Monday, May 24, 2010
The Secret Year-- Jennifer Hubbard
Colt and Julia had a torrid, clandestine romance, and somehow nobody knew about it. She was a rich countryclub girl from Black Mountain and he is a poor boy with an alcoholic father who lives in the flats. Although they would see each other in the halls at school, their two worlds were so separate, they never communicated beyond anonymous notes in lockers dictating meeting times and locations.
On Memorial Day weekend,Julia got ragingly, disastrously drunk. This shocked her friends immensely as her boyfriend Austen was a binge drinker and Julia hated it. She got a ride home from her friend Pam, who accidentally ran into a pole... Pam totaled her car, broke her arm, and killed her best friend Julia. Julia wasn't wearing her seat belt because she kept leaning her head out of the car window to vomit. Nobody can figure out why Julia would be drinking, why her car was in the shot causing her to rely on Pam, and why she was fighting with Austin.
But Colt knew. Colt knew that she was thinking about breaking up with Austin, and maybe she needed the alcohol for courage. Colt's entire world was rocked off it's axis with Julia's death. Not only has he lost the girl he's been with for over a year, his entire mourning process has to happen in private. No one would ever believe a girl like Julia would ever be with him... or would they? Maybe their secret wasn't as protected as they thought...
Overall, I would say this was a pretty good book. It was not exceptionally well-written, but it had a nice flow. It was fast paced in a way that really appeals to teens, and though the character development wasn't exceptional, it was good enough to make the reader feel attached to Colt's plight. I think teens who liked 13 Reasons Why, The Sky Always Hears Me, and Hold Still will like this book.