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A Secret Edge

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,511 ratings  ·  62 reviews
I love the long distance run, when you feel like you're about to die...and then you reach this place where you feel like there are no boundaries for you anywhere...In many ways, Jason Peele is like any other teenager. He hits the books, hangs with his friends, flirts with girls, and omits the full truth of his life from his Aunt Audrey and Uncle Steve, who have raised him ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Kensington
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,511 ratings  ·  62 reviews


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Tony
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tony by: Beckie Weinheimer
I read this book just today in its entirety, front to back. I had been gifted an autographed copy from my friend Beckie Weinheimer a while back but because of the demands of my college course load I never got around to reading it sooner. If only I had known what a treasure I had tucked away on my bookshelf before today!

I must had teared up four or five times throughout the text. I laughed out loud on occasion too. I was surprised at how sexy it was and that a female author captured a teen gay ma
...more
Jeff Erno
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The story A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon is a dramatic depiction of a sixteen-year-old boy's struggle to make sense of his identity as a gay teen. Jason Peele is the star athlete of his school's track team. He's also a brilliant student who excels academically. Having been raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents were killed when he was very young, Jason is also an orphan.

Initially Jason is troubled by dreams that he's having about other boys. He tries to redirect his attractions to girls,
...more
Robert
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
I devoured this book. I actually had to tell myself to slow down while reading it in order to prolong it. I believe this book is intended for a younger audience, which is why I was somewhat disappointed. There is a tremendous lack of detail regarding all things, settings, feeling (tons of repeated details, I don't know how many times I read that a character was 'flying') and with the most important aspect of all, Jason and Raj's relationship. I felt that the book was very safe with the intimate ...more
Dorian Santiago
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
This read was solid and enjoyable, for sure. I had two major problems, though: some occurrences were just too sudden and too quick. One who's observant could find a few inconsistencies with very small details, too (for example, Jason mentioned in the book that he wasn't allowed his own cell phone, but when he was out with a friend, his aunt asked him why he didn't call). The other problem, which was definitely what kept this rating from four stars was the dialogue between characters. Narratively ...more
Abigail Singer
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013, teen-lgbt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Coenraad
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If a reader reads Robin Reardon's first novel, A secret edge, after her two most recent ones, that reader may be excused thinking that it is much simpler, as it "only" deals with the main character's process of identifying his sexual orientation and learning to live with it. That reader would be rather wrong.

Already in this novel one finds the Reardon magic, offering likeable characters with intricate lives and complex issues. The main character, Jason, is an orphan who was then adopted by his a
...more
Robin Graber
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-as-hell
Robin Reardon is an author who never disappoints. With her first novel, Reardon seems to be writing just another coming out novel. While most coming out novels follow one of two paths; either parents who automatically love their child or parents who kick their child out; Reardon brings a fresh approach to coming out. She's provides an Aunt who has known her nephew was gay for over a year and an Uncle who has concerns about how his nephew will be treated, concerns my own parents share. What I lov ...more
Beckie
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves books about a character finding themselves
This is such a great coming of age story about a boy who is uncertain about his sexuality as the story begins and slowly he comes to face the fact that he is gay and share it with the people in his life and take the consequences, sometimes good sometimes judgmental. And there's a sweet romance, and references to Ghandi and thought provoking insights that blew my mind away and made me want to dance and sing and love everyone.
Robin
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
On the surface, this looks like a coming-out book for a gay 16-year-old track star, a runner, who falls for a high-jumper on his team. But the high-jumper is from India and is obsessed with Ghandi, while the runner carries a switchblade. The story explores the concepts of honesty, violence vs. non-voilence, and includes a smattering of Hindu philosophy. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Sean Kennedy
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it


I enjoyed this book but felt the motivations of some of the characters were underdeveloped. The most perplexing is the love interest, Raj. I know this book was written in first person so Raj's motives were as unclear as they were to the narrator, but by the book's end I was still baffled and didn't feel that the 'happy ending' was earned. Still, there is a lot to like about it.
Holyfool
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it


a nowadays tale dealing with harsh reality. a homo-erotic coming of age of a "spiderman".
Eric Klee
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A SECRET EDGE is the first book I've read by Robin Reardon. Coincidentally, it was also her first published novel. Yes, her. The author is a woman who writes about gay teens, particularly boys/young men. And she steps into the mindset of a teenage boy very well. This novel should be classified as a Young Adult (YA) novel, but sadly isn't due to its "subject matter." It's the sort of novel I would have liked to have read when I was a young adult/teenager questioning my sexuality. It offers positi ...more
Lou
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I’ve been reading (and enjoying) a lot of YA gay fiction lately but this book just didn’t do anything for me. “A Secret Edge” left me with more *eye rolls* and “Huh???” moments than anything else. The plot was tired and predictable, the “life lessons” weak and contrived and the dialogue was corny and completely “un-teen-like.” I can’t imagine, with so many other amazing works out now in this genre, that this book would resonate strongly with many gay teens. It definitely didn’t re ...more
Michael
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading Challenge 2017: book written by someone you admire. I cannot read a Robin Reardon novel without having learned something. I learned about the teachings of Gandhi. I learned that sometimes friends can be better than lovers. I learned that nonviolence should be the first choice as opposed to violence. Jason Peele was not only a runner on the track team, but he was running from things he should have approached from a nonviolent viewpoint. Even though the knife made him feel secure, it was n ...more
Franklin
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2017
1.5

I have two main pet peeves while reading: non-stop references to pop culture, and book/movie spoilers. Like WHY did you spoil that movie/book for me. UGHH.

Anyways, I can now understand FINALLY why people hate instalove and love triangle. It usually doesn't bother me but this book kinda has both. You can already see the ending on freaking page 8 and the relationship was just too underdeveloped for them to start saying i love yous lol.
Zaquery Booth
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a good book. Jason is a good guy and he really does help people. He also sees the good in people, even if it might take a little digging. Raj is a cool guy. I mean that in the cold way. Very close to the chest and on the subtle end of things, generally. I like that Jason and Raj eventually made up. Not the biggest fan of the switchblade, but I know that’s just my personal opinion and I know that if I needed to I could protect myself and those I loved.
Darcy Lewis
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Towards the end of reading the book I noticed that it said "About teens for teens". Now I am no stranger to teen literature, however in the instance of this book, throughout the whole thing I kept thinking that I would have enjoyed reading it in high school. As an adult it was just fair.
Shawn Willemse
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-lesbian
it was a good book. easy to read and to follow. wasn't very happy about the ending as I thought it would be a forever relationship. but after talking about the book with my partner I actually saw that there was many other lessons/important facts.
Elisa Rolle
A Secret Edge is a classical Coming of Age novel with teen characters. But it's slightly different from the usual young adult novels since for the first time the characters are pretty open in their sexual experience, and the author doesn't used the rule of don't tell what happened behind the closed doors. So as always when this happens, I have the feeling that this is more a romance for adult with young characters rather then a young adult novel for teens.

Jason is 16 years old and the classical
...more
Anthony
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’ve been meaning to read something by Robin Reardon for several years now, and it made sense to start with what I think was her first book. It’s probably enough of a compliment to say A Secret Edge made me want to read more of Reardon’s work.

So what impressed me? The story set-up is straightforward enough: 16 year old small town high school athlete starts to realize he’s gay, struggles to tell his family while pretending to everyone at school he’s straight, meets another gay athlete who is not
...more
Josh(ua)
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
this book was a very quick and enjoyable read. i picked it up during my half price books days after judging it on its cover and finding out that it's about a gay teen. the characters are likeable and a bit stereotypical (but in a good way). the main guy is the recently realized that he's gay, he gets with the slightly older but more experienced homo, he has an encounter with the super closet case, deals with the homophobic classmates, and has the too-cool-for-school aunt who totally accepts him ...more
Andrew
Dec 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Older teenagers / early twenties. Those who are starting to come out and supportive friends.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to read on.
However, it's probably more aimed at older teenagers or those who are starting to come out (or their supportive friends), as to someone like me who's been out for a few years, parts of it seemed a bit old hat.

A few things that niggled:

It was obvious that the author was trying to get factual information across to the reader, and in some places that really jarred. In the middle of a page of conversation, out of nowhere, you'd get
...more
Pablito
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So WHY was this on my Want-to-Read list for so damn long?

"Never you mind," as Cloris Leachman says to her much younger lover Timothy Bottoms at the end of The Last Picture Show. And through my tears, that's how I feel after all that sweet, confused, proud, brave, and ultimately confident Jason has been through in A Secret Edge.

"Never you mind," because there's no wrong time to encounter Jason and the other characters in this moving novel. It's just that everybody should.

If you've ever wondered
...more
Cris
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, teen, lgbtq
I’ve mentioned that I have a soft spot for teen gay novels, right? I mean, it’s certainly not the great American novel or anything, but it’s entertaining, funny, adorable, and thought provoking. There were definitely parts that had me grinning while I was reading like an absolutely crazy person. I kind of wish that there was something here besides the gay bit, but really? That’s realistic too, considering. When you’re a teenager and you think you might be gay (or you know you are, I guess)… that ...more
Littles Books

Dealing with issues from coming out, violence and non-violence, family acceptance and non-acceptance, troubled pasts, and the usual fears of coming of age, this story depicts a boy who realizes he is gay and begins to accept it.

Jason Peele is just beginning to understand he is gay, but he not only deals with that, and coming out to his family, but also with the bullies at school, and the boy he likes. He establishes a relationship with Raj, and they connect through Gandhi and movies and their re

...more
Duane
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book if you're interested in learning how young men deal with their emerging awareness of their sexuality. Jason, a 16 year old boy is trying to strive to the top of his high school track team, but his desire for a fellow track member is distracting him. When he discovers the feelings of attraction are felt both ways, the true battle begins. Trying to figure out how to deal with being gay, keeping it a secret from those that would harm him, and just trying to survive being a tee ...more
Sameer Afzal
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-books
I really enjoyed this book. Beside being a coming of age/coming out/ first love story, this book also focus on relationships that everyone can learn from. The books reflects on how each partner should behave equally in relationship to make it successful which everyone can apply. The author also adds another dimension to the story by bring in different religions and culture. The author could have easily gone in more depth on all aspects of the book, it would have made the book more complex but wo ...more
Rachael
Oct 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
What a disappointment! I wanted to like this book so much, but the characters felt unrealistic and the writing was far less than impressive. Really, you can't have an authentic modern teen voice if you're going to have your characters sit around and say things like 'fellows' or 'chats' during emotionally fraught moments. It sounds ridiculoue. The whole knife-obsession thing was overdone and made the character ring false. The whole mess felt liek someone was trying to hard to get a message across ...more
Mark
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book is one long public service announcement. It didn't have any depth for me and issues roll through and on page after page. The main character is okay, but I wasn't sure if he was a jock, nerd, outsider, or what - maybe the intention was all of them, but it didn't really click for me.

The real problem was the romance in the book - the love interest was a superior-acting, reserved guy that didn't really talk to the character, but they fell madly in love.

I just couldn't relate to this book o
...more
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I'm an inveterate observer of human nature, and my primary writing goal is to create stories about all kinds of people, some of whom happen to be gay or transgender—people whose destinies are not determined solely by their sexual orientation or identity. My secondary writing goal is to introduce readers to concepts or information they might not know very much about. On my website, robinreardon.com ...more

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