I've been thinking of how to go about writing this review for the past few days. Hopefully, this time I'll be able to go through with it, without scrapping it all in the end.
Title: Tell Me a Secret
Author: Holly Cupala
Publication: June 22nd 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins [HarperTeens]
Review Copy: Hardcover, 1st edition
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.
In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.
My thoughts: First off, I've got to say I LOVED Tell Me a Secret. Of course, from the very moment I saw the cover, read the title, met the author (over the internet and through her massive book tour blow-out!) I had a feeling that this was going to be one sweet book. It was more than anything I could have expected... It was exactly the kind of book I needed. No, I'm not pregnant, or a fan of labrinths or have a dead sister. This book goes from a completely hopeless point in a teenage girl's life, when her perfect girl image crumbles at the seams, and she's broken and lost and just trying to find something to cling onto...to a realisation and acceptance of that which is reality.
Teenagers have issues, and I believe that Holly Cupala's debut novel Tell Me a Secret has successfully and effectively established and developed the idea that, yes teenagers have problems and issues, but there is always some little inkling of hope and that "faith manages" (a recurring message in the novel). I think this is something that teenagers could walk away from the novel with because it just makes so much sense to me. :) Also, despite being a definite YA novel, there were so many analytical elements of the book that I couldn't help thinking "Hmm...the ____ means ___", as though TMAS was a book I had to read for english class. (believe me, if I did, I'd be doing a whole lot better in english!)
Tell Me a Secret was a hard-hitting, emotional read and while it explores deep and serious issues (pregnancy, death), it was really quick and easy to read through to the end. This one is a page-turner, as others have declared. Oh, and just so you know, I'm trying to be subtle and not give any spoilers away. However...
Here's a teaser:
A blue patch of light stretched across my sketch and I smiled, remembering how Xanda and I used to draw pictures of the minister and choir. We would sit with Essence as far back from the minister as we could get away with.
Even at twelve my drawings were smooth, balanced, carefully rendered. Xanda's were angular and dramatic, with dark lines and unexpected details. Like the eyes of the soloist, one of them bigger than the other, or the too-loose blouse on the Elder after her mastectomy. Essence drew them as stick figures, acting out their secret sins on a stage and sending Xanda and me into snorts of laughter. (pp. 43-44)
Still not convinced the TMAS is a beautifully crafted and emotionally stimulating read? Go to the goodreads page for more opinions! Average rating is 4.43 over 90+ ratings. Pretty good, Holly. ;) Heres to hoping that Street Creed (Fall 2011) is just as successful, well-received, deep and engaging with the YA-reader community.
Thank you so much, Holly for the awesome book tour, (Everyone go to Holly's blog if you're still missing out!) and for sending me a free signed copy + swag from the tour & shipping it internationally to little ol' me. You are beautiful, incredible and such a treat to know! :D One last thing, come August 2nd, Holly's book trailer for Tell Me a Secret will be out for the whole world to view! They had a screening at her launch party, but us internationals have to wait until the 2nd... All those who attended were SMILING and CLAPPED their hearts out, and the audio sounded pretty good. So, there's that to look forward to. I am one of the 80+ book bloggers who will be publicly posting it on my blog on Monday... if you're a follower, you'll without doubt be able to view it.