Reading Level: Young Adult (8th grade and above)
# of Pages: 192 Hardback
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (January 7, 2010)
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.
I love the premise that everyone has secrets… because we all do. Some of them are known to a select group of people, some are known to no one but us. The Secret Year explores the trials and tribulations that can occur when we keep major secrets and think that there are “no strings attached.” Those of us who have tried to keep secrets know that eventually they all come to light and most of the time it isn’t pretty. Colt finds out the hard way that the secret he has tried so hard to keep can only be kept for so long and by not dealing with the repercussions.
I could not put this book down (I know… hard to believe)! I love the whole idea of a forbidden love and this story takes that concept to a new height. Colt and Julia have a relationship that would not be accepted by many and they give into that idea of not being accepted (for a multitude of reasons) and choose to keep their relationship a secret with “no strings attached” and don’t realize the attachment that they have on each other without even attempting a true relationship. I love that this story is written from Colt’s point of view and that we are able to walk through his though his and the whole story unfolded amazingly!
Colt is extremely intense and that just makes you love him more. The plot is very unique and Hubbard has done an amazing job using a male point of view to weave this story of forbidden love, monstrous secrets, and so much more all while showing us the troubles that teenagers face when they follow their heart and think that no one will find out. Hubbard’s debut novel is amazing and I absolutely can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!