Jennifer HubbardPub. Date: January 2010
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Synopsis: 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?I was so excited when this book came in the mail because I was dying to read it and I forgot that I had preordered it during Christmas. It was a really quick read and I enjoyed it a lot. I especially liked the fact that it was a love story told from the male perspective. I honestly can't tell you why I didn't love this book. The plot had a lot of great depth. There was the initial plot about the Colt trying to get over the death of Julia, but there were also conflicts between Colt and his friends; as well as the conflict between the Black Mountain and flats kids. I really liked the characters in this book. Colt interested me a lot because he reminded me of some of the guys I know. I also was fascinated by Julia’s notes and was dying to know more about her. Even though she wasn’t the easiest character to like, I still felt myself drawn to her.
Jennifer Hubbard wrote a great first novel. I’m not sure why this book didn’t quite make it into the love category, but I have to say I hope to read more by her. I am glad that I have the book in hardcover and I’ve already passed it onto one of my friends. She was going through the pile of ARCs I got at the ALA conference and HAD to read “The Secret Year”. I would recommend this book to people who are fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and other realistic fiction authors. I am so sure that you guys will enjoy this book as much as I did that I am going to be giving away the ARC I have! If you want to enter to win the book, please click here for more information.