The Secret Year
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret Year

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  3,153 ratings  ·  581 reviews
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly. Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one,not even Julia's boyfriend, knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. H...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Viking Juvenile
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jun 14, 2010 Annalisa rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: language and casual teenage sex
Recommended to Annalisa by: Nathan Bransford
The premise of this book was intriguing. After a year in a secret relationship, Julia dies leaving Colt to mourn her in silence. With all that bottled up grief, it could have been good, but nothing in the book is explored. Hubbard brushes past those first critical six weeks after Julia's death in a few chapters and then continues to skim from scene to scene without delving into anything. The whole book is tell, tell, tell. Even in the last chapter, Colt is summarizing tidbits of his relationship...more
The Secret Year was a book that had been on my wish list for quite some time so when a friend gave me her book to borrow I was quite ecstatic. But what happened is what’s happening to me with a lot of books lately, I have really high expectations set, once I read the blurb I get really excited thinking this is a totally me book, it’s a book I keep thinking of buying but put off, a lot of my friends had really enjoyed the book so that sets the bar even higher. But once reading The Secret Year all...more
This book was good, it had situations that many people want while at the same time they think they want but really don't. When you begin this book Colt had been dating a girl named Julia for a year and she had just died, then it goes on to explain how he felt about her, what she felt about him, tons of other things, mainly about his trying to sort out not only his feelings he still had for this dead girl but feelings for others around him, especially when her younger brother gives him her journa...more
I am such a sucker for books about 'after.' Books about those moments after THE moment, and that is what The Secret Year pretty much is and man, did I love it for that. Colt was so likeable and honest in his grief. The way he processes Julia's death is messy and confused. It doesn't always inspire him to make likeable decisions, but it just rang so human and true that I found myself supporting him from start to finish, wanting the best for him. There's no 'right' way to grieve and I just really...more
Colt and Julia were together, but no one else knew. Colt lived in the poor area of town, while Julia lived on Black Mountain with the rest of the rich kids. To top it off, Julia already had a boyfriend. One night, Julia is killed in a car accident. Her brother finds her journal and gives it to Colt. Colt must now try to get over Julia and get on with the rest of his life.

My overall impression of this book was blah. I'd heard so many great reviews, raving about the book and all of its wonderfulne...more
This book is -awesome- I couldn't put it down, I practically had to put toothpicks in my eyes because I didn't want to sleep! I am actually kind of sad that I am done reading it, I might have to read it again!.... =).
The book was very 'drawing' and actually funny...I loved Colt's humor! and I loved that it was told from him. All the romance type books I read are always told from the women's perspective! Ironically I was just thinking about how I wanted to read a book from a male POV, then I foun...more
Three words; 2010 is awesome!

If this is any indication on how awesome the debut authors for 2010 are going to be, we are all in for a very big treat. This is the first official debut novel I've read for 2010, and I could not put it down!

I can't even explain the range of emotions that you are sure to experience while reading this novel. Colt is such an intense character, and you can't help but feel his desperation, his confusion, his frustration. It's strangely addicting. You don't want to be a w...more
Jennifer R. Hubbard sold her first novel, The Secret Year in attempting to creating something beautiful. Her novel focuses on a poor boy that lost something that was never his to begin with – which kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it? – and about the girl he falls in love, a young lady who isn’t as stereotypical as the rest of those rich honeys we’re always hearing about in YA television and books.

If you think there’s intrigue enough there, wait until you hear the punch line.

The girl everyone...more
L.J. Boldyrev
Product Description from amazon:
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.
Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death....more
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
I was really excited to read The Secret Year, but unfortunately, it just wasn't the book for me. I found it quite difficult to get through, and struggled to form any kind of attachment to the characters. The premise is fantastic, and I can't fault that at all. It's unusual and intriguing, and is the reason I bought the book in the first place. To live with any kind of secret is difficult, but to have a whole year that essentially only exists to two people is unimaginable.

Hubbard definitely had t...more
There are quite a few things about this book that are irksome, the biggest being that there is no tension and therefore no resolution. It merely chugs along, but not really accomplishing anything.
First, the love story between Colt and Julia is a big pile of who cares or to be more accurate, the sex story between Colt and Julia because these two are nothing more than well, I can't even say friends because they aren't, with benefits. They have a chance meeting down at the river on the "wrong" sid...more
May 26, 2010 Kristy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
What is with these weird depressing books I keep reading lately. Geez. I knew going into it that the girl Julia died and Colt, the guy, is trying to cope with her death after having a secret relationship with her. Throughout the whole book I just felt bad for him. He had so many questions he would never get answers to and raw feelings he could never really express. I thought the ending was terrible! I don't feel like anything got any better for him. Yes he realized that he needed to stop living...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

While family and friends are still reeling over the Labor Day car accident that took senior high school student Julia Vernon's life, Colt is trying to figure out how to mourn her loss and the absence of their year-long, secret relationship.

How does he grieve for the girl who was never really his, yet who he knew in a way no one else did? Colt is shocked when, one day at school, Julia's brother hands him a journal detailing the course of their relationship, as...more
Julia lived on Black Mountain Road - the place for prestigious and privileged kids. Colt lives in the flats, the home of the less wealthy and less renowned individuals. They have been secretly seeing each other for a year - a year filled with sexual tension and passionate longing. That is until Julia is killed in a car accident right before her senior year, leaving Colt alone and despairing to deal with her death. Julia's younger brother, Michael, leaves Colt with a diary filled with entries add...more
In Colt Morrissey's world, things are pretty black and white. The rich kids who live up on Black Mountain stick to themselves and don't associate with the poor, trashy kids who reside on the Flats. As one of the kids from the Flats, Colt doesn't really question the status quo. Then he begins a secret affair with Julia, a beautiful girl from one of Black Mountain's wealthiest families.

Even though Julia already has a boyfriend, and friends, and a whole separate life, the two of them continue to h...more
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
I LOVE THIS BOOK! It captured the very essence of that time when you are a teenager. Coming into your own. But it blended very well with a very much "grown up" topic and unthinkable tragedy. The fact that it's told through first person, and it's a young man Colt, who is telling his story, the fact that it's so heartfelt and open, just blew me away. Rarely have I read a book set with this tone, in a first person male POV. And I am pleasantly surprised.

This is definitely a bittersweet one. Nothing...more
Joelle Anthony
I got an ARC of this and blew through it in one sitting. I thought it was beautifully written and extremely visual. Definitely recommend it.
Jun 18, 2009 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
To say I was excited when I received this book in the mail would be a serious understatement. I was jumping around the house crazy when I saw the package on my doorstep. I've been following this book since it was titled Black Mountain Road, a book that was supposed to debut in '09 to now where it has an different title, The Secret Year, and a brand new release date, January 2010.

Anyway, getting back to The Secret Year, I had high exceptions for this. Luckily, it was great, but it was a bit shor...more
When I first saw that this was a story told from a male point-of-view, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it--I tend to not like emotional stories told from guys. But The Secret Year was a pleasant surprise.

There were two main characters in the story--Colten, who is the narrator, and Julia, who we learn more about and read from the pages of the diary. Their secret romance is very Romeo-and-Juliet-like. And while I felt that Colt was down-to-earth and real, I found myself disliking Julia and th...more
Blown away by Colt's insight.

When I'm introduced to a male main character and point of view, I expect wry humor and blunt sexual encounters. But this is not the case in The Secret Year. Colt isn't a dark, brooding teenager. He's not a nerd or a freak. He is simply a boy, and I love that about him - that there's nothing special, that he's typical. It makes him all the more real.

The plot focuses less on Julia's letters and more on Colt coming to terms with her passing, which is both unexpected ye...more
Sara Grochowski
I was truly amazed by The Secret Year! I picked up Jennifer R. Hubbard’s debut novel on a whim, but wasn’t sure it was a novel I’d particularly enjoy. Not only was the novel from a male point-of-view, which isn’t usually my favorite, it was about a secret affair. I definitely didn’t except Colt’s, and Julia’s, story to be so intensely moving.

I ended up really enjoying the fact that TSY is from Colt’s point-of-view. Not only was it a refreshing perspective, it allowed for the story to unfold in a...more
Hope Collier
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What a sad and heartbreaking love story! This book was beautifully written and left me still saddened for the main character of Colten. This is what can happen to a person emotionally when we keep secrets and are not able to truly “love” the person we are meant to be with.

Colten’s story was heart wrenching and I went through every emotion right along with him. It amazes me that the secret was able to be kept and no one had any idea. I am still on the fence for what I felt for Julia. Through her...more
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Colt Morrissey had a year long relationship with Julia Vernon that ended with her tragic death in a car accident. Now he mourns her loss in secret because nobody knew that he was seeing Julia. She was one of the popular rich kids who lived on Black Mountain and she had a boyfriend. Colt lives in the poor area known as the flats. Even though he and Julia came from such different backgrounds, they had a passionate relationship that Julia detailed in her journal through letters and poems she wrote...more
full review over here!

I didn’t know what to expect when I heard about The Secret Year. I honestly didn’t expect an aching story that would stay with me long after I finished it.

So, obviously, this is a book about death and guilt and forbidden love and damnit, I liked it so much. I can see why some people would hate it, but when I think about The Secret Year, all I want to do is shake the people who didn’t like it and scream, “What is wrong with you?!”

Jennifer R. Hubbard is an amazing writer. She...more
This little book really surprised me, in a good way. The premise is in the style of West Side story but the twist is that the heroine is dead when the book begins. We get to know her through her own words, written in her journal, and through the memories of the hero, Colt. We get to see how he deals with her death in secret, just like their relationship. For a teen to have to lose someone they care about is hard but to have to grieve in quiet solitude must be even harder, causing pain and confus...more
This is one of those rare books that one 'experiences' rather than reads. Ms. Hubbard takes us on the emotional journey of seventeen-year-old Colten Morrissey as he comes to terms with the death of his secret girlfriend. Why secret? He was from the wrong side of the tracks and she was as high society as anyone could get in their town.

Forbidden love is a strong magnet, and for a year Julia Vernon loved Colt physically and emotionally, but not enough to go public with it. He's her dirty little sec...more
Suzan Isik
I've been avoiding writing this review. Not because it was bad, far from it, but because it was really really good and I wanted to convey how I felt about it accurately.

Being a person who did lose a significant other in high school, I totally related to this book. In fact, I was the same age as Colt too. It's a really hard thing, and I think it's harder as a teenager because your hormones are out there and the emotions you feel that young are so raw and untapped. A lot of times you're feeling th...more
Alrighty... This book reminded me a bit of Looking for Alaska by John Green, but I think it fell quite a bit short of the standard that Alaska set.

I couldn't really connect with or care about any of these characters, and something about them, or the writing or both, just felt... contrived. It didn't feel honest at all to me. There was just so much telling going on here, it was like it was happening to someone else and Colt was just acting as the middle-man to us. Maybe that was the point, since...more
Stephen Marley
The Book I read it was "The Secret Year" by jennifer R. Hubbard.
I can't compare this book with any other books. The only thing i didn't liked was the end, it was so confuse for me, because I was inspecting more, and then PUFF! "The end", in the same river that they used to meet, but just this time was inside in it. The book has very strong flashback, and the girl communicated with him through her letters. Well, i did liked the book, a little romance, lost of secrets and insteresting thoughts. An...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sea
  • The Deathday Letter
  • Tell Me a Secret
  • The Tension of Opposites
  • The Naughty List (The Naughty List, #1)
  • All Unquiet Things
  • Losing Faith
  • Secrets of Truth and Beauty
  • Dirty Little Secrets
  • Forget-Her-Nots
  • Of All the Stupid Things
  • The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind
  • The Mark (The Mark, #1)
  • Crazy Beautiful
  • The Julian Game
  • Salvaged (Salvaged, #1)
  • Tagged
  • Sleepless
Thanks for visiting my page. A few words of explanation about how I use Goodreads:

I find it difficult to rate books with stars, or to review friends' books. Therefore, I don't list reviews or ratings here. Rather, if I like an author's work, I will become a Goodreads fan and list him/her as a "favorite author" here. I also have one shelf listing some contemporary, realistic YA books that you migh...more
More about Jennifer R. Hubbard...
Try Not to Breathe Until It Hurts to Stop

Share This Book

“Once you're out here in the world, nobody cares where you used to live. Who you are, that's what counts.” 19 likes
“Believe me," he said, pointing his finger at me like a gun, "no good comes from lying about what you really want.” 16 likes
More quotes…