The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: Just because I won this book, had it personally signed to me, and have spoken personally with the author and her agent does not mean that I've adjusted my review in any way.
The really good stuff: the main character is not a teen-angsty kinda guy. Colt feels real and has real emotions, which is refreshing to find among the teen novels of today. He responds with all the questions and anxiety that teens experience when faced with difficult situations.
For example--not only does he lose a classmate to a car accident (something, unfortunately, too many teenagers are familiar with)but it's the girl he's had a secret relationship with. So now he can't even mourn in public.
Hubbard doesn't pull punches with teen relationships--there's sex, and revenge sex, and fights, and revenge fights.
The strike, for me, was the portrayal of upper/lower classes. There's the 'in' kids who live on top of the mountain and the 'out' kids who live (guess where?) at the foot of the mountain. Literally upper and lower. The way they were made 'different' felt forced to me.
But the story is definitely moving and worth reading.
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