The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
A Debut Author for 2010
author’s website: Jennifer R. Hubbard
release date: January 7, 2010
appeals to: Young Adult
genre: Contemporary Fiction
length: 208 pages
overall rating: 5 stars
*the inside flap*
Colt was with Julia for a year, but nobody else knew about it. Julia lived on Black Mountain Road in a mansion – with servants – and had a country-club boyfriend to complete the package. Cold definitely didn’t come from Black Mountain, and no one would have understood why they were together. But it never mattered to them. Until Julia dies in an accident right before her senior year, and Colt is suddenly the only one who knows their secret. He tries to pretend that his life is the same as ever, but he’s haunted by memories of Julia. Things get worse after the journal she kept about their romance falls into his hands. Colt searches every entry for answers: Did Julia really love him? Was he somehow to blame for her death? But the ultimate question – one nobody can answer – is how he’s supposed to get over someone who was never really his to begin with.
As I began this story, I had mixed opinions. I don’t frequently read novels that have a male narrator. I’m not opposed to them, I just don’t gravitate toward them. However, this book was amazing! I thought the writing was very strong. I loved that we got to know Julia through her journal entries. I was fascinated by the raw emotional whirlwind that Cole was experiencing. I enjoyed the unexpected twists in the plot when characters interacted differently than I would have expected. But I felt like there wasn’t enough of a conclusion for me.
In a relatively short novel, Hubbard created realistic and deep characters and sent them through a tremendous amount of experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but would have liked to know a little more at the end. Overall, a fantastic read!
*short and snappy*
writing: fast and raw – you really get a feel for the characters and situations, even though the book itself isn’t very long
plot: twisty – more than I thought it would be!
characters: deep – again, much more than I would have thought possible in such a short novel. There is a lot of description that is implied through the characters conversations or reactions to situation.
judging by the cover: I didn’t expect the story from the cover. After reading the book, I get the cover, but it isn’t what I expected when I picked it up.
miscellaneous: this is a Debut Author novel for 2010