Title: The Secret Year
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Genre: YA/ Teen
For a year, Colt secretly met Julia on Friday nights at the bridge by his house. There, they spent countless hours in her car, talking, kissing and "fogging up her windows". No one knew of their relationship - not Colt's friends, his parents, his brother and especially not Julia's boyfriend. They found a connection - the rich girl with the boy from the other side of the tracks. They became the one thing that each was missing from their life.. that is until the night that Julia was killed in a car accident.
Now Colt is left with no one to talk to about Julia. He just can't seem to get over the girl that was never really his to begin with. Then one day Julia's brother gives him a journal full of letters from Julia made out to him. Through Julia's journal entries he'll reminisce over their "secret year" and maybe come to terms with her death and finally move on with his life.
I truly enjoyed reading The Secret Year. The fact that it's told through Colt's point-of-view really gave the story and his relationship with Julia depth and an emotional undertone. I especially liked getting to read of Julia's feelings and emotions through her diary entries. Although her death does occur right at the start of the book, you are still able to see what kind of person she was and the role that Colt played in her life.
I think Ms. Hubbard did a great job in spacing the journal entries (which I seemed to look forward to the most), with Colt's reminiscing and present day issues. I loved not only reading about their year together but I also loved the friends (Syd), Colt's family (especially his brother) and even some of Julia's friends (her BFF and even Austin, her boyfriend).
I was emotionally invested reading The Secret Year. It was intense and emotional and bittersweet. It was also fast-paced and way too short (at just under 210 pages). A phenomenal debut by Ms. Hubbard.