The Secret Year Shelbee Balentine

                       The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard.

Shelbee  Balentine           Goodreads.com        5th period.

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?

Who doesn’t want somebody to be close too, to share everything with. That’s every teenagers dream. Imagine though if the one person you cared about was forced to be a secret, then one day after a year of secrecy .. was gone. Love is a emotion that’s natural and uncontrollable. This is the challenge in the novel The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. There is a series to this book which I plan to continue, although I think I will have to order them. Although I loved the whole book, the three things the popped out the most to me were characters, plot, and setting!

There were many charcters in this book, and of course the all played a role in the book somehow but the people who played the biggest role was of course the protagonist Colt and Julia, who fought with the antagonist Julia’s real boyfriend. I think I loved the characters so much because I personally felt a connection to them. Maybe it was because I had a relationship that was secret or just that it is based on teenagers. To me Colt was the character that stood out the most, although he didn’t say much I could picture him extremely well in my head. Although you aren’t suppose to judge a book by it’s cover the cover of this book made me get an extremely good picture of Colt. Then reading into the book I got to know his personality. The way he could keep a secret, was short, and extremely spontaneous made him even more attractive. I guess you could say he is my book boyfriend.

 

My second favorite thing was the plot. The main conflict was Julia dying, although throughout the whole novel there was more leading up to that. The first conflict I noticed was Julia’s boyfriend, who was very controlling, and had a drinking problem. This effected the whole story. This wasn’t the only thing that kept Colt and Julia apart though, it was like a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The fact that they had two different lifestyles effected them majorly. Then leading up to that was Julia dying this effected Colt tremendously because he didn’t want to believe it, then on top of that he had to pretend he didn’t care. Could you imagine somebody you had shared everything with for a year, being gone, and having to pretend nothing was there? Lastly, it was her brother finding out who he was and giving Colt Julia’s notebook. I’ve already said to much though. To see what’s inside you will have to read this fabulous novel.

 

Lastly, I feel in love with the setting. It was so creative, it was like modern day with a 1950’s twist. Colt’s life leaned more two the 1950’s and Julia’s was more modern day. The scenes of them meeting at the river for the first time captured the whole book. I just caught my attention. I just tried to imagine how thrilling that would be. Throughout some of the scenes you could defiantly tell it was meant to be young adult novel. It had some very detailed scenes, and journal entry’s from Julia! I also imagined myself in the scene of Julia dying, but I imagined myself as Colt. Then I felt the scene as being very cold, and confused which is a well known emotion to me.

 

Overall I enjoyed this book very much, and would recommend to anybody fourteen and u/ Although none of the vocabulary is extremely confusing some of the scenes are a little vulgar. This book will most defiantly have you hooked until the last page if you like anything with a young teenage thrill. I recommend it to anybody who can imagine themselves as a character in a book, and likes to question things. Colt is a great book boyfriend, and a strong minded individual. I loved the whole novel The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard but through it she creates interesting strong minded characters, extremely exciting plot, and very different setting!

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