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Book Reviews
June 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Keeping You A Secret – Julie Anne Peters

Holland has it made: she’s pretty, popular, and she’s got Seth – the most popular boy in school – all to herself. Sounds perfect, huh? Well, we all know what happens to perfect stories: they don’t stay perfect for long.

Perfection, though, depends on your perspective.

Enter Cece Goddard. She’s new at school and Holland can’t help but notice her. Actually, Cece makes it her business to ensure that she’s definitely on Holland’s radar. Cece is beautiful, confident, and much to Cece’s delight, Holland can’t stop thinking about her. Cece makes no attempt to hide the fact that she’s gay and when Cece and Holland start spending time together, people start talking.

When Holland breaks up with Seth, people really start talking and suddenly, no one wants to be Holland’s friend anymore. The talk gets back to Holland’s folks and suddenly Holland finds herself without a home. Life doesn’t seem so perfect anymore. Then Holland realises something very important: her life didn’t feel perfect before, either, because things never felt quite right. Although life is tough now, Holland is strong. And she has the support of an awesome girlfriend to help her though her troubled times.

It’s a sad, but true fact, that more than a handful of gay and lesbian teens experience similar circumstances when they finally decide to come out to their friends and family. Books like Keeping You A Secret offer these people hope: there is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel. Holland’s lesson resonates clearly and I’m sure is one that queer teens everywhere (and adults, for that matter) could relate to: if you’re true to yourself, real happiness will always ensue one way or another.

I long for the day when books containing gross acts of homophobia, like that displayed by Holland’s parents, are a shocking and unacceptable occurrence. While Western society has come a long way in these kinds of matters, we still have a hell of a long way to go.

Julie Anne Peters is a National Book Award Finalist and a gifted writer that has touched the hearts of many.

Rating:: ★★★★☆

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11 Comments

  • I own this one and love it. Julie Anne Peters is a fantastic writer and I can’t wait to read here new book coming out “Rage: A Love Story”

  • Read this book and I thought it was great and utterly disgusted by some character’s homophobia, you’d think by now people would be over it!

  • I know Lilibeth, it’s sad isn’t it? I’m on a mission to find a ya book for queer teens that doesn’t have lots of homophobia in it…

    David Levithan is the only writer I’ve found so far (I think).

  • I absolutely LOVE this book. Julie is a fantastic writer, I own all of her books. This one, by far, is my favorite. I’ve read it eleven or twelve times. The story is extremely relatable and gave me a sense of belonging in this world.

  • I absolutely adored this book :) It convinced me not to keep my sexuality a secret. It taught me what to do and what not to do in coming out, and it definitely showed me that it’s not always that bad being gay. All of Julie’s books are amazing. I’ve read every single one and plan on reading her new books the day they come out.

  • Aww Krista, that’s a lovely story. I’m so pleased that you’ve reached those conclusions about your sexuality and I reckon Julie would be touched to know that you feel this way. She’s been lurking around the site a bit lately, so I’m sure she’ll see your comments.

  • I read this book and I thought it was amazing. I my self am not gay and I dont really know any gay or lesbian people but it really touched me. Usually it takes alot for a book to make me cry but when her mother first found out I was so devestated for Holland. Great book.

  • I absolutely love this book! The fact that when i got it my mom kinda freaked out made me so mad becuz as i was reading my mom totally reminded me of Holland’s mom…and that’s not right.I’ve had talks with her and expressed my views on gays and lesbians and she’s been softening up a bit.I personally am not gay but i can understand the difficulty of acceptance.People should be more open minded about sexuality and i think Julie deffinately got that message out. I love all her books and i hope to read more of her books in the future!

  • I love this book sooooo much!!! At the time I was reading KYAS I was questioning my sexuality, and it just got me thinking… I could totally relate to Holland. And I am now proud to say that I am a lesbian. And this amazing book helped me figure that out. It seriously changed my life. Love it 😀

  • i loooved this book i think there should be a movie made.. it should star me as cece though because the way holland described her looks like me.. i have a freckle or mole above my lip, same eye color and we are similar in actions and moods and sense of humor and girls think im sexxy but i have short hair!!

  • hey, until what chapter is this book? ive downloaded an ebook, and i just finished reading this. and i think the ending was hanging. the last word was “undeclared”. is that the ending of it? i dont think so.

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