Review of The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Review of The Secret Year by Jennifer HubbardThe Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Published by Penguin on 2010-12-23
Genres: Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

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.

Other Reviews:

Consumed By Books
DeRaps Reads
Chick Loves Lit

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This is a great review, April. I really enjoyed this one when I read it. I also loved Colt’s narration–he was sweet, but also realistic. I can’t wait to see what Hubbard writes next!
    Liz recently posted..Review of These Things Hidden by Heather GudenkaufMy Profile

  2. You sold me!
    Pam recently posted..An open letter to a lovely little llamaMy Profile

  3. I read this book last year and adored it. I loved Colt’s voice also. This is one of the books that made me realize I actually didn’t dislike books from a male perspective. I’m anxiously awaiting Hubbard’s next book!
    Lori recently posted..Review- Fallen Grace by Mary HooperMy Profile

  4. I can’t wait to read this one! It’s been on my TBR list for months. Great review!
    Kate recently posted..Review- Something Like Fate by Susane ColasantiMy Profile

  5. This one sounds really good. You could definitely see the class divisions in my high school – you either came from the rough, poor neighborhood (where my high school was located), or from the rich one up on the hill. I had a few friends whose parents wouldn’t let them go to my high school cause they thought it was too rough. Kind of stupid if you ask me.
    Heather @ Geeky Reads recently posted..Book Blogger Hop 2My Profile

  6. Congratulations! I award you with a Stylish Blog award!

  7. I’d forgotten to add this one to my TBR. It sounds very good, difficult to read maybe (I’ve no idea really, but that’s my guess) but worth it.

  8. I love books that sneak up on you!! Like Annie and Finnicks love, when it sneaks up on you it is always the VERY BEST KIND. Fabulous review as always April.
    Carla recently posted..Review – Matched by Ally CondieMy Profile


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