Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.53
T.B.Published: Jan. 7th, 2010.
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly. Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year and no one, not even Julia's boyfriend knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?
For some reason I thought this book was going to be more exciting. It is titled The Secret Year. It's about a secret relationship that lasted for about a year between a rich girl and a poor boy. But we start the book at the end of the relationship, having the girl been killed and the boy been left in this vertigo full of doubt. We see their story through the girl's POV in diary entires, the boy is the main POV.
Going into this book I was expecting a juicy YA read, I expected the words to impact me more, I expected it to be more scandalous. I felt like Julia and Colt's relationship wasn't explored thorughly enough. We don't get a first glimpse into their relationship because the relationship is told in flashbacks, moments caught in the wind, and that really didn't work for me. Plus, they weren't that meaningful. They had sex, a lot. So what? The diary entries also weren't very exciting. She said a few things, and most of the entries were completely skipped over. I just felt there was something lacking, missing, from the entire book. Emotion? I don't know, it was just lacking that "it" thing.
It finally started getting interesting when people little y little started to find out about the relationship. But again, this wasn't exploided. A lot of things in the novel weren't. The novel is only 192 pages, with the potential for more, and it falls flat on it's face.
The characters for the most part were boring. The only one I could have really gotten into was Julia, and she died. She is described as being artsie and daring, and complicated. I felt like I never really got to kow her well, we only get to see Colt's version of Julia. Not anybody else's. I felt like Colt didn't do any impacting things in the story, he just coasted through the entire thing. Like he was invisible. Our own main character was freaking invisible. Even when his brother (my favorite character of the book) makes a big announcement he is just like "whatevs, let me eat and well be good." He is unremarkable, and unmemorable.
I felt like everything was unexciting, the characters, the plot, the romance... It really wasn't what I was expecting. I wasn't invested in the characters, I wasn't invested in the story. Sad, it had potential.