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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Release Date:
June 22, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304

"Do you want to know a secret?" I whispered to the sister in the mirror.
"Tell me," she whispered back. "Tell me, and I'll tell you one." (3)
Miranda, or Rand as her sister dubbed her, never found out what her sister's secret was--Xanda took it with her to the grave. Rand doesn't even know how her sister really died. Her parents have fed her one version, but Rand doubts the truth of it, as she knew her mother did not approve of Xanda's boyfriend, Andre, who was with her the night she died.

Five years after her sister's death, Xanda a forbidden topic at home and Rand doesn't dare ask her parents about Xanda's death. With her many questions unanswered, the uncertain circumstances that surrounded Xanda's death have always haunted Rand. But now Rand has her own problem to face: she's pregnant. Despite the fact Rand loved her sister, Rand has always been the "good girl" of the family, while Xanda was the "bad girl." But now that Rand's a pregnant teen, the good girl persona Rand's mother so desperately wanted her to fill has apparently been shattered.

A church goer and the writer and director of numerous church plays, Rand's mother cannot believe that her own teenage daughter is pregnant. Her father offers no support as he wishes to evade confrontations with Rand's mother just as much as Rand does. Rand's mother is bent on having Rand give her baby up for adoption, but Rand wants to keep and raise her child, hopefully with the father's help. But the father, Kamran, is hardly speaking to her and Rand has no idea what to do as Delaney, the girl Rand dumped her former best friend to get close to, suddenly gets real cozy with Kamran and starts treating Rand like a stranger.

As her world falls apart around her the only people Rand can turn to are the other pregnant ladies of her online support group. Rand has found hope and strength through FemmeNikita and the other women she's met online. But even with their help Rand knows she must eventually return to reality, but the question is, can she survive it?

Tell Me a Secret definitely tugs plenty of heartstrings with Rand's honest and heartfelt account. She has to deal with her dysfunctional family while watching her social life fall apart because of the pregnancy. Readers will feel for Rand's loneliness as she gets little support from her family and friends and instead finds comfort in the hands of virtual strangers. Readers will see just how far an impact a single pregnancy can have as Rand struggles to find the courage to uncover the secrets to her beloved sister's death while facing her own uncertain future.

Tell Me a Secret is a well written novel that smoothly transitions between Rand's memories (I particularly like how Rand and Kamran met--very unique!), her quest to uncover the truth behind her sister's death and her own journey. Everything is tied in wonderfully and the key characters are well developed. Holly Cupala carefully displays all the different sides of Rand, Kamran, Rand's parents, Delaney, and the other main characters, so they never seem 2-D. With vivid details and realistic characters, Tell Me a Secret will take readers on an emotional journey.

3 comments:

Erika Lynn said...

great review, i can't wait to read this!

Cass said...

Nice review. I've got an ARC coming in the mail! I can't wait to read it. I've heard nothing but good things about it so far.

Cass @ Words on Paper
cc932005[at]hotmail[dot]com

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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