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.
When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She 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.
Title: Tell Me a Secret
Author: Holly Cupala
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Source: Bought. This review is part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour. Tour details can be found here.
My rating: 5/5
Miranda is trying to live her life as close to normal as she possibly can. With her sister's death five years ago, everything changed, and she can't help but wonder what secrets her sister had been hiding. Now, Miranda's life is about to change again. When she finds out that she's pregnant, she'll need to make a choice. Will she be strong enough to weather the consequences of her decision?
I was completely in awe while reading Tell Me a Secret. With rich and illustrious characters, to a well structured plot, it had everything and more. Cupala is an author to behold. With words racing across every page, enticing the reader in further, it isn't hard to become thoroughly enthralled in the world that Cupala weaves. Her characters are intense, full-bodied, and they jump out of the story. I was passionate in my feelings for them, in regards to outright hatred, and anger at some of the actions of her so-called friends and in the care and concern I felt for others. They brought the story to life in a way I wasn't expecting. Though this story may seem like it's about Miranda, and her having to make a choice about her pregnancy, it is also ultimately a tale of redemption as well.
Miranda is such a realistic character. How many people have been in her place, making the same decision that she has to make. It shows just how hard her struggle is, and the ends that she'll go to to maintain her decision. Tied in with her pregnancy, is the ultimate reality of her facing her sister's death once and for all, and finding out what exactly happened to Xanda. With Xanda's secrets revealed, maybe Miranda can finally find closure. Though her family life is less than ideal, this book shows the poignancy of a family in times of crisis. I started this book outright hating some of the characters, and as I watched them evolve, I found myself reconsidering my feelings towards them. Cupala challenged her characters to show that they are human, and aren't perfect, and as that realization dawned on Miranda, it did the same to me. I can't stress enough how much I loved this book, and how much it challenged my perceptions.
Overall, I can't recommend this book enough. The electricity within the pages sparks almost immediately, keeping the reader attentive as to the outcome. The characters test the boundaries given, but show that behind their masks, there is a depth of emotion, and valid reasons for their decisions. Cupala skillfully weaves a tale of life and death, and the journey one takes when struggling against overwhelming odds. She is an author to watch. With an astounding, inspiring, and solid debut, Cupala makes her mark, niching herself a place with the heavyweight contenders of the genre. Tell Me a Secret will resonate with me for a long time to come.