Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)'s Reviews > Tell Me a Secret

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
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's review
Sep 07, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: ya, contemporary, 2010-debut, read-in-2010

It’s difficult to put into words how I feel about Tell Me a Secret. In a way, it is a great book. It’s gripping and emotional; I read it in one sitting, completely unable to put it down. But in other ways, I hated it. I didn’t hate the book as a whole, but I found it more than a little difficult to like almost any characters.

Miranda, Mandy, Rand to most, is this selfish, self-centered, and immature high school senior who gets pregnant and then loses everything. Her sister Xanda died years ago and she has never really dealt with, never really moved on from it – constantly searching for ways to fill the void that Xanda left. Sometimes, I felt for her, I mourned for her loss and understood her behavior, but most of the time I couldn’t understand her problem; how she couldn’t see the poison that was her ‘friend’ Delaney and how her own actions could only be construed as selfish.

Sure, her family isn’t perfect, her mom seems more than a little crazy, but Rand does so many things that I just couldn’t get behind, and she blinds herself to the world around her, ignoring everything and only seeing what she wants to see.

And most of the characters were these horrendously vicious people, or just plain mean. I think I need to have someone to connect with in a book, someone to really enjoy reading in order to love a story, and I didn’t really find that here. There were brief moments when I thought Rand’s dad was going to be the redeeming character of the story, but then he failed me. Just as Rand did, just as Delaney did and Essence, Rand’s ex-best friend, did, and just as Kamran, Rand’s ex-boyfriend and father of the soon-to-be baby, did. The only person that seemed good in any way, was Shelley, Rand’s boss; and maybe Andre, Xanda’s boyfriend and the person her mom blames for the death.

Holly Cupala’s debut novel is a raw and emotional journey of a high school senior dealing with pregnancy, but really, it’s about a dysfunctional family dealing with a death that they choose not to acknowledge. And while I didn’t love Tell Me a Secret, it is nonetheless a seemingly realistic portrayal of teenage pregnancy in the midst of a world crashing down. Other reviewers have shown outpourings of love for this book, so it obviously appeals to many, it just wasn’t for me.

Opening line: It’s tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: “Life is constantly weaving together, and we can look back and see all of the threads. . .We don’t always know why things happen until down the road.” ~ pg. 251

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