ambyr's Reviews > The Secret Hour

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
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This is one of those books that if I'd read as a teenager, I expect I would have imprinted on like a duckling. As an adult, I admire the craft but can't sink quite as far in. There are plot beats and action moments where things feel almost too manufactured, as though this were a concept waiting to be optioned for film. But even with that, the characters shine through as realistically teenaged. I love, in particular, the tensions in the core group--the ways they do and don't trust each other, do and don't need each other, the way their interactions shift depending on who else is present to observe and judge. They are (sort of) a team, but they're individuals first, and they're allowed to dislike each other for petty (and not-so-petty) reasons without anyone being The One In The Wrong in a way that's sort of rare in YA literature.

(I also appreciate that the popular kids are allowed to be people, too; that treating the Midnighters as outcasts doesn't make them evil. I hope we see more of Constanza in the future in particular.)
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Reading Progress

March 23, 2015 – Started Reading
March 23, 2015 – Shelved
March 24, 2015 –
27.0%
March 25, 2015 –
86.0%
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: acquiredㅡfrom-work
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: ageㅡya
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: authorㅡmale
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: genreㅡfantasyㅡcontemporary
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: formatㅡaudiobook
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: ownㅡcurrently
March 29, 2015 – Shelved as: protagonistㅡmultiple-genders
March 29, 2015 – Finished Reading
October 21, 2015 – Shelved as: nyr2015

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Melani This was the series, rather then the Uglies series, that introduced me to Scott Westerfeld. I think the 'optioned for film' problem is one that is throughout his books, but if you can overlook it, he's an excellent YA author. I really wish he'd been writing when I was a teen.


ambyr I love his adult books, especially Fine Prey and Evolution's Darling, which are weird and experimental and about as far from "optioned for film" as it's possible to be. It always startles me a bit how much more commercialized his YA fiction is. (I still enjoy it, mind, but it's very, very different.)


Melani You know, I don't think I've read his adult novels? I shall check them out.


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