Published by Penguin on 2010-12-23
Genres: Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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?
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard deals with love and loss and grief. The Secret Year is one of those books which seems to get male protagonist narration right. Colt secretly dates rich girl Julia for a year. When her untimely death occurs, Colt is left with nothing but secrets and her notebook.
The Secret Year is a book that comes softly. It sneaks up on you. Never loud or overt with it’s message and prose. This is a book with masterful subtlety that is easy to slip into and enjoy.It’s short so one could read it within the span of a night.
What I particularly enjoyed was how The Secret Year portrayed and addressed classism. It absolutely exists, walk into almost any high school and you will see it. There is definitely a difference between people who have, and people who don’t as far as social status goes. I think Hubbard illustrates this wonderfully with the relationship between Colt and Julia. We see Colt at Julia’s beck and call. Because she has the status and the money, it seems she has the control in the relationship. We see that though Julia really cares about Colt, she could not go public with the relationship, because he’s from the wrong side of the track. Also, we see how Colt’s home life is different from Julia’s. We see how his family really doesn’t have money to blow.
Because I don’t want to ramble too much, I’m going to keep this review short and sweet and recommend you pick up the Secret Year for an excellent contemporary read. FYI, it’s out in paperback and the new cover is wonderful.