Book Review: The Secret Year

by Melissa on July 15, 2010 · 0 comments

in 14-17, ATOS 4.0-4.9, Family & Relationships

Title: The Secret Year
Series: No
Publisher: Penguin Group
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Age Range: 14-17
Lexile: [?] TBD
AR Level: [?] 4.3
Formats: book
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Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)


“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?”


Mature content in terms of language and sexual activity. Feels fairly real-to-life for older teens, likely won’t be news to them, but it is fairly mature. I may have said that already…


Level 1,2, 3 [?]

Sexual Content

Mention of a discussion about whether or not girls get as ‘horny’ as guys do. Teens ‘do it’ in a tool shed during a family picnic. A teen boy mentions that he ‘gets off’ by himself. Teens actively engaged in sexual relationships. Word use: phallic symbols


Teens sneak alcohol from parents, drink and get drunk. Teen killed in drunk-driving accident.


A pretty violent gang fight occurs.


A college-aged son tells family he is gay. Father does not respond well, says he is not his son anymore. Not a particularly strong family unit. Classism clearly a part of the story. 


‘Christ’ used as swear word.

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Book Review: The Secret Year, 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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