who has no idea that she's gay meets a girl, falls in love and leaves her boyfriend for it.... that's all I ever really want from my lezzie mellodramas. But then they have to throw in crazy things like homophobic spray paintings on lockers, tire slashings out of some anti-gay retribution, snea ...more
Laura Kreitzer
Poorly executed. Characters lacked, and the romance was terrible. There has to be better LGBT books out there than this. Besides the so-so writing, this book promotes stalking and abusive relationships (friendships and boyfriends/girlfriends).

I would not recommend this book to anyone, and this is coming from someone who donates monthly to HRC.
Holland is, by all appearances, the perfect high school student. She is student council president, she's taking extra and advanced classes in pursuit of a college scholarship, she's on the swim team, and she has a popular and devoted boyfriend. Despite all this, she feels pressured by her mother, friends, and guidance counselor to pursue a particular kind of life that she's not sure she wants. Everything changes for her one day when CeCe transfers from another school. CeCe is confident, beautifu ...more
If you don't know what this book is about, then beware that my review contains general spoilers about the topic, although I avoid specific spoilers about events in the story.

Keeping You a Secret is a coming of age story that is humorous, thought-provoking, and at times traumatic. I read somewhere that it could be considered a modern update to the classic Annie on My Mind, and I did see some similarities: they are both written in first person by a protagonist who is president of the student counc
Самая большая моя претензия к этой книге - авторский стиль.

В книгах YA, которые нравятся мне, язык повествования зрелый, сложный. Только герои очень молоды. А в данном случае как будто действительно рассказывает школьник. Язык очень простой.

При этом описываются только действия - пошла, сказала, сделала, написала, поцеловала и т.д. - мыслей и описаний почти нет. И это моя вторая большая претензия. Я ведь не сценарий читаю, а книгу. Я хочу видеть, как Холланд (главная героиня) переживает, осмысли
Dec 30, 2009 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
This was a lot more intense than I had expected. The beginning dragged a bit and I didn't care much for Holland until she actually came out but all the drama with her family was, WOW, very intense. And I thought this character really grew and changed so much throughout the novel.

I found myself actually taking a lot away from this book, in terms of life lessons and learning what it must be like to come out. I guess I naively assumed that a lot of people are like Winslow -- okay with gayness -- b
Lily Mason
High school senior Holland falls in love with a newly transferred student named CeCe. Initially closeted, together they face the consequences when they are outed.

I have a hard time with YA because I find much of it superficial, but large chunks of this story were very true-to-life and believable. The main character's voice was strong and consistent. The family dynamics and sense of socioeconomic issues were also strong. I was not expecting the ending to be as dramatic as it was, but for the mos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ironically, or not perhaps, it was my girlfriend who recommended this book for me. It's the first gay teen couple book I've read, and I can honestly say it shocked me just a bit at how cruel some people, in modern day, can be to a person just because of a single characteristic about them. Peters described most of my emotions perfectly, as well. She was delicate on dropping the gay bomb, but it was a very good book with reality playing a really big role.
I love Julie Anne Peters YA. It's possible I read this when I was younger, but even reading it at 23, I was still able to connect to the highs school characters. I think this is a great discussion about sexuality, growing up, friendship and external societal and familial pressures. I was impressed by the ending... not at all shying away from some very real problems surrounding LGBT youth.
Mar 24, 2014 Jade rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: f-f, i-own, y-a
I had a hard time rating this one. I kept swinging between a 3 and a four-so 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed the characters and how normal their relationship was-like any other teenage relationship (with certain consequesnces sure) and I appreciated that this author could portray that. I did like the MC, but I loved her love interest Cece. She was utterly human, forgivable flaws and all. There is nothing really extraordinary about this-no new way of showing things or twisted plot lines, or OMG amazing writi
I must confess I was half-expecting something like a revised Annie on my Mind. I would be okay with it, but I am glad it turned out to be something so different…

You are a witness to the change, you can feel the change. Suddenly everything you thought to be true vanishes and you are left with nothing but yourself. This self, though, you don’t recognize its reflection in the mirror… it doesn’t look like you anymore. But what did you look like before? You no longer remember. And suddenly you find y
Jul 03, 2014 Bri rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbtq
This book is quite literally awful. I recognize it is for, what, 13 year olds but it makes me feel weird that she is writing about seniors in high school in the absolutely most juvenile way. I tried, I really did, to think of my 13-year-old self and what reading a book like this could have meant to me. Unfortunately, I read far better stories with far better LGBT characters as a 13-year-old. Not many, but enough for me to know this isn't my only option.

The writing is terrible. She uses words tha
This novel was filled with cliche after cliche and I had a hard time finishing it. THIS WAS DEEP DEEP YA LOVE Y'ALL.

I had some deep love in high school too....sometimes in the baby cry room at the movie theater, sometimes in my best friend's guest room, sometimes after class behind the lockers with my Catholic school uniform blouse pulled up over my breasts, and her hand gently....


Point being: this shit doesn't last. Forever isn't a thing at that age. Usually. There are exceptions, y
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Franco
Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters is one of the absolute best books that i have read this year! It's about a senior girl who is on the verge of figuring out the point of why she's living. She started off her 12th grade year as the president of Student Council. She had the perfect boyfriend, he drove her home after school, he was never self-centered, and he was in love. The most perfect family, she had an angel for a baby sister and her mother was very understanding. The only hard part o ...more
This book is beautiful. I cannot express enough how glad I am to have come in counter with it. I'd love to read more LGBT books. All of them, every romance novel based on a homosexual paring has such an intensity that cannot be measured the same as a heterosexual one, or at least with the same qualifications.

So what's the big deal? The main character is a normal straight girl in the beginning, well, that's what she thinks. Holland has expectations set for her, she has a boyfriend, she's presiden
Because I so liked her novel about teen suicide, I grabbed this, one of Peters' lesbian teen novels that my library had as an ebook. It's as well written as By The Time You Read This... but it's a much lighter book, about self-discovery and first love and coming out in high school and the first moments of dealing with homophobia. Because I'd read it immediately after the other, I couldn't help but think, "gay teen novels like this probably help avert thousands of suicides every year." So many th ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
When I picked up this book, I thought it would be a story of two teen girls finding love with each other, similar to Nancy Garden's Annie on My Mind. However, Peters' book is so much grittier and delves much more deeply into the issues of being honest with yourself, finding out who you are, and coming out. It also deals with how a person's coming out (i.e., declaring oneself to be gay) affects other people, such as family, friends, and classmates. Holland is in her last semester of high school, ...more
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Julie Anne Peters was born in Jamestown, New York. When she was five, her family moved to the Denver suburbs in Colorado. Her parents divorced when she was in high school. She has three siblings: a brother, John, and two younger sisters, Jeanne and Susan.

Her books for young adults include Define "Normal" (2000), Keeping You a Secret (2003), Luna (2004), Far from Xanadu (2005), Between Mom and Jo (
More about Julie Anne Peters...
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“Cut the ending. Revise the script. The man of her dreams is a girl.” 345 likes
“...the man of my dreams is a girl.” 146 likes
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