Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: Tell Me a Secret, by Holly Cupala

Tell Me a Secret, by Holly Cupala
Published: June 22, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 256
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

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.

This review probably won't make a whole lot of sense.

It deserves a higher rating. If I had been in the right state of mind while reading it, I would've rated it at least four stars. However, right now, I can't bring myself to rate it higher than 3.5, and I'll tell you why.

I had to force myself to read it. Not because the story is bad, because trust me, it isn't. It's a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story. But I think something has become clear to me, in reading this. I either need a paranormal aspect, romance, or something I've never experienced, in order to enjoy a book. I was a teen mother. I've been there, done that. And though my situation was different than Rand's, I still didn't feel as though I was living through her, because I've had that experience. Sure, it brings me back to that time in my life, but I prefer this time in my life.

So, I had to make myself read it. There are very, very few happy moments in this book, which made it that much harder to read. I was torn between putting the book down, and wiping a tear or two.

I didn't like a single character in this book.  Rand is going through a seriously difficult time, but she is stubborn, and I think if she had opened her mouth instead of turning into herself, things could've gone differently for her. (But then there wouldn't be the book, I know.) Essence had promise, but I didn't see enough of her to enjoy her. Delany, Kamran, Rand's parents....I would not want to know any of them in real life. (Okay, so part of me would want to know Delany, just to tell her what I think of her.)

The book was different than what I expected. I felt for Rand, I really did. I also felt like the book was a bit disorganized, and I didn't care much for the ending. I'm happy that it was a happy ending, but I definitely wish it had gone a bit differently. And a little less abruptly.

So my rating, 3.5. In another time, on another day, I probably would've rated it 4, maybe 4.5.

Writing Style