Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publish Date: January 7, 2010
Hardcover, 192 pages

My Review:

Rating:  3.0/5.0

I wanted to really like this book - it's a very interesting premise and the cover is stunning.  And I did like this book, but the problem was I didn't love it.

I think the problem was I wanted more.  The Secret Year told the story of Colt who had a secret relationship with a very popular upper class girl and he's just an ordinary lower class boy.  When Julia dies suddenly, Colt feels lost but he can't say anything to anyone because no one knew about their relationship.  Then Julia's brother shows up with her diary and he knows about the relationship but he wants Colt to have the diary.  As Colt read the diary things in his life begin to change and he starts to look at things differently.

I honestly think it's just me - I think this is probably a truly wonderful book to other people.  It's a little dark and gritty and as I said before a very interesting premise.  I liked the look at Colt's life and Colt as a character himself was great.  I think I wanted and expected more of the diary and a little more drama.  I think this book is a simple and haunting book that will appeal to many. 

It is well-written and I will definitely read Ms. Hubbard again, but overall it just wasn't something that will stand out in my mind.  But please don't rely only on me - check out other reviews of this book and see what others felt.  This may be just the book for you and if it was or is, then let me know in the comments.  I would love to know what you saw in this book.  Maybe I just missed something.

About the Book:
Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

About the Author:
See Jennifer's Blog here.  See her website here.

Other reviews of The Secret Year:

reader rabbit
The Page Flipper
Frenetic Reader
Persnickety Snark
Not Enough Bookshelves

FTC Information: I received this book from Around the World Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


Spring Reading Thing 2010

When I first started blogging last year, The Spring Reading Thing was one of the first things I joined in on. It is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days and it's really simple (and that's what I like about it).   All you have to do is make a post and read and then if you can make a follow-up post in the end.  It's really that simple.  For more thorough information and to sign up yourself, head here or click the button above.

Here is a start on my tentative list.  I am currently in a reading slump so I hope I can get back to reading.  It's a tough time of year.  We're starting our garden, our youngest is playing t-ball and my oldest has a lot going on in school.  But I will make time to read.  My goal will be 30 books.

I will update here as I finish books for this challenge.  I look forward to see what everyone else is reading - this is always a time of year that I add tremendously to my tbr pile!

  1. ttyl by Lauren Myracle - finished 3/29
  2. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus - finished 3/31
  3. Asking for Trouble by Sandra Byrd - finished 4/6
  4. Sworn to Protect by DiAnn Mills - finished 4/8
  5. White Cat by Holly Black - finished 4/10
  6. A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis - finished 4/10
  7. Double Love by Francine Pascal - finished 4/11
  8. Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze - finished 4/15
  9. Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason - finished 4/17
  10. True Blue by David Baldacci - finished 4/18
  11. Hush by Kate White - finished 4/20
  12.  Love Will Keep Us Together by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt - finished 4/21
  13. Flaherty's Crossing by Kayla McFerrin - finished 4/22
  14. Secrets of the Playboy's Bride by Leanne Banks - finished 4/23
  15. Caught by Harlan Coben - finished 4/25
  16. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves - finished 4/30
  17. Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard - finished 5/4
  18. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson - finished 5/5
  19. Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson - finished 5/7
  20. When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot - finished 5/8
  21. Scream by Mike Dellosso - finished 5/9
  22. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova - finished 5/11
  23. Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline - finished 5/24
  24. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon - finished 5/28
  25. Never Let You Go by Erin Healy - finished 5/30
  26. Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas - finished 5/30
  27. The Ark by Boyd Morrison - finished 5/31
  28. My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares - finished 6/3
  29. Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase - finished 6/5

Additional Giveaways to help me raise money for my CF Great Strides Walk

donate to my cause

As I posted several weeks ago - I am walking in a Great Strides Walk that my sister-in-law is organizing locally. The Great Strides Walk is one of the primary fundraising events for the CF Foundation and I am honored to help raise money for them. As I mentioned previously my 5-year-old nephew has CF so I would love if a cure was found in the very near future. But the good thing about the CF Foundation is even though they are looking for a cure, they are also helping to research things that will improve the quality of life of those with CF.

To look at my beautiful nephew (and since he is five I can still call him beautiful) you would never know that anything was wrong with his health.  This is because there are a lot of treatments out there to help him out.  But a cure still needs to be found, because even though there are treatments, there is still a lot of difficulty with this disease.  My nephew for example usually ends up hospitalized 4 hours away from home on average of one week a year when he gets a bad infection.  He's a real trooper about it, but still it would be great if he never had to do that again!

So onto the point.  I'm fundraising and have had JP O'Donnell who is a wonderful author and now a great publisher join in with my efforts.  Hachette Books has sent me a wonderful box (see pictures below).  The box has 3 sets of 4 hardcovers in it for me to giveaway (and I am jealous - I want to read all of these).

First, what are the prizes?

  • Choose 5 books from a list of books (these may be ARCs, recent books and they may be older books but you can have your choice)  (From me) (1 winner - worldwide)  You can see my list here (though it may change - books will be added and some will be given away with other giveaways - this just gives you an idea of what I have)
  • $20 Amazon GC. Giveaway open worldwide.  (From me) (1 winner - worldwide)
  • Two sets of JP O'Donnell's Gallagher series that is reviewed highly here and on - this is a copy of Fatal Gamble and Deadly Codes for two winners (donated by author J.P. O'Donnell, see his web site here) (2 winners - US/Canada)
  • $25 Gift Certificate to (donated by author J.P. O'Donnell, see his web site here) (1 winner - worldwide)
  • 3 sets of 4 books from Hachette Books - includes: The Unnamed by Joshua Farris, Roses by Leila Meacham, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, and Corked by Kathryn Borel - truly something for everyone. (US/Canada only - 3 winners)

How can you enter?  Giveaway entries will be accepted through 4/24.

  • Individual donations would be very welcome. I'm part of my sister-in-law's team, but have my own donation page here.  For every dollar donated you will get 5 entries into these giveaways, just let me know that you donated in the comments of this post (or email me -, you don't have to say the amount - I can figure that out, and a way to contact you if your email is not available in your profile and I will enter you.
    • Blog about this post for an additional giveaway entry.  Tweeting/Face Book mentions will also get entries - just link up in the comments. 2 entries for each of these, tweeting can be done once per day - just have @cfulcher in the tweet so I see it and can tally it.
    • If you know of anyone that will sponsor or match funds or offer giveaway prizes - I will do all I can to promote them for a donation.  I'm not above using my blog for advertising to help out a child (and lots of children and adults) :)  This is worth 5 entries.
    Can't Do Any of these?  Well you can still help out by commenting here on the blog. For each comment I will donate 5 cents to the CF Foundation. Simply comment on reviews, any of the memes, tours or giveaways and I will donate money. I will tally it up at the end and let everyone know how much you helped me donate.  This is for posts starting 2/21/2010 through April 1st.  It won't count if  you go back and comment on older posts, though I do love the comments, I just need an easy way to keep up with things :)

    Thanks everyone for your help!

    Waiting on Wednesday - March 24

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    Heart of the Matter

    Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
    Release: May 11, 2010

    From Goodreads:
    Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon.  Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

    Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father.  After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

    Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined. 

    In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

    I really like Emily Giffin's book and look forward to reading this newest one.