Title: The Secret Year
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Bookstore
Other Info: 2010 Debut Author Challenge
Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.
Most of us know what it’s like to lose someone you are close to. It’s terrible. It’s heartbreaking but their are always other people that are going through it with you. You can take comfort from you friends and family. Imagine you lost someone you loved but no one knew. It was a secret that you had even ever talked to this person. Who would you have to comfort you? How would you cope? That’s what The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard is all about.
I started reading this book not really knowing what to expect. I had read the rave reviews so I assumed it would be good but I was still surprised at how much I loved it from the very first page. Colt is in a horrible situation and it sucks you in from the beginning. You feel all of Colt’s pain right along with him. The story of his and Julia’s relationship unfolds slowly. In small snippets from a book of letter Julia was writing to Colt. I really enjoyed that we didn’t see everything that went on between them and that even though Julia is dead before that book even begins we still get both sides of their story.
Colt was amazingly well developed and had so many different layers. He was not just a teenage boy getting over the death of a secret girlfriend. He was a teenage boy falling in love, fighting with classmates, and dealing with family issues. His voice seemed very real in my head. I think that Jennifer R. Hubbard did an excellent job with all the characters. I was surprised that a character that we only meet in letters she wrote before her death could jump of the page so much. Julia’s voice came through loud and clear. She even stole the spotlight from time to time.
As you can see I really loved The Secret Year. I would have never guessed this was a debut author if I had not known going in. Jennifer R. Hubbard is a author that will be around in the YA world for a long time to come. I know that I will be reading anything she writes. 5 Stars!