Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

December 20th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: June 22, 2010

Publisher: Harper Teen

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from 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.

If you are looking for a heart wrenching book that will be tears to your eyes this is one to pick up.

The Characters

I really wanted to like Rand because I felt bad for her losing the sister she idolized and you knew that Delaney wasn’t going to be a true friend to her but I honestly had a hard time liking her.  I think it’s mostly because she was always hiding her head in the sand and avoided dealing with things that looked her straight in the face like the fact that Kamran wanted to break up with her, that Delaney was playing her, that Essence was really a true friend to her, etc.  But I still empathized with her because much of behavior struck me as how a real teenager would behave.  Her character seemed so real that you cannot help but feel sorry for her as her mother berates her, abandons her to handle this pregnancy on her own and Rand pretty much becomes a pariah at school.

Delaney is your typical spoiled brat who always wants what she should not have and she does not really care who she steps on to get it.  In this case she wants Kamran and even though Rand doesn’t see it it’s obvious that she’s going after Kamran with a vengeance.  She is not likeable but she serves her purpose in the story well.

Rand’s mom was quite a piece of work. Despite being this huge church goer who supposedly is supposed to be taking the high road she passes judgment on everyone around her and instead of trying to help Rand cope with granted a huge mistake she basically throws her to the wolves.  She takes no part in the prenatal care or even making sure Rand gets quality care.  Instead she is more concerned with appearances and what people think of them because of this pregnancy.

I am ambivalent towards Kamran. This part is some what spoilery so stop here if you don’t want to know more of the story.

**Start Spoiler**

I know he is being manipulated by Delaney through much of the story but the fact that he does not want to have anything to do with the pregnancy and even tells Rand he doubts it’s his baby aggravated me so much.  He comes through in the end but as someone who has had stressful pregnancies I know how important it is to have that support and the fact that he doesn’t provide it just put him on my bad side.

**End Spoiler**

The Story Line

The plot about teenage pregnancy is nothing new but the way Cupala handled it draws you into the story and doesn’t let you go.  There are so many things going on in Rand’s life as she has to deal with this pregnancy, losing both her boyfriend and her supposed best friend,becoming an outcast in school and learning the truth about her sister’s death.  ‘s not surprising that Rand has a mini meltdown in the end and although she comes across as a selfish, whiny little you know what it’s hard to blame her.  My heart was breaking and I had tears in my eyes at the end when she has to deal with the reality of having a baby and especially one with all of the complications she faces.

This is definitely a page turner that will be hard to put down.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

2 Responses

  1. The1stdaughter (Danielle)

    I completely agree! This was such a page turner and I loved the way that Cupala handled the whole “pregnancy issue”. Being that I’m not a proponent of teen pregnancy I hate seeing books that glamorize it or make it “just okay”. This was so real and I felt like she did a great job making it scary without terrifying. You know? Such good writing, I can’t wait for her next book!

    Fabulous review as usual!

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