Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala

Book:  Tell Me A Secret
Author:  Holly Cupala
Published:  June 22, 2010 from HarperTeen
My edition/number of pages:  ARC/292

Age group:  Young adult (older teens)
Source:  Publisher
Series?:  Nope.

Tell me a secret, and I’ll tell you one…

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

Debut author, Holly Cupala, has taken a very tough subject and written a beautiful novel about it.  I was worried that the subject matter would depress me but that was not the case at all with this book.  From the very first page I was drawn into Miranda’s world and I never wanted to stop reading about her.

Miranda Mathison hasn’t had an easy life since her sister died.  Xanda was the light in their house and she was what kept everyone together.  Her death shattered their perfect family and nothing can make it better.  Of course, some things can make it worse.  Like Miranda getting pregnant.  Nobody saw that one coming and with this new member of the family on the way, their bonds are tested.  Some friendships are lost while others are gained.  And Miranda is finally ready to find out Xanda’s secret.  Five years after her death, Miranda will finally know who was at fault.  Will the truth change the way Miranda sees things and if so will it be for better or worse?

I am going to start off by saying that I didn’t actually like Miranda very much.  She was so hung up on wanting to be like Xanda and then Delaney, that she was never herself.  She wasn’t a bold, outgoing girl but she tried to be because that was what Xanda was like.  All her thoughts were about Xanda’s life and death.  I wanted to know more of what she thought about the world.  I wanted to know what she would do one her own without Xanda’s memory influencing her.  Eventually she did grow out of that but it took a lot for her to finally get past it.  I know it was part of her growth throughout the book but it did bug me a little bit.  Other than that she was great.  She was brave and forceful when it came to her baby and that was what really mattered.  I loved that side of her.  The rest of the characters seemed minor to me and I can’t really get into them without giving away something so I won’t.

The plot was fast-paced.  I didn’t expect it to be but it definitely was.  It wasn’t hard to get into the book and after I did it was so hard to put down.  I wanted to know more about Miranda and Xanda and just everything else.  There were times when I felt so bad for Miranda and others when I wanted to jump for joy.  Tell Me A Secret was an emotional roller coaster.  I was so touched by this book and Miranda’s trials.  I didn’t know that I could feel so strongly for a character.

Overall, Tell Me A Secret is a not-to-be-missed debut novel and Holly Cupala is an author to look out for.  I can’t wait to see what she has in store for readers next.

First line:  It’s tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl.

Writing:  5

Characters:  4

Plot:  5

Ending:  5

Originality: 5

Overall:  24=A

Cover:  5=A++

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  1. Sara

    Yay I’m glad you liked this one. I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I love books that take on you an emotional roller coaster 🙂

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