Clementine's Reviews > The Secret Year

The Secret Year by Jennifer R.  Hubbard
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's review
Jan 31, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, fiction, ya
Read in January, 2010

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 have clandestine meetings down by the river most Friday nights for an entire year. When Julia is killed in a car accident, Colt is left alone to grieve, since no one ever knew they were dating.

But then Julia's brother Michael shows him a journal that Julia kept. It's a journal where all the entries are addressed to Colt. As he gets sucked further and further into Julia's private thoughts, Colt notices less about the outside world. How can he say goodbye to Julia's ghost when he feels her presence in the journal?

Jennifer Hubbard's debut novel for young adults has a fascinating premise with a really shoddy execution. What could be fascinating insight into Julia's world is so flat and so bland that the reader might be inclined to skim over Julia's letters. While Colt himself has some interesting aspects, he becomes so wrapped up in the loss of his first love that it becomes a chore to stay with him as he comes to terms with the finality of that love.

Hubbard peppers the story with some characters that might be interesting if they were ever given the chance to grow. The only character that we get any insight into is his older brother Tom, but even that is fleeting. One can't help but feel like the author had great ideas and couldn't seem to follow through on any of it. All of these characters circle around Colt, but none of them ever get the chance to do anything.

Overall a quick read, and while it's not exactly fluff, there are better titles out there. This reader was pretty disappointed.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Annalisa I think you description of the book sounds way more interesting than the book ever was.

Clementine Annalisa wrote: "I think you description of the book sounds way more interesting than the book ever was."

Haha well thanks. The book was really disappointing.

Hope Collier You summed the book up perfectly. It had potential but just fell flat.

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