Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Tell Me a Secret
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Tell Me a Secret

4.3 18
by Holly Cupala
     
 

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It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .

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

Overview

It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in Seattle, Cupala's first novel is a cinematic and realistic story concerning high school senior Miranda "Rand" Mathison. It has been five years since the death of her wild older sister, Xanda, and while Rand attempts to set her sights on the future (art school in Boston, her boyfriend) the past keeps pulling her back. "I was left to wonder, what role did Xanda fill that I could not? What secret did she keep? And what path could I take to find it?" When Rand becomes pregnant, her dramatic, controlling mother forces her to choose between considering adoption and starting a work-study program at a bank (which would mean giving up a career in art). Her friends and boyfriend desert her, yet Rand is strong, stubborn, and determined to keep the baby as a way of reconnecting to her sister's spirit. Readers follow Rand's daily struggles through taut, first-person narration, as Cupala skillfully weaves Rand's memories with present action. The sheer number of problematic pregnancies, fraught friendships, and family troubles can make the story feel melodramatic, but Rand is a consistently empathetic heroine. Ages 14-up. (July)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Holly Cupala’s debut novel will be immensely popular among teens. Teen fans will be captivated by the theme of owning your own path, the persistence of life and closure.”
ALA Booklist
“Heartbreaking and hopeful. . . .Teens will be held by the fresh take on the teen-pregnancy plot.”
Ellen Hopkins
“A powerful story of self-discovery, and a brilliant debut novel.”
Deb Caletti
“Tell Me a Secret is a gripping, emotional story about a young girl with a tragic past and an uncertain future. I dare you to set it down during its last hundred pages. I dare you.”
VOYA - Ann Crewdson
Some secrets are best left untold and others need to be exposed, especially if it involves a labyrinth of lies. When Miranda (Rand) was twelve, her sister Xanda died with her shady boyfriend at the wheel. Subversive and daring, her sister was her opposite, but her role model. After Xanda's death, Miranda escapes by drawing labyrinths as an artistic outlet. She meets Kamran—earthy, dark and handsome—who shares similar interests. When Delaney, the dangerously cool new girl, befriends her, Xanda unknowingly puts her boyfriend within arm's reach. Bad luck follows, including losing her best friend, becoming pregnant and enduring town gossip. Miranda resigns to a tortuous path of self-pity, turning to the online BabyCenter to perpetuate her fantasy. Her stubborn resolve to remain misunderstood comes to a climactic end when Kamran witnesses Delaney's icy nature, followed by drama. The need to assign blame, however, forces her to turn people away until a caring adult teaches her the life skills she needs to cope. Holly Cupala's debut novel about a pregnant seventeen-year-old will be immensely popular among teens. Miranda wanting redemption through her pregnancy is troubling at first, but then the plot twists to reveal underlying factors. Teen fans of Sandra Novak's Precious (Random House, 2009) will be captivated by the theme of owning your own path, the persistence of life and closure. Reviewer: Ann Crewdson
Evelyn Baldwin
Miranda Mathison's life is built on secrets. Since the death of her sister Xanda, her family has become separated and withdrawn, each holding beliefs about what really happened the night of the car crash. But Miranda's got a secret of her own: she's pregnant. Without the support of her angry mother and absent father, Miranda has to make an impossible choice. When her best friends desert her, Miranda turns to the only place she can find help—her own secret support system, where no one is as they seem. Tell Me a Secret, the breakout novel by Holly Cupala, takes an honest and unflinching look at the world of teen pregnancy. She faithfully details the pain, frustration, and fear that accompanies Miranda as she struggles alone to make decisions about her world, even as her boyfriend and parents abandon her. Reviewer: Evelyn Baldwin
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—As school begins, 17-year-old Rand knows that she is pregnant. She wants to tell her boyfriend, but after being away at camp all summer she doesn't feel as close to Kamran as she once did. Making matters worse, she is increasingly certain that he is dating her best friend behind her back. Because of this, Rand is all but cut off from her social group, and her controlling mother and emotionally absent father, still reeling from the death of their other daughter five years earlier, don't offer any emotional support either. When she decides to keep her baby, her parents force her to give up her dreams of art school to get a job. Just when everything seems like it couldn't possibly get any worse, Rand faces the dangerously early birth of her baby. In the end, she discovers not only who her true friends are, but also the truth about her sister's death. Along with a rekindled relationship with her parents, these facets of the story contribute to a somewhat resolved ending, though not much positive happens during this bleak novel. Even if other characters are not outright mean to her, almost no one treats Rand with any kindness. Some may appreciate Cupala's gritty realism, but others will find this overwrought book a real downer.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061766664
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/22/2010
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

What People are saying about this

Deb Caletti
“Tell Me a Secret is a gripping, emotional story about a young girl with a tragic past and an uncertain future. I dare you to set it down during its last hundred pages. I dare you.”

Meet the Author

Holly Cupala is the author of Tell Me a Secret. When she isn’t writing or making art, she explores Seattle with her husband and daughter. A portion of her proceeds goes toward helping sexually exploited girls around the world.

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