young adult book reviews & more

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret YearFor a year, Colt was with Julia, but no one knew but themselves. How could they tell anyone? Colt and Julia were from completely separate worlds. She lived in a mansion on Black Mountain Road, and his entire house on the flats could probably fit in her living room. Besides, Julia already had a boyfriend from the right neighborhood. Nobody would understand why the two continued to secretly meet up at night; sometimes, Cold wasn’t sure he did either. When Julia suddenly dies in a car accident, his secret life with her threatens to throw his life into complete chaos. Though he outwardly pretends everything is the same, he continues to agonize over thoughts of her, especially their last, less than cordial meeting. But what Cold struggles with the most is why he can’t even get over the girl who wasn’t his to begin with.

The Secret Year is a story of heartbreak and loss told from a male’s perspective. It’s very rare that I find a book whose protagonist doesn’t gross me out by being, well, too much the adolescent male. So while this novel’s character Colt does exhibit many of these tendencies (this story is after all pretty much about them), his maturity and thoughtfulness show him to be a more realistic and interesting character. I found reading from Colt’s point of view fascinating, especially regarding his grief and confusion over his secret relationship with Julia. I commend Hubbard for her ability to create such a vivid main character in Cold that so that many readers will be able to connect to him. Although there were probably a few points in the story that could’ve been better developed, the story itself is thoughtful and very satisfying. Overall, The Secret Year is a very solid debut novel.

The Secret Year will be enjoyed by those who liked Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott, The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I look forward to seeing what Hubbard writes next.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from publisher Penguin

2 munch(es) :

Keri Mikulski said...

Reading this one right now and love it! ;) Great review.

Chelsea said...

I really liked this one! I've seen mixed reviews, but I agree with you. The characters were what made the book for me and I really enjoyed it.

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