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Keeping You a Secret

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,793 Ratings  ·  862 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
13th out of 1,092 books — 3,283 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 1,316 books — 1,638 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 13, 2015 Rola rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
***I have added an update to this review, please scroll to the bottom to view!

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
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
Sep 16, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing
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 it was ok
Shelves: queer, kids
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
Jan 27, 2009 Jennie rated it it was ok
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
Oct 22, 2013 Ellenblews rated it did not like it
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
Lisa Buccieri
Oct 25, 2010 Lisa Buccieri rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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
May 21, 2011 Daria rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
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.
Laura Kreitzer
Dec 10, 2014 Laura Kreitzer rated it did not like it
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.
Frank Quinliven
Jul 21, 2010 Frank Quinliven rated it it was ok
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
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
Feb 05, 2008 Meagan rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 03, 2014 Bri rated it did not like it
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
Mar 30, 2015 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Whenever I found this book here on goodreads, I was excited to read it. I myself struggle with my own sexuality, and decided to read this because I would finally be able to read a book that I could relate with.
Holland Jaegar is a student with a boyfriend and true friends. She is ready to go to college and makes her mother proud for getting the life she never got. Her boyfriend loves her, as they've been dating for about a year.
Then comes along Cece Goddard, the out-and-proud lesbian who just cam
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
Lily Mason
Jun 10, 2015 Lily Mason rated it really liked it
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
Aug 07, 2008 katemfs rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 07, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Oct 19, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
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
Dec 02, 2011 Bette rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Franco
Nov 17, 2009 Jessica Franco rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 30, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
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
Rebecca T
Jun 06, 2014 Rebecca T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, 100-in-2014, own
Initial Thoughts:
There are a couple things with this book that I found a little problematic, but for the most part I just can't bring myself to care all that much because holy shit I just loved it. From beginning to end, I loved it so much I read the damn thing in one sitting and then honest to god hugged the book to my chest when I'd finished. #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I really should've felt so validated and accepted a long time ago. Because it should NOT have taken me 24 years to read a boo
Fábio Galdino
Jan 16, 2016 Fábio Galdino rated it did not like it
Depois da metade o livro se transforma, mostra um relacionamento abusivo como algo romântico. Ficava horrorizado com os milhões de red flags que via a cada página. E tudo era interpretado como algo mega romântico. Tinha se tornado um Crepúsculo.
Mar 24, 2014 Jade rated it liked it
Shelves: y-a, f-f, i-own
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
Feb 10, 2016 Deborah rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.” 404 likes
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