Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: The Secret Year

The Secret YearThe Secret Year

Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: February 17, 2011
Source: Purchased
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Colt and Julia were secretly together for a year, and no one ever knew, not even Julia's boyfriend. Why would they-they were from two different crowds. Julia lived in her country club world and Colt . . . didn't. Then Julia dies in a car accident. Colt is devastated but can't mourn openly, and he's tormented that he may have played a part in her death. And when Julia's journal ends up in his hands, he is forced to relive their year together-just when he is trying to forget. The problem is, how do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with?
While reading the premise for this book, I already started gathering an idea about how the story would end. I mean, how else would a relationshipin which one-half of it diesend? The other half would either die from heartbreak or get over it and move on. Colt was an interesting character (and a bit of a jerk). He was the poor farm boy. Julia was the rich girl with a perfect life and a perfect boyfriend. The whole time, I couldn't really figure out what their relationship was. Colt didn't even seem to know. On the blurb of the book, it says "How do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with?" and that makes me think that this was more of a "friends with benefits" situation than anything else, especially not love.

Julia was scared and insecure and a bit selfish. If she truly loved Colt, it obviously wasn't enough. Colt was also a little lost throughout the story. There was so much sex in this book. It covered such a huge portion, and was slightly disturbing. Can't this kid find something better to do? This book is definitely not for a young teen's eyes.

I suppose that Colt was aiming to get over his loss of Julia and move on with his life, but so many side stories and problems cut in through the novel that it became a little confusing. Many questions were left unanswered and the ending was a little too rushed for me.

Needless to say, this book was an enjoyable read, although not particularly a memorable one. It had a The Outsiders feel to it, with the rich/poor side of town and the time period and setting, which I liked. My satisfied feelings with this book and Hubbard's obvious talent for writing are making me willing to give another book from this author a try.

First Line:

Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party.

Quotes/Excerpts:
As she drove me over to the DMV, Mom said, "Now don't smash into anything during the test."
"Thanks for the tip. Because I was planning to crash into a couple of things."
"And make sure you put on your seat belt and check your mirrors. They look for any little thing like that to trip you up."
"Uh-huh."
"And signal when you change lanes," she said, swerving into the passing lane. Without signaling.
"If I pass the test, can I take the car tonight?"
"Already? Christ."
"Just to celebrate. After this, I'll pretty much be taking it to work and back."
"Celebrate, huh. The cops'll be peeling you off a tree."
"Cheer up. Maybe I'll hit a guardrail instead."

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

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