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A Secret Edge

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,258 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
I love the long distance run, when you feel like you're about to die . . . and then you reach this place where you feel like there are no boundaries for you anywhere . . .

In many ways, Jason Peele is like any other teenager. He hits the books, hangs with his friends, flirts with girls, and omits the full truth of his life from his Aunt Audrey and Uncle Steve, who have rai

ebook, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 18, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tony by: Beckie Weinheimer
I read this book just today in its entirety, front to back. I had been gifted an autographed copy from my friend Beckie Weinheimer a while back but because of the demands of my college course load I never got around to reading it sooner. If only I had known what a treasure I had tucked away on my bookshelf before today!

I must had teared up four or five times throughout the text. I laughed out loud on occasion too. I was surprised at how sexy it was and that a female author captured a teen gay ma
Jeff Erno
The story A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon is a dramatic depiction of a sixteen-year-old boy's struggle to make sense of his identity as a gay teen. Jason Peele is the star athlete of his school's track team. He's also a brilliant student who excels academically. Having been raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents were killed when he was very young, Jason is also an orphan.

Initially Jason is troubled by dreams that he's having about other boys. He tries to redirect his attractions to girls,
Aug 10, 2011 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book. I actually had to tell myself to slow down while reading it in order to prolong it. I believe this book is intended for a younger audience, which is why I was somewhat disappointed. There is a tremendous lack of detail regarding all things, settings, feeling (tons of repeated details, I don't know how many times I read that a character was 'flying') and with the most important aspect of all, Jason and Raj's relationship. I felt that the book was very safe with the intimate ...more
Dorian Santiago
This read was solid and enjoyable, for sure. I had two major problems, though: some occurrences were just too sudden and too quick. One who's observant could find a few inconsistencies with very small details, too (for example, Jason mentioned in the book that he wasn't allowed his own cell phone, but when he was out with a friend, his aunt asked him why he didn't call). The other problem, which was definitely what kept this rating from four stars was the dialogue between characters. Narratively ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-lgbt, read-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin Graber
Jun 26, 2010 Robin Graber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin Reardon is an author who never disappoints. With her first novel, Reardon seems to be writing just another coming out novel. While most coming out novels follow one of two paths; either parents who automatically love their child or parents who kick their child out; Reardon brings a fresh approach to coming out. She's provides an Aunt who has known her nephew was gay for over a year and an Uncle who has concerns about how his nephew will be treated, concerns my own parents share. What I lov ...more
May 02, 2008 Beckie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves books about a character finding themselves
This is such a great coming of age story about a boy who is uncertain about his sexuality as the story begins and slowly he comes to face the fact that he is gay and share it with the people in his life and take the consequences, sometimes good sometimes judgmental. And there's a sweet romance, and references to Ghandi and thought provoking insights that blew my mind away and made me want to dance and sing and love everyone.
Sean Kennedy

I enjoyed this book but felt the motivations of some of the characters were underdeveloped. The most perplexing is the love interest, Raj. I know this book was written in first person so Raj's motives were as unclear as they were to the narrator, but by the book's end I was still baffled and didn't feel that the 'happy ending' was earned. Still, there is a lot to like about it.
May 02, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-wrote
On the surface, this looks like a coming-out book for a gay 16-year-old track star, a runner, who falls for a high-jumper on his team. But the high-jumper is from India and is obsessed with Ghandi, while the runner carries a switchblade. The story explores the concepts of honesty, violence vs. non-voilence, and includes a smattering of Hindu philosophy. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

a nowadays tale dealing with harsh reality. a homo-erotic coming of age of a "spiderman".
Mar 10, 2017 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Reading Challenge 2017: book written by someone you admire. I cannot read a Robin Reardon novel without having learned something. I learned about the teachings of Gandhi. I learned that sometimes friends can be better than lovers. I learned that nonviolence should be the first choice as opposed to violence. Jason Peele was not only a runner on the track team, but he was running from things he should have approached from a nonviolent viewpoint. Even though the knife made him feel secure, it was n ...more
Elisa Rolle
A Secret Edge is a classical Coming of Age novel with teen characters. But it's slightly different from the usual young adult novels since for the first time the characters are pretty open in their sexual experience, and the author doesn't used the rule of don't tell what happened behind the closed doors. So as always when this happens, I have the feeling that this is more a romance for adult with young characters rather then a young adult novel for teens.

Jason is 16 years old and the classical
Aug 23, 2015 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been meaning to read something by Robin Reardon for several years now, and it made sense to start with what I think was her first book. It’s probably enough of a compliment to say A Secret Edge made me want to read more of Reardon’s work.

So what impressed me? The story set-up is straightforward enough: 16 year old small town high school athlete starts to realize he’s gay, struggles to tell his family while pretending to everyone at school he’s straight, meets another gay athlete who is not
Mar 16, 2009 Josh(ua) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was a very quick and enjoyable read. i picked it up during my half price books days after judging it on its cover and finding out that it's about a gay teen. the characters are likeable and a bit stereotypical (but in a good way). the main guy is the recently realized that he's gay, he gets with the slightly older but more experienced homo, he has an encounter with the super closet case, deals with the homophobic classmates, and has the too-cool-for-school aunt who totally accepts him ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older teenagers / early twenties. Those who are starting to come out and supportive friends.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to read on.
However, it's probably more aimed at older teenagers or those who are starting to come out (or their supportive friends), as to someone like me who's been out for a few years, parts of it seemed a bit old hat.

A few things that niggled:

It was obvious that the author was trying to get factual information across to the reader, and in some places that really jarred. In the middle of a page of conversation, out of nowhere, you'd get
Feb 07, 2012 Cris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, teen
I’ve mentioned that I have a soft spot for teen gay novels, right? I mean, it’s certainly not the great American novel or anything, but it’s entertaining, funny, adorable, and thought provoking. There were definitely parts that had me grinning while I was reading like an absolutely crazy person. I kind of wish that there was something here besides the gay bit, but really? That’s realistic too, considering. When you’re a teenager and you think you might be gay (or you know you are, I guess)… that ...more
Littles Books

Dealing with issues from coming out, violence and non-violence, family acceptance and non-acceptance, troubled pasts, and the usual fears of coming of age, this story depicts a boy who realizes he is gay and begins to accept it.

Jason Peele is just beginning to understand he is gay, but he not only deals with that, and coming out to his family, but also with the bullies at school, and the boy he likes. He establishes a relationship with Raj, and they connect through Gandhi and movies and their re

Sameer Afzal
Aug 06, 2014 Sameer Afzal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-books
I really enjoyed this book. Beside being a coming of age/coming out/ first love story, this book also focus on relationships that everyone can learn from. The books reflects on how each partner should behave equally in relationship to make it successful which everyone can apply. The author also adds another dimension to the story by bring in different religions and culture. The author could have easily gone in more depth on all aspects of the book, it would have made the book more complex but wo ...more
Jun 26, 2011 Duane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book if you're interested in learning how young men deal with their emerging awareness of their sexuality. Jason, a 16 year old boy is trying to strive to the top of his high school track team, but his desire for a fellow track member is distracting him. When he discovers the feelings of attraction are felt both ways, the true battle begins. Trying to figure out how to deal with being gay, keeping it a secret from those that would harm him, and just trying to survive being a tee ...more
Dec 26, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2014 Monique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Secret Edge contained much more drama mad much less religion than Thinking Straight. It read much like a tv drama. But I loves it all the same.

Again, the characters, like in Thinking Straight, are rich and complex. I liked even the bullies, who were not created to be 'bad guys' in a world of black and white, but rather adversaries with their own desires and struggles. The world building is well done, with many of the moral actions landing in the realm of greys, rather than absolutes.

Mar 06, 2010 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book is one long public service announcement. It didn't have any depth for me and issues roll through and on page after page. The main character is okay, but I wasn't sure if he was a jock, nerd, outsider, or what - maybe the intention was all of them, but it didn't really click for me.

The real problem was the romance in the book - the love interest was a superior-acting, reserved guy that didn't really talk to the character, but they fell madly in love.

I just couldn't relate to this book o
This is the first book I've read by Robin Reardon. On the surface it has a simple theme... discovering oneself. But the main character and Raj are trying to face the world through a much deeper lens than most high school students. I loved the ending since it left us hoping for a HEA but nothing sweetly perfect. Having taught high school students for 15 years, I felt they were portrayed realistically throughout the book. Especially those who physically fought against things they didn't understand ...more
Oct 14, 2010 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Robin Reardon is one of my new favorite authors. This book is lighter than "Thinking Straight" but still covers a deep and important topic. Dealing with bullying and not fitting in can be difficult. This book is the story of how two amazing characters do it. They are creative and fun to get to know. They have their own identities and refuse to deny who they are. This book is great for those struggling with fitting in or bullying. It is also a wonderful read for those just tryi ...more
Oct 08, 2008 Rachael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment! I wanted to like this book so much, but the characters felt unrealistic and the writing was far less than impressive. Really, you can't have an authentic modern teen voice if you're going to have your characters sit around and say things like 'fellows' or 'chats' during emotionally fraught moments. It sounds ridiculoue. The whole knife-obsession thing was overdone and made the character ring false. The whole mess felt liek someone was trying to hard to get a message across ...more
Feb 14, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was better than a lot of ‘gay themed’ books aimed at teenagers however there were still things that annoyed me about both the story and the writing. I hate the fact that books that happen have a gay theme are segregated like they’re something you have to choose to read about secretly. That’s a rant for another day though! I liked the book generally but I found that not much happened in the way of actual plot. I found the first person POV quite jarring but then that’s a personal pr ...more
Another interesting tale by Robin Reardon. She's not as polished here as in her later work, "Thinking Straight" but she does suceed in all the important ways, she features likeable characters that seem realistic and that you care about. She presents a story that's continually interesting and believeable that seems to also challenge both gay and straight peoples preconcieved ideas. she's suceeded once again in shining new light on familiar literary territory and bringing new ideas to light.
Jul 29, 2014 K-dizzle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book would be a good addition to a high school library and belongs in the teen drama section. Overall the storyline was not the is a very predictable coming of age novel. I have to give the author props for inserting a non-white main gay character in his book and all the while attempting to encourage acceptance, understanding, non-violence, love, relationships etc. So, all in all, very wholesome but not that exciting.
Jul 14, 2014 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
I'm always glad to find new LGBT YA titles. However the writing style/content of this book just didn't grab me like "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe." And there were several sex scenes that were just a little more explicit than I was comfortable with; not pornographic, but just maybe a little descriptive for YA.
Oct 23, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, some mild spoilers. Um, maybe not so minor. Am I the only one who thought Raj was a selfish, awful person, and that his apology at the end didn't come close to what Jason deserved? Raj was patronizing, conceited, and immature as well as incapable of accepting Jason for who he was? I was honestly a little disappointed (SPOILER COMING) that Jason forgave him and went back to him. I thought he deserved so much better.
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I'm an inveterate observer of human nature, and my primary writing goal is to create stories about all kinds of people, some of whom happen to be gay or transgender—people whose destinies are not determined solely by their sexual orientation or identity. My secondary writing goal is to introduce readers to concepts or information they might not know very much about. On my website, ...more
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