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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review: The Secret Year + Giveaway!

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 192
Received From: Publisher

Summary: 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?

My Review: The Secret Year was quick, decent but unfortunately predictable. I liked the premise but the creativity was lacking at times. However, I did love how Jennifer started the book with this sentence, "Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party." I immediately started paying attention after that first sentence! It's straight to the point. I really enjoyed the characters as well, especially Colt. He was a simple, down to earth character that quickly won me over. Since Julia passed away on the first page, her whole personality was shown through Colt's memories/flashbacks and a notebook that Julia wrote just for him. I loved reading the passages to Colt, some were really poetic but also sensual. Their relationship was very secretive due to the fact that Julia had a boyfriend and they came from two different worlds. I felt bad for Colt because he couldn't mourn publicly because he tried to keep the secret even after her death. Overall, it's a good book but it didn't wow me.
My Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Author's Info:
Jennifer R. Hubbard grew up in New England and now lives in the Philadelphia area. She is a hiker, a chocolate lover, and a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through. She's been writing since the age of six, when she used to write and illustrate her own picture books. In high school, she considered it fun to come home from school and write novels in discount spiral-bound notebooks. She had her first short story published when she was seventeen. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines. Her first book, the contemporary young-adult novel THE SECRET YEAR, appears from Viking in 2010.

Now for the giveaway, I'm almost up to 400 followers, so this is my thank you!



+1 Comment on my review
+1 Please give me your e-mail (if you don't feel comfortable, e-mail me at
+3 Become a new follower
+4 If you're an old follower (Mwa!)
+1 Twitter about contest (Link please)
+1 Sidebar about contest (Link please)
+7 An actual blog post about contest (Link please)

-Deadline ends November 20, 2009 at midnight.
-I will use to pick the winner which will be announced a few days after deadline.
-OPEN TO U.S. AND CANADA ONLY - Sorry I'm broke :(

Have fun!


Mavie said...

The Secret Year looks amazing!

+1 Awesome review! I liked how you were honest :)
+1 bookreviewsya[AT]yahoo[DOT]com
+4 of course I'm an old follower :D
+1 tweet:
+1 sidebar:

Thanks :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Nice review! It sounds like a sad read, so I'll pass on it, but the book does sound pretty good. Thanks! :)

brizmus said...

Ooh! Enter me
+1 ! Sad to hear that it was super predictable, but all in all it still sounds like a great book. C'mon, I mean, a book that starts with a murder!
+1 zedster.tbb(at)gmail(DOT)com
+4 old follower
+1 tweeted it (
+1 Sidebarred it (

Anonymous said...

+1 Nice review. I love the book cover! I'm putting this one on my TBR list.
+1 thebookvixen[at]
+4 old follower (mwa right back atcha)
+1 tweeted
+1 sidebar link

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

Despite the fact that it was predictable, I've been really interested in reading this book. It sounds like its going to be a good one. Great review!

+1 Commented on Review
+1 jennilovevirgo[at]
+4 Current Follower
+1 Sidebar @ Falling Off The Shelf

Thanks Eleni! Congrats on almost hitting 400 followers! I'm getting closer to the 300 mark now and it's really exciting :)

Jax said...

I have been so eager to read this, forgive me I did not read your review only because I try to avoid the reviews on book I really really want to read because they might discourage me....
+1 comment
+4 old follower
+1 email jomullane at bluemarble dot net
+1 sidebar

Sara said...

Congrats on nearing 400!

Great, honest review. I've been hearing mixed reviews on this book... overall people seem to think it was good, but not great. I will definitely still check it out though!

+1 comment
+4 old follower
+1 tweet (@thehidingspot)
+1 sidebar


Brigida Alexandra Marcella said...

It's cool...

but it's for US and Canada only??? :(( owwwhh..

Robyn @ Robolobolyn's Universe said...

+1 Comment on my review (Here I am, commenting.)

+3 Become a new follower

+1 Twitter about contest

+1 Sidebar about contest

Robyn :)
+1 email said...

This was a good review. I get a good picture of the book. It doesn't sound bad, even though it's kind of old hat. I'd like to see a little more, especially for poor Colt's sake. I can't help but feel bad for him.

Raspberry said...

+1 Comment on my review
That's too bad it's predictable, but I suppose most books are anyways. And what's with all the new-fangled names like Colt? Cracks me up. Looks like a fun read.
+1 Please give me your e-mail rae_sunshine4(At)
+4 If you're an old follower (Mwa!)
+1 Sidebar about contest left hand side at

Jonnie (JB) said...

+1 I liked how honest your review was
+1 dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com
+3 I became a follower

Lilixtreme said...

Damn girl I remember when we used to have about the same amount of followers, and now you've surpassed me and beyond, lol. (I blame school!) Great contest!
+1 (changed it, you like?)
+4 you're kidding right? 'Course I'm a follower
+1 tweeted about contest:
+1 sidebar:

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

+1 I'm not a fan of predictable books but that first line is catching. ;)

+1 bookreviewsbyjess (@)
+4 Already a follower!
+1 On my sidebar

+7 total :)

Monica Corwin said...

I am a follower (4), I posted in my blog (1)

Ellz said...

+1 Comment on my review Great review, I am sad to hear it is predicatable, but it sounds like a great storyline.
+1 zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom
+4 If you're an old follower (Mwa!)

Elie (Ellz Readz)

Mandy said...

+1 Comment:
sometimes even predictable stories are entertaining
+1 Email:
+4 Old follower =)

Natalie said...

+1 I know a lot of people are anxiously waiting for this one. I'm a little disappointed that it was predictable, but I'll still probably pick it up at the library for a read anyway!
+4 Old follower!
+1 Tweet @ Twitter
+1 Link on Sidebar

Thanks so much for the contest!
Natalie @ Mindful Musings

throuthehaze said...

+1 Great review! Its a little disappointing that it was predictable but it still sounds pretty good.

+1 throuthehaze at gmail dot com

+4 old follower


Ashley said...

Cool contest, please enter me! :)

+1 Great review! I want to read this book now.
+1 booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com
+4 I already follow.
+1 Posted on my sidebar at

Martha Lawson said...

Great review! Made me want to read the book..

I alreadly follow..

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. It was honest and I like that! This book sounds pretty interesting, and I agree that the first sentence would've made me sit up and take notice too.

+1 Comment on my review
+1 foltzsfantasticbooks at
+4 If you're an old follower (Mwa!)
+1 Twitter about contest
+1 Sidebar about contest

heatherzilla said...

+1 Comment on my review ~ Nice review. I think I will like this book even if it is predictable.

+1 Please give me your e-mail

+3 Become a new follower

+1 Twitter about contest

dentistry in Sydney said...

Its a great review a with great picture. This book sounds good and very interesting. thanks for this.

Lindsay Frost said...

I would LOVE to win this!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D

+3 Become a new follower


Laura said...

I am a follower. Please enter me.

Andrea [Buried In Books] said...

+1 Thank you for the honest review. I'm disappointed that you didn't enjoy it more, I've had high expectations for it. I've been trying to get my hands on it since I first discovered it so I'd love to win this giveaway!


+4 old follower [muah back! haha]

+1 sidebar @

Thanks Eleni, great contest :]

Libby's Library said...

I would love a chance to win a copy.
Thanks so much for the giveaway.

+4 Old Follower
+1 Leaving Email Address


Zombie Girrrl said...

+1 zombiegirrrl21@aol
+4 old follower ;)
+1 Sidebar about contest

I feel like I haven't been here in ages! Darn busted home computer!!! }:(

Misty said...

Ooh, I would love to be included!
+4 I am a follower.


Sylvia said...

I want this book so so much!! I love the cover too:) I really hope I win! Thanks a lot!

+4 I'm an old follower (YAY!!!:))


Alyssa Kirk said...

+1 Comment on my review
+1 Please give me your
I'll put my name in for this one. I'm a big fan of good first lines and I agree that this one scores high!

+1 Comment

+1 email:

+4 Old Follower

+1 tweeted at @teensrandw

+1 on Sidebar at

+7 Posted at

Total +15

Thanks for the contest!

Mandyfish said...

This sounds like a book my students would enjoy. Please enter me.

+1 just became a follower (You're over 400 now!)


cait045 said...

+1 Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it
+4 Old follower
+1 usignolc(at)yahooDOTcom

Jessy said...

+3-New follower
+1-I'm glad you were honest in your review. It seems a little sad.

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Hot Off the Shelves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hot Off the Shelves said...

+1 The review sounds fantastic. If I don't win this book is definitely going on the wish list for Christmas.

+1 email is jasmyn9[at]hotmail[dot]com

+3 New follower

+7 Posted a link in my blog

Jenny N. said...

+1 Great reivew. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

+1 Email: jen4777[at]

+4 Old Follower

Sab H. said...

+1 crystalreviews[at]
+3 Become a new follower
+1 Sidebar about contest:

Thanks!! ;D

kathy55439 said...

Great Review......

D Q said...

Even though it was predictable, it had a good storyline.
I'm a new follower.

Gina said...

Great review! I love the fact that you related the good points as well as the bad, allowing potential readers the chance to form their own opinions, untainted. Count me in on the contest too (as I have an opinion yet to be formed...)!

+1 - comment
+1 - grgenius(at)go(dot)com
+1 - linked in sidebar under contests (


Meghan said...

+1 Please give me your e-mail:
+3 Become a new follower
+1 Twitter about contest:
Thank you! Congrats on 400!

Jenny N. said...

+1 Tweeted here:


A Life Bound By Books said...

+1 - loved the review! I'm looking forward to reading the book even more now.
+1 -
+4 - old follower :o)
+1 - sidebar

Thanks for another great contest!

Unknown said...

+1 Thanks for the review. Sorry to hear that it was a little predictable--that sometimes happens. Regardless, I am still really looking forward to reading this!


+4 If you're an old follower

+1 Sidebar about contest

Meghan said...

Could you please add +1 for me? I added it to my sidebar.

AnAddictedBookReader said...

Awesome, thanks!
+1 email
+4 old follower
+1 sidebar
adrienne2093 at comcast dot net

Jenna said...

+1 Oh, wow. I know exactly what you mean by the "it was a good book, but it just didn't wow me" sentiment. I've felt that with a lot of books this last year.

+1 jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

+4 I'm an old follower :D

Thanks for the contest!


Monster of Books said...

+1 Sounds interesting, I like the cover. Hopefully the creativity that lacking isn't going to ruin the whole book. Awesome review!
+3 become a new folllower
+1 I twittered about this contest @
+1 placed it on my sidebar @

Monster of Books said...

+7 for posting a entry about this @

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kakihara said...

I'm a follower. Book sounds perfect for my daughters--They are huge fans of Romeo & Julie and when I was their age S.E. Hinton was my favorite author.

kerja keras adalah energi kita said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Lee said...

+1 Can't wait to read it...seems really interesting with a spark of romance
+1 yjnlee(at)gmail(dot)com
+3 Become a new follower

DS R4 said...

It is really a great review. Nice.

Unknown said...

Wow this book sounds really interesting. I am excited to read it.

+4 old follower
+1 sidebar link

Justine said...

This is on my wishlist! Gotta read it...I love the plot.

+1 justeena_25(at)yahoo(dot)ca
+4 old follower
+1 linked on the sidebar here

Mitz said...

This sounds like a great read, liked your review.

+1 misty_labean(at)yahoo(dot)com
+1 Comment to enter
+4 If you're an old follower
+7 blogged contest

Anonymous said...

+1 Great review. The premise sounds interesting! Sad that it was predictable.


+4 Old follower

+1 Sidebar:

+7 Posted here:

Anna ♥

aprilnichole said...

+1 I agree about that first sentence. I would certainly be interested in what happened after reading that.
+3 Become a new follower

Bleuette said...

+1 comment on review
+4 If your an old follower

Emily Brown said...

+3 new follower

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

I love the cover of this and want to read very badly!

+1 Comment on my review
+1 bookbutterfly9(at)gmail(dot)come
+4 If you're an old follower (Mwa!)
+1 Twitter about contest

Thanks so much Eleni!

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Forgot to comment on the review--
I liked how you mentioned the opening sentence really got your attention and Julia came alive through Colt. Very intriguing!


jpetroroy said...

+1 Great review! This sounds very interested, especially with the R/J parellel
+1 jpetroroy (at) gmail (dot) com
+3 Become a new follower

Sandy said...

I absolutely love this book cover x) I'm like that you mentioned that you get to know Julia through Colt's memory of her... I was wondering if maybe she passed away in the middle of the book or something. I'm curious as to how Colt got her journal o__O

+1 Comment on my review
+3 Become a new follower
+1 Twitter about contest (@faeriexflash)
+1 Sidebar about contest
(you can find it at

sorry I can't give you a direct link to my tweet about the contest. I don't know how to do that! But i left my username just in caes :)


Sarah said...

The Secret Year sounds like a great book!

+4 I'm a follower

Thanks for the contest!! :D

two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

mabelilly28 said...

I appreciate that your review was frank and brief...these are the best!

+1 comment
+1 mabelilly28 at yahoo dot com
+3 recent follower

ilonga said...

+1 I have seen this book on authors now and it looks pretty interesting to me. I would like to read it.

+1 e-mail:

+4 old follower

+1 Twitter about contest:

Thanks for this contest!

Leslie said...

+1 Omg so she dies on the first page! well she had already prob passed away.. man i've had this on a wow post before, can not wait to read it haha
+1 email: leslie-lv at hotmail dot com
+4 Already a follower
+1 tweeted:
+1 Sidebar:

thanks so mucho!

Allison T said...

+3 new follower :D

Allison said...

+1 readintothisblog(at)gmail(dot)com
+4 old follower!

Thanks :)

Allison said...

+1 readintothisblog(at)gmail(dot)com
+4 old follower!

Thanks :)

Julie! said...

+1 Please give me your e-mail (if you don't feel comfortable, e-mail me at
+3 Become a new follower

book weirdo said...

+1 great review even though you said its a bit predictable it still sounds pretty good
+3 new follower

StephTheBookworm said...

Sounds really good! Please enter me in. I am a follower.

Debbie's World of Books said...

+1 This book sounds amazing! I loved The Outsiders and would love to read this. dasuzuki at yahoo dot com
+3 I am a new follower
+1 I posted on my blog here:
+1 I tweeted

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in. I would love a chance to win and try out a new author!

+3 New follower

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

+4 old follower
+7 actual blog post

Anonymous said...

I am a follower already and would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

A Passion For Books said...

Great giveaway! I can't wait to read this one.

+4 old follower
+1 sidebar (
+1 email

Jenna said...

This book looks really good. I am very excited about it. x.

+4 old follower

Anonymous said...

+1 I thought that it was interesting that you still gave it such a good review despite finding it predictable. I'm kind of intrigued now. Cause I can really use a book that's predictable right now... sounds stress-less. haha.
+1 carmenalexistsang[at]gmail[dot]com
+3 new follower :)

Thanks for this contest. :)

Malbebe said...

+1 I liked your review it was very truthful. You told us what you liked and disliked. It made me want to get to know Colt now.


+3 New Follower

Thank you for this contest.

aurora M. said...

Loved the review please enter mme in your contest!

Hannah said...

+1 - funny how that very first sentence can sometimes make or break it for you. Am glad it kept you in suspense.

+3 - am now a follower.

+1 -

Thanks soooooo very much!

CallMeKayla said...

+1 commenting
+3 new follower

Great blog!! I'm so glad I found it, your layout is very attractive, if you don't mind sharing your secret, I would love if you could tell me how you have such a beautiful layout.

Great post by the way!!

MarionG said...

I love the premise; it's a great idea. It's to bad it's predictable. polo-puppy-fluffyAThotmail *dot* com I'd love to read it. I'm a new follower.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the contest. In your review you said they came from different worlds. is this different worlds, like the Socs and the Greasers, or like humans and vampires? K. Gold

Aik said...

Please count me in! Thanks!

+1 aikychien at yahoo dot com

+4 If you're an old follower

+7 An actual blog post about contest

Amanda said...

+1 Comment on my review
i think this counts? D:
+1 Please give me your e-mail
+3 Become a new follower
done :)
+1 Twitter about contest
+7 An actual blog post about contest

dor said...

What a great book. Thanks

+1 dorcontest at gmail dot com
+1 subscribe by email
+4 a follower

HomoHausfrau said...

Looks like a great book! I love your review! Very honest and to-the-point!

+1 (Commented on your review)
+4 I'm an old follower!

The Lovely Reader said...

+1 I borrowed my friend's ARC of this book and LOVED it. Thank you for giving me a different review on it. I was wondering when I could read another review, and here it is :D Thanks.

+1 barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

+4 Old Follower

Thanks for the contest!

Dahlia (TheBookShopaholic) said...

Enter me! Please.

+1 Thanks for being honest in your review.
+1 email: thebookshopaholic(at)hotmail(dot)com
+4 Old follower
+1 Twitted about contest (
+1 Sidebar about contest (


jayme said...

I love a good first sentence.


cfisher1504 said...

+1 Book review...nice
+4 old follower
+1 cfiher1504 at gmail dot com

L said...

This book looks so good!!!
+1 naggy8(at)gmail(dot)com
+4 old follower
+1 tweet:
+1 Sidebar:
+7 post:

Nancye said...

***If I already posted, please disregard. My computer froze and then kicked me off the internet. Not sure if the comment went through or not.

+1 Your review was well-written and complete without revealing too much.

+1 nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

+4 Old Follower

+1 Tweet

Thanks for the giveaway!

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