Home       About Me       Review Archive

Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: June 22, 2010
Pages: 256
Source: iTunes Audiobook Podcast
Read by: Jenna Lamia
Rating: 4 Stars - I Loved It!

Tell me a secret, and I'll tell you one… 
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. 
Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

In short: Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala is a touching read with characters that are sure to insight a strong reaction.
Before you read this review I implore you to watch this AMAZING book trailer for Tell Me a Secret. It is probably my favourite book trailer ever.

I am not a big contemporary reader. Nor would I say I have ever had an interest in reading a book about teen pregnancy. But I found that despite this I really enjoyed this book. This may be because Tell Me a Secret was about much more than teen pregnancy which we find out when we delve into the complicated life of Miranda Rand Mathison.

The thing that struck me the most about this book were its well developed characters. Characters that were able to insight a very strong reaction out of me. Some characters were utterly engaging, others utterly infuriating. One character in particular actually made me so angry I wanted to strangle her: Delaney, Rand's new best friend, was just such a - ugh! - female dog! Major kudos to Cupala for creating an antagonist that was able to get my blood boiling. An antagonist hasn't created such a strong emotion of hate in me since the last time I reread Order of the Phoenix. (Keenan doesn't count because I believe Melissa Marr intended for him to be a likeable and sympathetic character; I just didn't agree).

And at the same time that I hated Delaney, I loved and sympathized with Rand in equal amounts. Especially near the end of the story, things get so bad for Rand that I just ached for her. She hits such a low point in her life and I wanted so badly for her to make it through all of her problems. She was such a relatable and realistic character. You just can't help but root for her.

A note on the audiobook: Fantastic! Jenna Lamia did a brilliant job with all the voices of the characters. I will for sure be looking into whether she has ever done any other audiobooks because I would love to hear more from her. This audiobook is available as a podcast on iTunes for free but from what I understand, it's for a limited time only. I strongly recommend that you download it while you can!

Other Reviews:

Stalk the Author (not for serious):

*The Letter T in the A-Z Reading Challenge


  1. I have this one in my TBR pile right now. I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks for the heads up on the audio book. Definitely gonna go check that out now! Oh and I agree that is the best book trailer I've ever seen. It actually convinced me to read the book! (unlike other book trailers that have detered me. :P)

  2. Sounds great. It's wonderful, in a way, when a book inspires such strong emotions. An author really has to do a good job to create a villain who isn't laughably cardboard evil or blase boring.
    Out of curiosity, who do you hate more - Umbridge or Bellatrix? I think I hate Umbridge more than Bellatrix. I think Umbridge's evilness is outdone only by Voldemort, even though Umbridge is nominally on the side of the good. Bellatrix is a horrible person yet you also see her somewhat human side in how she is in love with Voldemort (as awful as that is)

  3. I love the book trailer. Great review. I'm downloading the podcast now, it'll give me something to listen to while I'm doing the things I need to do when I am not studying.

  4. This is a book I have seen floating around blogland for a while now, but honestly never really paid much attention to. Not something I would normally read. But after reading your review...I think I might add it to my TBR list. Thanks for the review. :0)

  5. Julia: haha, yes I can think of quite a few book trailers that I haven't liked so much... so much for judging a book by its cover: now I'm judging by its book trailer!

    Alison: Yes, so wonderful! My least favourite villains are the ones that come off as sort of being cartoonishly evil.
    I would say I hate Umbridge more, though Bellatrix is definitely up there. There's something so horrible about Umbridge acting as though she is a moral authority. I swear my blood pressure rises whenever I read about her. She is written so well. Of course no one can top the big bad, Voldie. Bellatrix is just plain cray-cray.

    Sara: Glad I've turned you on to the audiobook! It is just so well done! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Tracy: Not something I would give a second glance to either, honestly. But then I saw it was free on iTunes. I'm so happy I gave it a chance!

  6. The trailer is amazing. I love it. And the character development sounds fascinating. Even when you have negative reactions towards an antagonist, I think it adds just the right touch of needed drama to keep you reading. Yanno?

    I would love to check out the audio book for TMAS. Thanks for the review Aylee. Miss ya.

  7. Love the trailer! It's gorgeous. I'm not a big fan of contemporary novels either. But I like when books have well developed characters. I actually got Tell Me A Secret at the library the other day! Can't wait to read it.

    Btw...love border boxes around the book. I can't figure out how to do that! I was able to make a box and text, but when I added a picture it was in the middle of the box.

  8. Missie: Definitely. I hated Delaney but I loved hating her if that makes sense. She definitely brought the drama fo' sho'. I highly recommend the audiobook!

    Julie: I really loved the characters (even the ones I hated!). They were so well done. Interested to read you thoughts on this one!
    The boxes: they turned out to be easier to make than I thought. I don't know why the picture would show up in the middle of the box for you. When I did it, I aligned the picture to the left and the box just magically wrapped around the picture which was neat.

  9. I don't read too many books involving teenage pregnancy either but added this one to my wishlist after I saw some good reviews for it. I love it when books have well-developed characters and can't wait to see whether Delaney elicits the same reaction in me as she did in you.

  10. A Canadian Girl: Interested to see what you think of Delaney too! She really was such a good character for her to be able to illicit such a response out of me.

  11. These were well developed and complex characers. Glad you enjoyed! I did too.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  12. This looks brilliant! Seriously amazing!
    Brilliant review!

  13. Brandi: Yes! I don't think I have seen someone who disliked it actually.

    TheBookAddictedGirl: I definitely recommend it!

  14. hahah I haven't been on your blog in ages, 'sorry' it looks awesome!!! so cute!!! =D

    Really want to read this book as well =D

  15. I haven't been on your blog in ages either! Sorry about that! I'll have to stop in :) And thank you!

  16. I really want this book! It sounds amazing!
    Brilliant review!

    And thanks for your comment on my Mockingjay review! Did I really get all the emotions right? I'm glad if I did!! "Real or not real" is my favourite quote in the books, and I will also always be Team Peeta. Gotta love the boy with the bread. ;)