Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Best Kept Secret - Review

Author: Wendi Nunnery
Publication Date:  June 2, 2015
Publisher:  BookFish Books
Genre:  Contemporary Young Adult
Age Recommendation: 16 and up
Rating: 3.5/4 Stars ( I am torn)

Book Description:

Emma’s sophomore year started out all wrong. First, her best friend Andy confessed to losing his virginity leaving Emma all alone in the V-Club. Then the rest of her friends got weird and suddenly Emma finds herself feeling like the people she knows best have become total strangers. And total strangers are becoming friends. 

When Deegan Burke, a rich, gorgeous senior, asks Emma to be his date for the prom, Emma thinks her luck has begun to change. But rather than being able to bask in this newfound glory, her whole world starts to unravel. And when secrets that once seemed so innocent start to take a very dangerous turn, Emma discovers that true friends are friends no matter what…and some secrets aren’t worth keeping.

My Review:

So I am going to admit straight off that this is a tough one for me.  This is a emotionally difficult book to finish and it feels wrong to say that I enjoyed the book even though I did because of the storyline.  This is not a pretty story, there is a lot of heart break in this book, a lot of pain.  But, there are also a lot of tender moments, moments of courage and triumph and a lot of love.  

The hardest part for me with this book, the reason that I am struggling in between a 3.5 and a 4 rating is the end.  The very last moment of this book breaks my heart.  I literally felt my breath catch and tears fall and I worry for Emma, this fictional character, because I placed myself in her shoes and know that if this moment in time had ended the way hers did I would carry that with me for the rest of my life.  I would always wonder if things would have been different had I just seen the note, if I hadn't brushed off the question about the books, if I hadn't lied to save face.  

This book is a conglomeration of what-if's for me.  What if Emma had truly listened, what if Andy wasn't such a jerk, what if they spoke up sooner, what if he'd just said something.  I suppose in reality that is the way of life, we can always go through it wondering what-if, but it was so hard to 'watch' all of these subtle moments happen, moments where a life could have been changed and no one took the effort to do it.  

I struggled with the best friend relationship between Emma and Andy, mainly because it really felt like Andy was a bit of a jerk and I couldn't understand why Emma would put up with that.  Now he's a 16 year old guy so I suppose some of the jerk attitude has an excuse, but not all of it.  And I pray that my two children don't treat each other they way Andy and his brother do (particularly the way Andy treats his brother) when they are high-schoolers.  I guess it comes down to me not being a big Andy fan any way you look at it.  I did however really like Emma's female best friend, Elsie.  Although she is hiding a secret from Emma it is clear that she really cares for her and wants the best for Emma.  I don't always get that feeling with Andy and I wish I did because they have been friends for so long.  

Another aspect I really liked is the relationship between Emma and her parents.  She has a very open (yet we aren't talking parent as the best friend kind of thing) relationship with her parents.  They are allowing her to grow into herself and find her path while being there to guide her and discipline her when needed.  I think it is the kind of relationship most parents hope to have with their teenage children, one of trust and respect on all sides.  

I think that this is a worthy book, it is a read that could really change someones life if picked up at the right moment.  It is a tough read, my chest hurts just sitting her thinking back on the story, don't be afraid of it, but do bring your tissues.  The true secret in the story doesn't happen till the last quarter of the book so there is a long build up and a lot of discussion about sex so this is a book for mature teens and adults.  The bullying aspect in this book is painful to 'watch' and something that I think we all pray never happens, but deep down we know things like this occur which is what makes this book so important.  It is a intimate and real look at teenage life and how bullying whether it is as severe as in this book or not affects more than the person being bullied.  It is also a reminder that we have to speak up, that we have to listen to our friends and family with open ears, hearts, and minds.  We can't make assumptions, but we can try and talk to each other and if we do know something is happening we don't wait for someone else to talk about it.  

This is a book that will leave a mark and while it is a painful mark to start with due to the story I think that it is a mark that can change a person and hopefully open our eyes to what is happening around us.  

I'd like to leave you all with this link (Just click on the words YOU MATTER) and ask that if you are ever feeling uncertain about living or if you as a friend or family member are worried about someone that you check out The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  Don't wait, because waiting may be to late.

Author Bio:

Wendi Nunnery is the author of The Mayfield Family Story. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and The Simply Beloved, a lifestyle website for women of faith. She is a proud alumna of Georgia Southern University and, at any given time, you can find her with a cup of coffee and a book. She lives, loves, and mothers in Atlanta, Georgia. The Best Kept Secret is her first novel.

Find her online:

No comments:

Post a Comment