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?
Pub. Date: Feb. 17, 2011 (for Paperback)
The first thing I would like to mention is that the title drew me into this book when I first saw it online last year. One of the major factors that kept me from buying The Secret Year in hardback was that the story was just 192 pages long. In my opinion that means that its not worth paying 16 or 17 dollars for a quick read. So when the paperback came out I went to the bookstore. Now I don’t really like either of the two covers for this book but dang when I felt the velvety softness of the paperback I just had to get it. Okay I feel like a freak for saying that, but don’t you love soft book covers too? Even cool textured covers?
Anyway with all that aside I somewhat enjoyed the Secret Year. Personally, I did not get emotionally involved with the main character Colt. He was sort of a jerk. But I could only imagine how it would feel to have to grieve alone without the support of friends and family to get you through. How Colt handled situations were not always great. There was a lot of sexual situations in this book. While they were all not explicit but rather mentioned it was still too much for my taste. Truthfully I probably would have stopped reading at some point, but I was very curious to see how this book would go. What was the plot? What is going to happen to Colt? How will this book end? Were some questions floating in my mind while I read that had me continuing to read. I may be blind or something but I didn’t see a plot. The book was just a story that goes from day to day, month to month with what goes on in Colt’s life. As to what happens to Colt, well nothing really happens to him. He didn’t really change from where he started in the book. And the ending let me tell you it felt unfinished to me. I seriously turned the page expecting there to be more.
Almost all the characters were immature. The whole rich and poor war and hate situation was just silly. It was like well I’m rich and too good to hang out and be nice to you poor people. And because you are trash you are not allowed to come on our territory. Hey lets all go around and ruin each others property. That is basically part of the book in a nutshell. The only characters who were the best out of any of the characters of the novel were Michael, Kirby, and Colt’s brother.
To end the review on a good note I will say that there are surprises that were really good in The Secret Year. I liked reading Julia’s letters or should I say diary entires. I really like how Jennifer Hubbard shows readers that someone that meant something will always be with you and you will always have a place for them in your heart. Its okay to move on in life and realize that there are still good things for you after loss. Another theme is that just because someone comes from a rich family doesn’t mean that they are always happy. Everyone feels the same feelings at one time or another. Regardless of my uncertainty towards this debut novel I’m excited to see what Jennifer comes out with next.