Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Secret Year Review

Title: The Secret Year          
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Release Date: Jan. 7, 2010

Summary from Amazon:
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

Outlined Review:
Character Development: 9/10
Originality: 8/10
Hookability: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 9/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 55
Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 8/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 7/10
Sexual Content: 9/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 5/10

Written Review:

The Secret Year was deeply moving. It got me hooked almost immediately and at just under 200 pages it was a quick read that held true depth. The novel opened with Julia’s sudden and tragic death and gained even stronger emotion from there.

The word choice in this novel was wonderfully done. Within the short book, the painfully real words keep you turning the pages. Julia’s voice was just as evident as Colt’s through her many journal entries and memories. She seemed so vivid and full of life in Colt’s memories that it was hard to imagine her gone but also made you sympathize so much more with Colt’s loss.

Julia and Colton had amazingly believable chemistry and the descriptions of their relationship only intensified it. Seeing the relationship through both Colton and Julia’s eyes gave the reader a deeper understanding of what the relationship meant to each of them. And the intricate details and passion gave the relationship another layer of depth that strengthened the relationship that much more.

Colton’s feelings of pain and loss were easy to sympathize with. Colton's relationships with Syd and Kirby were blanketed by feelings of loss and pain at memories of Julia as he struggled to heal, and move on and without anybody to properly grieve to, he was stuck in a state of numbness and feelings of guilt over Julia’s death.

I was immediately compelled by Colt and Julia’s romance. The intensity and raw emotions portrayed drew me in almost instantly. Colton’s distinct voice kept me in the novel as he tries to heal from a love that ended before it really had the chance to begin.

Overall, The Secret Year is a quick read with plenty of depth and emotion that is worth checking out.  A powerful love, a tragic death, and a year of secrecy wrap up this beautiful novel about finding the strength to let go of a love that was never truly yours to begin with.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review! I'm so excited for this book. It sounds exactly like the books I always end up loving. Also, kind of random but I love the name Colton haha. ;)