Saturday, August 7, 2010

Queen of Secrets: A Debut Author Challenge Review

Title: Queen of Secrets
Author: Jenny Meyerhoff
Pages: 240
 Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
My Edition: Hardback
Reading Level: Young Adult
Challenge Read For: 2010 Debut Author Challenge
Received From: Henry Holt InGroup

Summary from Goodreads: 
This year, Essie Green’s life is going to be different. She’s made the cheerleading squad and caught the eye of the captain of the football team. However, she didn't expect her estranged cousin to join the football team. Micah is instantly branded a freak for praying during games, and Essie doesn’t want anything to do with him. As the football team’s teasing of Micah shifts into hazing, Essie is forced to make a choice between the boy she might love and the cousin she barely knows.
Queen of Secrets was a sweet and honest novel about a young teen torn between her best friends, her new boyfriend, her cousin and the popular crowd. The characters and storyline were a tad cliche but nonetheless very enjoyable to read about. I finished basically the entire book in a day while at work during breaks and was very sad when I finished, partly because I loved the characters and also because I didn't have anything else to read. The story moved along quickly through Essie's story and her many secrets and troubles. The ending ended a little too perfectly, but I liked that Essie, her friends, and her family were all happy and that she no longer had to keep any more secrets.

I liked Essie's character, but at some points I just didn't understand how she could be such a follower, naive, and secretive mainly about keeping that the weird, new kid is actually her cousin. She is a good girl but just makes several mistakes along the way of growing up. I liked the relationship between Austin and Essie a lot because Austin always was loyal and kind and also very different than the popular crowd. The back story of her family and dead parents was very troubled and sad, and I could never imagine going through both parents dying then growing up with my grandparents as my guardians.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading about all the great characters and story. I recommend Queen of Secrets to anyone looking for a fast paced, relatable, and fun story with some high school relationships and cliches. Meyerhoff's debut YA novel was a pleasant surprise, so I'm looking forward to hopefully more YA novels by her soon! 


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