April 9, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Date Started: April 8, 2010
Date Finished: April 9, 2010

Summary: Colt, a boy from the poor side of town, begins secretly meeting with Julia Vernon, a girl from the rich part of town, Black Mountain. She is desperate to get away from her boyfriend, Austin Chadwick, a drunk asshole who her parents happened to love. Then, Julia dies in a fatal accident and Colt can't grieve openly because no one was supposed to know about them. He gets Julia's diary and begins getting insight into her life and wonders what he meant to her.

Likes: I like the theme of this novel. The characters are wonderfully flawed. This isn't a Romeo and Juliet story, Colt mentions this at the beginning. I like the fact that they probably could have been together and their wouldn't probably be much of a problem. But Julia is afraid, according to her brother, she wants everything. I knew people like this, who wanted to have their cake and eat it too. I love the glimpses of Julia that we do get and the version of her that Colt remembers that was contrary to how everyone else sees her. Someone says that Julia was a snob, but Colt acknowledges that aspect and knows that he sees her deeper. It was a coming of age novel mixed in with a boy who has to grieve in private with this secret he has been holding on to.

Dislikes: There is a lot of sex. Not that it's a problem, but sometimes I wonder why Colten hasn't learned that sex complicates everything. He's kind of an idiot in that regard. It wasn't exactly a dislike, but it was just annoying aspect of his character. The big reveal wasn't as dire as I thought it would have been. There were a few parts that were a little annoying and dragging, like the major fight between the rich people and poor people, it was a little melodramatic to me, but I suppose I can appreciate why that scene was included.

Overall: I liked this novel. The writing was nice, somber, contemplative. I liked Colt's character, flaws and all. There were a few parts that were dragging as mentioned above, but they didn't detract from the overall arc of the novel. I love Colten's name. Colten Morrissey, that sounds awesome. I might need to name my first born son after him. ;)

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