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Keeping You a Secret

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  33,859 ratings  ·  1,319 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?
Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 4th 2005 by Megan Tingley Books - Little, Brown and Company
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Greg Deaton get a group of like minded parents and challenge the school. Oh wait we did that. damn the man, save the Empire

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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,859 ratings  ·  1,319 reviews

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Jan 01, 2013 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
Sep 06, 2013 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
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 22, 2013 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
Jan 27, 2009 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
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer, kids, lesbian
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
Lisa Buccieri
Oct 25, 2010 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
Laura Kreitzer
Oct 10, 2014 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.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an outstanding story. The writing is second to none, emotions are so raw they are palpable. My biggest let down was the abrupt ending, hence four stars instead of five.

I guess this is one of those stories where the reader gets to decide what becomes of the characters.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, 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.
Apr 17, 2013 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
Jan 14, 2012 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
Frank Quinliven
Jul 21, 2010 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
Michael Kotsarinis
I don't usually read YA but characterizing this book as such would be missing the point. This book makes one realize the harsh realities of life for anyone that doesn't conform to the social norm. It is quite disturbing how backward thinking many people are when it comes to sexuality and sexual orientations despite decades of progress in personal freedom and civil liberties. The book is not a warning against coming out but it describes in no uncertain terms what this could mean in real life.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
07.07.17 update:
Goodreads says that I read this in 2014 and gave it 5 stars but I have literally NO MEMORY of this book whatsoever. Is it worth getting a copy for rereading purposes or was I just really easily impressed by lesbian rep a few years ago?
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
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Damn, I knew I shouldn't have read this. I read to escape and this was a booby-trapped escape pod hurtling straight back to the past. While it was a good book and Holland's journey is nail-bitingly captivating, it is not an easy read. I suppose that's another thing in it's favour - if it was an easy read it wouldn't be getting the reviews and acclaim that it is.

Peters has captured the confusion, the clarity and the fear brilliantly. She has also managed to create a sense of hope and strength in
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
Feb 03, 2008 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
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
So I basically read this in a couple of hours. I really wanted to read a lesbian romance, so this was the one I picked. I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style, it was a little overly contemporary for me, hence the reason I gave this two stars, but it seems most lesbian books are written this way with a few exceptions. I did like the main romance, it was sweet, and Cici definitely seemed like a pretty ideal girlfriend. (view spoiler) ...more
Farnoush Mellark
Jun 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
I hoped I'd like this book, but I didn't. characters were awful, story was bad! I didn't care much about the main character and I think she was stupid! and there was no chemistry between her and Cece at all! this book was just bad! ...more
Jillian Marie
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Realistic and lovely to read. It was a fast read, too. A little sad, but sometimes that's how life is. ...more
Apr 12, 2015 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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Fifteen years ago, when KEEPING YOU A SECRET was first published, mainstream publishing house rarely distributed LGBT literature. Julie Ann Peters’s writing changed that with her stories that appealed to all YA readers, not just the LGBT community.

Because in the USA, progress toward not just accepting, but embracing sexual minorities as mainstream, KEEPING YOU A SECRET is dated. Teens like Holland are still kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation and as a society we still

"Until then," she said, "until it's time, I'm keeping you a secret."

It took about the last 30% of this book to really sell it for me.

Keeping you a Secret is a bit of an older f/f book, but it's, very unfortunately, still relevant today.

"Don't cry. Don't you let them see us cry."

This book isn't just about a girl, Holland, falling for another girl, Cece. It's about what they face, together and apart - the bullying and names that Cece faces, the scorn and abuse that Holland is given when she co
John Gilbert
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written story about a young woman's journey in discovering love and herself and how fraught that can be. I enjoyed this one. ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2014 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
Lily Mason
Apr 12, 2015 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
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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 (

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