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The Secret Year

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  4,290 ratings  ·  628 reviews
Colt and Julia were secretly together for a year, and no one ever knew, not even Julia's boyfriend. Why would they-they were from two different crowds. Julia lived in her country club world and Colt . . . didn't. Then Julia dies in a car accident. Colt is devastated but can't mourn openly, and he's tormented that he may have played a part in her death. And when Julia's jou ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 23rd 2010 by Speak (first published January 7th 2010)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,290 ratings  ·  628 reviews

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May 31, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: language and casual teenage sex
Recommended to Annalisa by: Nathan Bransford
The premise of this book was intriguing. After a year in a secret relationship, Julia dies leaving Colt to mourn her in silence. With all that bottled up grief, it could have been good, but nothing in the book is explored. Hubbard brushes past those first critical six weeks after Julia's death in a few chapters and then continues to skim from scene to scene without delving into anything. The whole book is tell, tell, tell. Even in the last chapter, Colt is summarizing tidbits of his relationship ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
The Secret Year was a book that had been on my wish list for quite some time so when a friend gave me her book to borrow I was quite ecstatic. But what happened is what’s happening to me with a lot of books lately, I have really high expectations set, once I read the blurb I get really excited thinking this is a totally me book, it’s a book I keep thinking of buying but put off, a lot of my friends had really enjoyed the book so that sets the bar even higher. But once reading The Secret Year all ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is -awesome- I couldn't put it down, I practically had to put toothpicks in my eyes because I didn't want to sleep! I am actually kind of sad that I am done reading it, I might have to read it again!.... =).
The book was very 'drawing' and actually funny...I loved Colt's humor! and I loved that it was told from him. All the romance type books I read are always told from the women's perspective! Ironically I was just thinking about how I wanted to read a book from a male POV, then I foun
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was good, it had situations that many people want while at the same time they think they want but really don't. When you begin this book Colt had been dating a girl named Julia for a year and she had just died, then it goes on to explain how he felt about her, what she felt about him, tons of other things, mainly about his trying to sort out not only his feelings he still had for this dead girl but feelings for others around him, especially when her younger brother gives him her journa ...more
Mar 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Perhaps a more fitting title to this novel would have been "The Secret Year I had Sex, more sex and more sex and more sex.

Colt Morrissey has always lived in the flats, while all the rich kids live on Black Mountain, the paths don't associate, its not a big deal to Colt, its just life. That feeling changes during the summer when he begins a secret affair with Julia, a beautiful girl from Black Mountain. Julia has her own life, full of country club parties, friends and a popular boyfriend Austin.
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
I was really excited to read The Secret Year, but unfortunately, it just wasn't the book for me. I found it quite difficult to get through, and struggled to form any kind of attachment to the characters. The premise is fantastic, and I can't fault that at all. It's unusual and intriguing, and is the reason I bought the book in the first place. To live with any kind of secret is difficult, but to have a whole year that essentially only exists to two people is unimaginable.

Hubbard definitely had t
Julia lived on Black Mountain Road - the place for prestigious and privileged kids. Colt lives in the flats, the home of the less wealthy and less renowned individuals. They have been secretly seeing each other for a year - a year filled with sexual tension and passionate longing. That is until Julia is killed in a car accident right before her senior year, leaving Colt alone and despairing to deal with her death. Julia's younger brother, Michael, leaves Colt with a diary filled with entries add ...more
Jennifer R. Hubbard sold her first novel, The Secret Year in attempting to creating something beautiful. Her novel focuses on a poor boy that lost something that was never his to begin with – which kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it? – and about the girl he falls in love, a young lady who isn’t as stereotypical as the rest of those rich honeys we’re always hearing about in YA television and books.

If you think there’s intrigue enough there, wait until you hear the punch line.

The girl everyone
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, ya
There are quite a few things about this book that are irksome, the biggest being that there is no tension and therefore no resolution. It merely chugs along, but not really accomplishing anything.
First, the love story between Colt and Julia is a big pile of who cares or to be more accurate, the sex story between Colt and Julia because these two are nothing more than well, I can't even say friends because they aren't, with benefits. They have a chance meeting down at the river on the "wrong" sid
Kristy Mills
May 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
What is with these weird depressing books I keep reading lately. Geez. I knew going into it that the girl Julia died and Colt, the guy, is trying to cope with her death after having a secret relationship with her. Throughout the whole book I just felt bad for him. He had so many questions he would never get answers to and raw feelings he could never really express. I thought the ending was terrible! I don't feel like anything got any better for him. Yes he realized that he needed to stop living ...more
L.J. Boldyrev
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Product Description from amazon:
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.
Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death.
Three words; 2010 is awesome!

If this is any indication on how awesome the debut authors for 2010 are going to be, we are all in for a very big treat. This is the first official debut novel I've read for 2010, and I could not put it down!

I can't even explain the range of emotions that you are sure to experience while reading this novel. Colt is such an intense character, and you can't help but feel his desperation, his confusion, his frustration. It's strangely addicting. You don't want to be a w
Joelle Anthony
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got an ARC of this and blew through it in one sitting. I thought it was beautifully written and extremely visual. Definitely recommend it.
Brianna (The Book Vixen)
Colt and Julia couldn’t have been more opposite thanks to their social differences. Julia’s the rich girl who has everything she wants; the friends, a car, the country-club boyfriend. Everything except true happiness. Colt is just the poor boy living on the wrong side of the tracks. Yet, they had been in a “relationship” for the past year, up until Julia was killed in a car accident. Romeo and Juliet meets The Outsiders.

Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party. I didn’t get to
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fiction, ya
In Colt Morrissey's world, things are pretty black and white. The rich kids who live up on Black Mountain stick to themselves and don't associate with the poor, trashy kids who reside on the Flats. As one of the kids from the Flats, Colt doesn't really question the status quo. Then he begins a secret affair with Julia, a beautiful girl from one of Black Mountain's wealthiest families.

Even though Julia already has a boyfriend, and friends, and a whole separate life, the two of them continue to h
Hope Collier
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Brown
Jun 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Year is a YA romance novel which strives for literary credibility, yet there is very little romance, and the writing never comes close to being classified at literature.

The story is narrated by Colt Morrissey, a boy from the poor section of town called "the flats", who had a year long secret affair with Julia, a rich girl who lived on the affluent heights of the heavenly Black Mountain. The two met roughly once a week down by a river in the flats. Mostly for sex, but sometimes they'd
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Colt Morrissey had a year long relationship with Julia Vernon that ended with her tragic death in a car accident. Now he mourns her loss in secret because nobody knew that he was seeing Julia. She was one of the popular rich kids who lived on Black Mountain and she had a boyfriend. Colt lives in the poor area known as the flats. Even though he and Julia came from such different backgrounds, they had a passionate relationship that Julia detailed in her journal through letters and poems she wrote ...more
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
To say I was excited when I received this book in the mail would be a serious understatement. I was jumping around the house crazy when I saw the package on my doorstep. I've been following this book since it was titled Black Mountain Road, a book that was supposed to debut in '09 to now where it has an different title, The Secret Year, and a brand new release date, January 2010.

Anyway, getting back to The Secret Year, I had high exceptions for this. Luckily, it was great, but it was a bit shor
Sara Grochowski
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I was truly amazed by The Secret Year! I picked up Jennifer R. Hubbard’s debut novel on a whim, but wasn’t sure it was a novel I’d particularly enjoy. Not only was the novel from a male point-of-view, which isn’t usually my favorite, it was about a secret affair. I definitely didn’t except Colt’s, and Julia’s, story to be so intensely moving.

I ended up really enjoying the fact that TSY is from Colt’s point-of-view. Not only was it a refreshing perspective, it allowed for the story to unfold in a
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

While family and friends are still reeling over the Labor Day car accident that took senior high school student Julia Vernon's life, Colt is trying to figure out how to mourn her loss and the absence of their year-long, secret relationship.

How does he grieve for the girl who was never really his, yet who he knew in a way no one else did? Colt is shocked when, one day at school, Julia's brother hands him a journal detailing the course of their relationship, as
Suzan Isik
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
I've been avoiding writing this review. Not because it was bad, far from it, but because it was really really good and I wanted to convey how I felt about it accurately.

Being a person who did lose a significant other in high school, I totally related to this book. In fact, I was the same age as Colt too. It's a really hard thing, and I think it's harder as a teenager because your hormones are out there and the emotions you feel that young are so raw and untapped. A lot of times you're feeling th
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first saw that this was a story told from a male point-of-view, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it--I tend to not like emotional stories told from guys. But The Secret Year was a pleasant surprise.

There were two main characters in the story--Colten, who is the narrator, and Julia, who we learn more about and read from the pages of the diary. Their secret romance is very Romeo-and-Juliet-like. And while I felt that Colt was down-to-earth and real, I found myself disliking Julia and th
heather - NightlyReading
What a sad and heartbreaking love story! This book was beautifully written and left me still saddened for the main character of Colten. This is what can happen to a person emotionally when we keep secrets and are not able to truly “love” the person we are meant to be with.

Colten’s story was heart wrenching and I went through every emotion right along with him. It amazes me that the secret was able to be kept and no one had any idea. I am still on the fence for what I felt for Julia. Through her
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK! It captured the very essence of that time when you are a teenager. Coming into your own. But it blended very well with a very much "grown up" topic and unthinkable tragedy. The fact that it's told through first person, and it's a young man Colt, who is telling his story, the fact that it's so heartfelt and open, just blew me away. Rarely have I read a book set with this tone, in a first person male POV. And I am pleasantly surprised.

This is definitely a bittersweet one. Nothing
Jul 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
Alrighty... This book reminded me a bit of Looking for Alaska by John Green, but I think it fell quite a bit short of the standard that Alaska set.

I couldn't really connect with or care about any of these characters, and something about them, or the writing or both, just felt... contrived. It didn't feel honest at all to me. There was just so much telling going on here, it was like it was happening to someone else and Colt was just acting as the middle-man to us. Maybe that was the point, since
Stephen Marley
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book I read it was "The Secret Year" by jennifer R. Hubbard.
I can't compare this book with any other books. The only thing i didn't liked was the end, it was so confuse for me, because I was inspecting more, and then PUFF! "The end", in the same river that they used to meet, but just this time was inside in it. The book has very strong flashback, and the girl communicated with him through her letters. Well, i did liked the book, a little romance, lost of secrets and insteresting thoughts. An
Beth Fred
Feb 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
I'm going through my posts and while there have been a few books I really didn't like, I don't think I've ever called a book trash before. Even when I say the only alternate use I could imagine for a book is fire wood, I try to point out anything positive I noticed. Jennifer Hubbard's novel (really more of a novella) is trash. I would like to call it intellectual trash, but it isn't even that.

I hate to be so hard on a debut author, especially when the foundation for the story is so brilliant. A
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little book really surprised me, in a good way. The premise is in the style of West Side story but the twist is that the heroine is dead when the book begins. We get to know her through her own words, written in her journal, and through the memories of the hero, Colt. We get to see how he deals with her death in secret, just like their relationship. For a teen to have to lose someone they care about is hard but to have to grieve in quiet solitude must be even harder, causing pain and confus ...more
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

While there are a lot of young adult books that cover cheating, I was mostly intrigued by this one because it was hard for me to imagine how two people could maintain a secret relationship for a year without anyone finding out. I could understand a few months, but an entire year? That involves a lot of lying, a lot of pretending, and the growth of feelings between the two — I would think, right? How could you engage in an affair like this for so
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