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Tell Me a Secret

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,846 ratings  ·  242 reviews
It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams--a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by HarperTeen (first published June 22nd 2010)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,846 ratings  ·  242 reviews

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Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teen drama fans
FINALLY DONE! What an EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER journey it has been! Whew! After losing myself in this book, crying my heart out, my ripped and crashed 4-chambered heart is now recovering. The ending whipped up in a nice way. The story kinda reminded me of the 5 stages of grieving. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Though the story didn’t go through all of it, but the thought is that.
Rand (Mandy) lived up to her late sister Xanda’s shadow, when she was a live and still after her
Angela  M
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was such a heart-wrenching story. Rand is such a fantastic character. She swept me into her world and wouldn't let me go until I devoured every last page. She's strong and vulnerable at the same time. She's not sure who she truly is, trying to act like her dead sister in order to feel closer to her, she begins to lose the parts of herself that make her, her. When she finds out that she's pregnant, she tries to deny it, until it gets to the point where that becomes impossible. She finally te ...more
Steph Su
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow. Just…wow. An unassuming concept for a story glows in the talented hands of Holly Cupala, who captured my attention on the very first page.

Miranda’s narration is easy on the eyes and mind. Through her, problems that could’ve been easily overdramatized become painfully real expressions of emotions that anyone can relate to: grief, fear, desire, and more. While there is never much physical movement throughout the story, the emotional arc is so poignant that, towards the end, I found myself bur
Sep 06, 2009 added it
Shelves: fiction
This one for me was one of those that I started -- just wanting to read the first few chapters -- and then three a.m. came and I closed the book, finished. It was THAT addicting. Not only did it suck me in but it also broke my heart a little AND made me happy I'm no longer in high school. I couldn't put TELL ME A SECRET down, but it was the story that kept me reading, not the MC. While Miranda wasn't my favorite narrator ever, I did appreciate the ending she got. Character growth + real life fee ...more
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When you read description of this book, you may think it's a usual YA novel with girl falling for boy, "firsts", friendship and family trouble. If you're expecting light summer reading, you should probably search for other book. But if you want to read something that will make you think twice about it, about your own life and choices which you take for granted, this is book for you! Tell Me A Secret is one of the best debut novels I've read so far.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have really mixed feelings about Tell Me A Secret, on the one hand I thought the teenage pregnancy aspect of the story was extremely well written. The things that Rand goes through during the pregnancy and her labour painted a realistic picture of what women go through, especially a teenage mother. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book although I did find the scenes after the birth where Rand spends weeks hiding out at the hospital were unrealistic and I wanted to see her grow up and take r ...more
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that made you want to leap into its pages and throw cats at the characters? No, well I guarantee that Tell Me A Secret will change that. I can't remember the last time a book pissed me off so much. I don't mean this in a negative way. Sometimes it is good when a book pisses you off. I gave Tell Me a Secret 5 purrs because I cannot remember the last time I became so emotionally invested in a book. I experienced anger, sadness, and happiness at different periods throughou ...more
Cass -  Words on Paper
First off, I've got to say I LOVED Tell Me a Secret. Of course, from the very moment I saw the cover, read the title, met the author (over the internet and through her massive book tour blow-out!); I had a feeling that this was going to be one sweet book. It was anything I could have expected... It was exactly the kind of book I needed. No, I'm not pregnant, or labrinths-y or have an ex-sister, so to speak. This book goes from a completely hopeless point in a teenage girl's life, when her perfec ...more
Erin DuBrock
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I had assumptions when I picked up Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala. I guess it had been a while since I read all the reviews for this book and of course I didn’t read the back cover because I had heard so many positive reviews that I knew I just wanted to read it. Needless to say, I was surprised by the contents of this book. Rand, the main character, has a lot of issues to deal with throughout the course of the story. Just to name a few, she’s dealing with her sister’s death from 5 years ago, ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 rating

First off, let me say that I think this would be an interesting book for teens to read. I think it could be a semi-accurate portrayal of being pregnant while being a teen.

That being said, I didn't really feel any connection from Miranda. I don't know if it's that I found her personality boring or that she was a downer, but I just didn't really care for her. Or any of the characters for that matter. Her new friend, Delaney, was just a witch and I have no idea why Miranda would
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
teen pregnancy. so many shows are glorifying and horrifying it.

This story doesn't glorify or horrify it...but that doesn't make it an easy read. It's like a band-aid. Open this story when you have lots of time - because it's so painful to read you should just rip it off quick and read it all at once.

and I did. although I appreciate that it's a cautionary tale - everything goes wrong...and wrong...and wrong. And it's so painful to read.

but that's the good part of the story. Because that makes it
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala is a powerful Contemporary novel. Miranda lives every day with the memory of her beloved older sister's death. Alexandra (Xanda) was the bad-girl, the rebel and Miranda worshiped her. But, after her sister's death, Miranda became what her parents most wanted, what she thought they needed, and she was the good girl who always followed the rules, never rebelled and did as she was asked. Until, of
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, epub
I was really curious about this book after reading the reviews, and after the recent light shed on teen pregnancy, thank you MTV. I don't think I was expecting such a heartfelt and unusual story though. Miranda "Rand" gets pregnant basically from a one-nighter with Kamran (sp), and is in denial for the first couple of months that she's actually pregnant. After that, it's pretty sad and heart breaking to watch Rand go through her pregnancy essentially by herself. Her mom is a total b!tch, even at ...more
Miranda, no, Rand is a girl with secrets. Yes, we all have secrets but not many of us have secrets that could forever change the landscape of the lives of everyone surrounding us. Unfortunately for Rand her secrets have huge consequences. And it’s just one of many secrets that have sent her and her family in a continuous downward spiral even since before she was born.

Do you keep secrets? Secrets can be some of the most damaging things we carrying with us. Sometimes we do it because we think we a
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
Debut author, Holly Cupala, has taken a very tough subject and written a beautiful novel about it. I was worried that the subject matter would depress me but that was not the case at all with this book. From the very first page I was drawn into Miranda's world and I never wanted to stop reading about her.

Miranda Mathison hasn't had an easy life since her sister died. Xanda was the light in their house and she was what kept everyone together. Her death shattered their perfect family and nothing c
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it

This review will be a bit different because this is my first audio book ever (well except for The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe that we had to read along to in third grade). So, I will do this in two parts and try to separate the story from the audio.

The Audio:

I have decided I don't like audio books. Not this one specifically, just in general. I find it extremely difficult to concentrate and found myself missing details. The audio was not bad, I just couldn't focus. Actually, I really enjoyed
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
Tell Me a Secret is a breathtaking debut novel. Holly Cupala's writing gets to the heart of high school drama and the ramifications of the choices that we make in a realistic and heartfelt way.

Growing up, Mandy idolized her older sister, Xanda. She wanted to dress like her, act like her, and to a certain extent be her. Everything changes one day when Xanda dies presumably in a drunk driving accident. Years later, Xanda's death has left a hole in Mandy's life. Mandy cannot stop thinking about her
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am not a fan of books about pregnancy. This is mostly because they make me cringe and never want to have children. Ever. Luckily, Tell Me a Secret focuses not so much on pregnancy, but more on its consequences and how it changed the main character’s life (and also, how the main character confronts her past).

Miranda’s struggle was not only believable; it was powerful. Her emotions were so easy to feel as a reader, and the last hundred pages, especially, were gripping. I could not believe all th
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Tell Me a Secret is the emotional and gut-wrenching story of teen pregnancy like you've never seen before. Miranda "Rand" Mathison has spent the last five years since the death of her older sister, Xanda, trying to live as she would have. She makes decisions about her friends, family and just about everything else you'd want a teenager to really think about for themselves, based on what Xanda would have done.

Rand makes a series of bad choices including dumping her best friend for the new and ex
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an emotional, heartbreaking and wonderfully written debut novel by Holly Cupala. I haven’t cried so much reading a book in a long time. I stayed up late to finish the book and had puffy eyes the next morning.

I really connected with Miranda and got what she was going through. All her friends have turned their backs on her and she’s having a tough time with her parents regarding the pregnancy so she really has no one to lean on. There were so many instances in the story where I ended up cr
Megan Bostic
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tell Me a Secret was a difficult read. No, it’s not because of the writing. Holly’s magnificent and beautiful words seemed carefully chosen for the exact space they filled on each page. It certainly wasn’t because her characters were boring. Each one popped off the page, unique and meticulously crafted, breaking the molds of clichés and dimension. It definitely wasn’t the plot or story that made it difficult. I dreaded the moment I had to put the book down because I had to work, or cook dinner, ...more
Trisha ❊ Devoured Words
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, ya
A few months ago, which is basically years in the blogging world, Harper Teen began releasing weekly podcasts of the unabridged audiobook Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala read by Jenna Lamia. Week after week, I would download the podcast on my iPhone, until suddenly it seemed the podcasts just stopped. I would refresh on my phone to see if that week’s podcast was up, and well nothing new would show up, so I sort of chalked it up to a possibly discontinued initiative, which sucked, because I was ...more
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
I dont know. At times i really hated this book and at other times i really liked it. Rand really pissed me off throughout the story. She barely stood up for herself. I would of freaked in her condition: at her supposedly best friend and that stupid bf of hers. i hated Kamran. I really did. I really disliked Rands parents too. They are messed up. I know the death of Rands sister messed the family up but come onnn. The dad n Rand need to yell more: fight more for whatever they wanted. The best par ...more
Harley Quinn
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Even though I gave up my beauty sleep for this book (:P) I have a few comments. I liked this book in general, it's very emotional and I cried a few times, but I was so pissed at Mandie for... letting things happen even though she can change something. Ok, her mum was horrible but she could try to do something, not just let her do what she wants... and Kamrah. I don't know, in some points it's just her rebellion taking her where she was. I liked the second part of the book with Lexi. I sense ther ...more
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I keep sitting down to write a proper review of this and keep failing for some reason.

I liked this book just fine. The writing style was very nice, and the characters sometimes did stupid things, but I couldn't find anything noteworthy about it.

It's the kind of book that's good while you're reading it but is unmemorable once you're finished and it's resumed life nestled between more interesting books on your shelf.
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, young-adult, arc, fiction
An emotional story that kind of broke my heart a little, but a great read. Really enjoyed the main character's journey both personally and within her family, and the forgiveness and hope discovered in both.
Kendra R
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
wow this story was really good. Talk about time going quickly!
I told myself that I would just read two or three chapters. Before I knew it, I was reading the last sentence.

Review to come.
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Holly Cupala wrote teen romance novels before she ever actually experienced teen romance. When she did, it became all about tragic poetry and slightly less tragic novels. When she isn't making art and writing, she spends time with her husband and children in Seattle, Washington. These days, her writing is less about tragedy and more about hope.

Part of the author's proceeds from this book will go
“Ask no questions, I tell no lies.” 14 likes
“Keep your eyes on the future, because that's where the answers are. It's where the hope is.” 9 likes
More quotes…