Viking Juvenile - January 7, 2010
Julia died in a car accident on Labor Day on her way home from a party.
Colt heard about it through the grapevine.
Colt and Julia had been seeing each other secretly for a year. They'd met regularly most Friday nights and spent the time alone talking, laughing and making love. Even though he wanted Julia to break it off with her boyfriend, he never pushed her. He understood they couldn't be together - not really.
Julia lived up on Black Mountain Road where the houses were guarded by alarm systems and had servants to take care of the day-to-day business. Colt lives on the flats - far from the rich kids in town.
Colt has a difficult time dealing with the loss - especially since he doesn't have a way to express his feelings without giving their relationship away. He is extremely surprised when Julia's brother comes up to him at school one day and gives him a journal. Apparently, Julia had been writing letters to Cole ever since they started seeing each other - most likely never meaning to give them to him. Colt is both excited and anxious about reading the letters containing Julia's secret thoughts.
Watching Colt's progression through his grief is heartbreaking. He is a main character you can't help but love and won't be able to understand the reason Julia never broke it off with her boyfriend in order to give Colt her full attention. THE SECRET YEAR is a book you won't want to put down. Julia's letters provide wonderful insights into the pressures that come along with the life of the "privileged" kids. You'll want to know what she was thinking during her and Colt's secret year.