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Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
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Keeping You a Secret (2003)

by Julie Anne Peters

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I personally hated this book. I think some of it was I just couldn't relate. But also it was too typical. The girls were basically stalkers and the one was a cheater. I have nothing against gays but I don't like reading this type of book. Not my style. ( )
  AngelaRenea | May 12, 2014 |
After reading this book, the hype around it has me perplexed. I was expecting a poignant coming of age tale about sexual identity, but just hours after finishing the book the story and characters are fading from my memory. The writing is juvenile, like something that should have been kept in a journal, and the characters are so stock and one-dimensional that empathy for them is hard to muster. You have the popular girl, the fiercely out lesbian, and a laughable "Goth" stepsister who is used to associate the subculture erroneously with Columbine and disparage it completely.

No one in the story really develops or grows as a character besides the main character realizing she's a lesbian, but that's a given. You would expect more from a young adult novel so often compared to Nancy Garden's wonderful book Annie on My Mind, but perhaps such a comparison only arises because this subject matter is a glaring void in young adult fiction. This book does little to help that. ( )
  poetontheone | Jan 21, 2014 |
"They got it wrong when they called it 'the closet.' This was a prison. Solitary confinement. I was locked inside, inside myself, dark and afraid and alone." (p. 213)

Keeping You a Secret is a good young adult novel about coming out - the joys and the dangers and how necessary it is to be true to yourself.

Holland is a high school senior feeling pressured by her mom into choosing what university she will go to. She has a boyfriend, Seth, but she doesn't really connect with him and clearly doesn't enjoy the sex she is having with him. She has friends but she feels disconnected from them, and she's taking a lot of classes but the only one that she seems to enjoy is art - a waste of time, according to her mother.

Then Holland meets the new girl at her school - beautiful, confident, out-and-proud lesbian Cece. Holland finds herself obsessed with Cece without fully understanding her feelings for the other girl. When she finally acknowledges her feelings and her desires, she is confused when Cece makes her promise not to come out as a lesbian - she is worried for Holland's safety and other, more personal reasons that become revealed later. Holland feels terribly conflicted about keeping the secret, she wants to come out to her friends and be true to herself. But even without officially "coming out" people start to learn about Holland, and she faces things she never had to before - bullying, name calling, friends turning on her and most heartbreaking of all, her own mother kicks her out of the house.

I thought the first half of the novel was slow-going, but by the half-ways through point things really picked up. When Holland's mother kicked her out it broke my heart, but I really loved seeing how Holland preserved, stayed true to herself and managed to find her own way (with Cece's help) to continue on in her new life.

Also, I really, really liked Holland's stepsister, Faith, a fifteen year old goth girl who doesn't get on well with Holland's mom, either. At first Holland views Faith as some kind of freak and doesn't give her a chance. I really liked seeing, over the course of the novel, how Holland came to change her views on her stepsister and how their relationship grows.

All in all, a good read. When the story ended, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters. Will be looking for more books by this author. ( )
  catfantastic | Aug 31, 2013 |
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Holland is a typical senior - great grades, college aspirations and a steady partner. Everything changes one morning though when a new person at school who has transferred gets a nearb locker. Suddenly Holland's life is changing, everything is falling apart.

I've attempted to keep this review gender neutral, because some of the beginning of the book is based on suspense. I think I've failed, but for me, when I first started reading I didn't know if Holland was male or female - I didn't even know it was queer fiction! I suppose the cover should have given it away to me, but I can't say I pay that much attention most of the time.

Holland is a good character. You feel along with Holland, you worry about Holland, you don't know what is going to happen next! At the same time, Cece seems a little typical, in that she doesn't want to share Holland with anyone else. It is remarkable the level of maturity shown by these two main characters - but perhaps getting a driver's licence at 16 does that to US teens.

Something that irritated me about this book and also Scars, is that the two protagonists have a gift at drawing, and so are able to express themselves in that way. For someone like me, who has never been creative in that way it is difficult to connect with them in quite the same way.

One of the problems I have with this novel it the used of 'she sneered'. Maybe it's a big thing in the US, but every time I read it, I felt myself getting annoyed! And perhaps because I was unfamiliar with it I noticed it every time, and felt it was over-used.

One of the key things from this novel is that coming out is your own choice. It should happen when you feel ready, even if other people don't feel that way. I can understand Cece's misgivings about coming out in a homophobic environment, but sometimes you just have to do it, particularly if you are in love and young.

This has to be one of my most favourite YA queer books of all time. I love it. I can't emphasise the way this book changed my life enough. Every time I read it, I pick up something new. This was the first book by Peters that I read, and it paved the way for the rest of the YA queer fiction I have read.

This is almost certainly teenage fiction only, sadly enough. I feel that most parents would not be comfortable with children reading this book, although I feel that perhaps I would have been ready to read this book at age 11. I think it's likely that girls will be more excited to read this book. It's an essential for people who have questions about their sexuality, or want to understand a queer person better. This book has a set of discussion questions in the back, so you can provoke quite a lively talk if required! Peters has a number of books for younger readers that I believe also comment on important things about life, if you love Peters as much as I do, but want to share it with someone younger. ( )
1 vote Rosemarie.Herbert | Feb 14, 2013 |
I love Keeping you a screct. like my copy of S.E. Hinton's out siders and any one of my Amelia Atwater-Rhodes books and all of myy Vampire Academy books my personal copy of keeping you a secret has joined the self of "read to death" book where all the books have been red to the point of no longer useable and can be quoted verbatem. ( )
  JessicaBadrick | Aug 6, 2012 |
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Dedication
To Sherri for always

And to those who are living out and proud. You are a beacon for others to find their way home.
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First time I saw her was in the mirror on my locker door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It was a wobbles-worth book... but I didn't understand the ending. =]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316009857, Paperback)

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden's classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:56 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As she begins a very tough last semester of high school, Holland finds herself puzzled about her future and intrigued by a transfer student who wants to start a Lesbigay club at school.

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