Jennie Smith's Reviews > Tell Me a Secret

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
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's review
Jul 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: debut-2010
Read from July 14 to 17, 2010

Tell Me a Secret is an amazing debut from Holly Cupala. The subject of teen pregnancy is one that not many can venture into writing about because it is such a tough topic to handle in many ways, but Cupala has done an amazing job writing this poignant novel about Rand and the life that she is bringing into the world along with the journey it takes to get her to the other side of the pregnancy.

Rand is going into her senior year of high school and she has great friends and an amazing boyfriend who she is excited to share it all with. Things change, however, when she comes home from leading camp and finds that life isn’t going to be so easy her senior year… not that she ever expected anything to be since the death of her sister. Her mother is an overbearing, super-fanatical church lady and her dad seems to take everything and not stand up for himself. Rand finds herself with no one to turn to when she needs people the most and it really brings out her character in many ways. She is a dynamic character whom I loved being able to walk with through her journey into parenthood. Cupala has done an amazing job writing within the mind of a teenager all the while getting every ounce of teenage, high school drama you can imagine mixed in. I loved that I found myself becoming very protective of Rand against her mother, wanting her father to step up and be a man, and yet wanting to smack Rand and tell her to wake up at times. Cupala conveyed the emotions behind many aspects as only a mother can and it was beautifully written.

This book holds a special place in my heart because teen pregnancy is something that I deal with every year with my students past and present. It breaks my heart to see an 8th grade girl come in because I cannot imagine what she must be thinking and knowing that she has no clue. It is hard enough to do when you are a twenty something, much less a fourteen year old. Cupala has written a powerful novel that lets us get into the psyche of that young girl and see for ourselves what it is like. Amazing job Holly!!


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07/17/2010 page 207
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