Tags: YA, teen pregnancy, sisters, family, death
Miranda’s outgoing older sister Xanda died mysteriously when Miranda was twelve. Since then, Miranda has tried to figure Xanda out, but no one talks about her, least of all her parents, who blame Miranda’s boyfriend at the time for her death.
Miranda has always been the good girl, but when she is offered the chance to have the cool best friend and the ideal boyfriend, she falls into a life that hardly seems like her own, but more like her sister’s. But then Miranda’s world is turned upside down when she gets pregnant. Now, Miranda must figure out her own problems, instead of chasing afer her sister’s.
Wow. Just…wow. An unassuming concept for a story glows in the talented hands of Holly Cupala, who captured my attention on the very first page.
Miranda’s narration is easy on the eyes and mind. Through her, problems that could’ve been easily overdramatized become painfully real expressions of emotions that anyone can relate to: grief, fear, desire, and more. While there is never much physical movement throughout the story, the emotional arc is so poignant that, towards the end, I found myself bursting into tears at certain lines or gripping the book with shaking hands as I rushed to find out what would happen, if things will turn out alright, in a way that reminded me of the frantic and passionate mood swings of PMS.
It’s true that very little seems to happen, and that Miranda’s past with her sister doesn’t entirely convince me that it’s driving her present-day decisions. Miranda herself is definitely a quiet protagonist, so those who like their female main characters snappier and wittier will not find that here. Still, there is a way about Miranda that endears her to readers, that draws us into her problems and concerns and misconceptions. Quiet, “good girl” Miranda is a fully realized character: we see her flaws but love her all the more for them.
TELL ME A SECRET is a heartwrenchingly good contemporary YA read. Holly Cupala proves herself to be a powerful writing force with this one, and I can’t wait to see what Holly will write next.
Nina de Gramont
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 3.5 out of 5 - Now that I've read the book, I'm not sure how much I feel it applies appropriately to the story, but it does match the title very well, and it was one of the reasons I looked closer at this book months earlier!
HarperCollins / June 22, 2010 / Hardcover / 304pp. / $16.99
ARC sent by publisher at author's request. Thanks, Holly!
Hi, everyone, and thanks for stopping by the TELL ME A SECRET Virtual Tour at Steph Su Reads! I’m really excited to be here—I got to meet Steph in person at the Teen Author Carnival, and I was thrilled when she wanted me to drop by. She asked me to tell you about some of the TMAS writing spaces, so we put together a little video to show you… Our daughter was a baby when I started writing, so I hired a sitter one day a week to watch her while I went to the library to write the first draft. When I wasn’t at the library, I’d head for the wi-fi at Grateful Bread. At home, I love to work at the dining room table, and I even show you a little glimpse of the YA shelves. Last but not least, I give you a sneak preview of the super-cool prize I’m giving away at the end of the tour! I hope you enjoy!
Thanks, Holly, for that fantastic look into your writing process, and for satisfying the bookshelf lust in all of us. :) Be sure to check out the full tour schedule here, and follow us to Miss Erin's blog tomorrow for the continuation of the tour. Don't forget to comment at as many official tour stops as you can for your chance to win a multitude of prizes!