Rummanah Aasi
   To think and write an original story takes a lot of creativity, time, and patience. There is no harm in using other works of literature as an inspiration as long as you make it your own (i.e. give it your own spin). Shakepeare, for instance, is not known for the plot of his plays, but for his language and characters which were truly unique to him and what we remember to this day. I don't expect writers to become the next Shakespeare, but at the very least I do hope they write a good novel. Unfortunately, Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year does not even meet my lowest expectations.

Description: Colt Morrissey had a secret relationship with Julia Vernon for a year. They belong to the opposite sides of the economical track. When Julia dies in a car accident, she leaves behind a journal filled with letters to Colt. Colt reads the journal in hopes of coping with Julia's death, but how can he get over someone who was never really his to being with?

Review: I'm sure that after reading the above description, you probably picked out the two works that might have inspired the author: Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. To give you a more accurate of description of The Secret Year would be this: Take R&J and The Outsiders and put them in a blender. Stir well. Take the solution and strain all the aspects of both works that you appealed to you. What you have left is The Secret Year.
  Although the book is very short, 192 pgs to be exact, it was torture to read it. The plot was snooze worthy. The characters were as interesting as cardboard and the dialogue was monotonous. By the end, I didn't care about Julia. I wanted to yell at Colt for being an idiot in wasting a whole year for dating Julia, who is nothing but a spoiled rich girl who whines about her problems in life.
  You're probably wondering if I hated this book so much, why did I bother finishing it, right? Well, I guess I was trying to be optimistic about the book. I was waiting for one of the characters to come alive. I wanted Julia's letters to be meaningful without the endless "I want to be with you, but I can't" babble. I wanted more than what I was given. As a result, I skimmed large chunks of the narrative, read only the dialogue, and was left with bad book aftertaste. While I did not enjoy this book at all, some people might. 

Rating: 1 star

Words of caution: Strong language. Suggestions of sex throughout the book. Contains scenes of underage drinking.

If you like this book try: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
1 Response
  1. We Heart YA Says:

    Ouch... This is next on my to-read pile, but now I'm wondering. Lol.

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