Tell Me a Secret

Tell Me a Secret

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 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.

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

About 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.

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.”

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Tell Me a Secret 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
A_Good_Addiction More than 1 year ago
Emotional, tumultuous and encapsulating, Tell Me A Secret will slip the reader into Rand 's world from the start. Cupala has an astounding ability to infuse emotion in even the most simplest of sentences, forming a very palpable bond between the reader and Rand. The overwhelming sense of loneliness, fear and confusion which penetrate much of this novel will pour into the reader. Pregnant at the start, Rand denies the possibility. Her thought processes and constant deals- if I haven't started by this event, then I'll take a test- strike the teenage mindset from the start. Rand 's intelligence comes across but the immaturity inherent with her age mingles comfortably with it. Her refusal to acknowledge certain situations and turning a blind eye to obvious clues also plays into not only her age but her character. Her reasons for doing things run years back and a large part of the story is Rand coming to terms with everything that's happened over those years. Through well placed flashbacks, smooth transitions between past and present, and striking scenes, not only is Rand's relationship with Kamram explained but her memories of her sister and the very rocky relationship between Xanda and their mother. Rand's own rebellion, anger, and hurt run deep, spilling out in unexpected places. With each new curve thrown at her, Rand matures a little more and her overall character development is phenomenally handled. Her resistance to some of the changes keeps the reader in the teenage mindset while still holding, overall, a more mature and knowledgeable tone. Rand's sense of fear and uncertainty is magnified by her home life, two parents who exist separately in the same house. Torn apart by Xanda's actions and death, Rand 's house has not provided much haven for her in years. Her mother is overbearing, controlling, and made from steel. Her father is quiet, shouldering far more guilt and burden than he deserves, and seemingly more lost than the mother. Cupala's bold, strong writing brings both parents to life and I found myself disliking them throughout much of the book. Though their own reasons could be understood, watching Rand 's struggles made it hard to empathize with them because they were watching it too. In that fact alone, Cupala showcases her writing talent- but she strengths it more when she brings sympathy to these characters at surprising but well placed times. Also notable, the darker side of Rand is portrayed, from her bullying ways to her harsh treatment to a former best friend but again, Cupala does not excuse or justify. She simply puts it on display, letting the reader make of it what they will rather than trying to force their opinion. A large part of this style comes from the events Rand is going through, some of which even women prepared for pregnancy never face. She is forced to grow up quickly and handles it as smoothly as possible. Cupala shows this development and change in mindset, allowing Rand to acknowledge things she's done while also having a new found ability to see an overall picture. The plot is a whirring one, prevalent on the emotional atmosphere and playing out a potent path that can happen with teenage pregnancy. Cupala very smoothly brings to the light the notion that a teen pregnancy impacts many people and the way those people handle it impact the pregnant girl.
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
TELL ME A SECRET, by Holly Cupala, was a sensational story about teenage pregnancy and the impact it has on everyone involved. Cupala creatively weaved the past and present into one intriguingly original tale. Each chapter dug a little deeper into this family's tragic past as the present situation unfolded keeping me guessing until the very end.I immediately became emotionally connected to the characters in this book. Mandy was an amazing heroine. Since Xanda played the role of rebel while Mandy was the angel, her being pregnant escalated the tension at home. But Mandy dealt with her church-going mother and workaholic father the best she could. Kamran was definitely a change in pace as a not-so-typical love interest. His shady relationship with Mandy's best friend, Delaney, made my heart ache for Mandy, who was dealing with so much on her own. And Delaney... I don't know anyone who will read this book and not want to smack her. She was such a drama-queen, and I don't know how Mandy was able to stay friends with her for so long. I suppose it was because Xanda's death truly changed who Mandy wanted to be and what life she would make for herself. Even with the many strikes against Mandy, she succeeded in staying honest with herself and always tried to do what was right.Cupala composed such an heart-rendering book. Specific scenes that come to mind was the night Xanda died and the entire time that Mandy was in the hospital. After finishing the book, I took a deeper look into the title and its meaning. There were so many instances of secrets being kept and exploited it was astonishing. Each new revealing secret was bigger than the previous and it's what made this book pretty fantastic.
AyleeArgh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In short: Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala is a touching read with characters that are sure to insight a strong reaction.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!
YAaddict on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Teen girl gets pregnant is not a new concept. Neither is teen girl loses her sister. But Cupala's writing is so poignant and capturing, it was like seeing the concept for the first time all over again. I could seriously go on and on about the writing. Cupala had me from the first page. I meant to only read a few pages for moving on to chores, but I ended up sitting on my couch with the book in my hand as I devoured it all at once. Now, it's not one of those books that you can just kick up your feet and relax. The emotions are high. The characters feel so real, especially the main character, Miranda. There were times where I got so mad I wanted to slap someone. Then I would be so sad I'd be wiping the tears away. Everything Miranda felt, I felt.Miranda, or Rand, was an exceptional character. Her voice was real. Her pregnancy felt real. Being a mom of two, I could totally understand and empathize for what Rand was going through. Of course, I had it nowhere near as difficult as Rand did. She was basically on her own throughout her whole pregnancy. Her mom and dad were the poster child of how not to act when your teen gets pregnant. The baby daddy (Hehe, baby daddy) was a complex character that I kept going back and forth about. Delaney is every teen girl's nightmare. Her voice was just as whiny and annoying as girls like that are too. Every time she did something else to Rand, I was mentally sticking another pin in her voodoo doll. I liked the mystery behind Rand's sister, Xanda's death. I knew there was more to it, and I couldn't wait to find out what. When you look at Tell Me a Secret as a whole, there wasn't that much action in it. But I was so invested in the characters, and the writing was so addictive, that I found myself flipping the pages just a fast as I would with an action filled book. The ending was wonderful. I loved how it all came together. I was ready to run out and find a newborn to cuddle. This is an amazing debut by Cupala. I am really looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next. If you are a fan of realistic fiction, you definitely don't want to miss this one.
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not a fan of books about pregnancy. This is mostly because they make me cringe and never want to have children. Ever. Luckily, Tell Me a Secret focuses not so much on pregnancy, but more on its consequences and how it changed the main character¿s life (and also, how the main character confronts her past).Miranda¿s struggle was not only believable; it was powerful. Her emotions were so easy to feel as a reader, and the last hundred pages, especially, were gripping. I could not believe all the obstacles that popped up in Miranda¿s path, and although she was realistically flawed, she managed to somehow overcome each of them in her own way. I felt so relieved and happy when something finally went right in her life. (Seriously, I couldn¿t believe that Miranda¿s life was so stinking awful! I felt so bad for her!)The storytelling in Tell Me a Secret was really nice, too. The readers are left in the dark about certain things, which makes it easier to get inside Miranda¿s head. There are all kinds of secrets being kept, and the way they were revealed was very smooth. The subplots all worked themselves out beautifully, and the main issues did as well.Tell Me a Secret managed to be an issue book without becoming preachy. It didn¿t tell the reader to never, ever have sex, but through the story encouraged being oneself and having faith in the face of adversity (Miranda is my freaking hero. She got through so much! Let¿s all follow her example! Except maybe not the pregnancy bit.).So! If you¿re looking for a contemporary novel with excellent themes and a heroine who has to deal with not only a pregnancy but family (and friendship) issues, Tell Me a Secret is your book. Don¿t let the pregnancy aspect of the story scare you away. It¿s worth the read.
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a heart wrenching book that will be tears to your eyes this is one to pick up.The CharactersI really wanted to like Rand because I felt bad for her losing the sister she idolized and you knew that Delaney wasn¿t going to be a true friend to her but I honestly had a hard time liking her. I think it¿s mostly because she was always hiding her head in the sand and avoided dealing with things that looked her straight in the face like the fact that Kamran wanted to break up with her, that Delaney was playing her, that Essence was really a true friend to her, etc. But I still empathized with her because much of behavior struck me as how a real teenager would behave. Her character seemed so real that you cannot help but feel sorry for her as her mother berates her, abandons her to handle this pregnancy on her own and Rand pretty much becomes a pariah at school.Delaney is your typical spoiled brat who always wants what she should not have and she does not really care who she steps on to get it. In this case she wants Kamran and even though Rand doesn¿t see it it¿s obvious that she¿s going after Kamran with a vengeance. She is not likeable but she serves her purpose in the story well.Rand¿s mom was quite a piece of work. Despite being this huge church goer who supposedly is supposed to be taking the high road she passes judgment on everyone around her and instead of trying to help Rand cope with granted a huge mistake she basically throws her to the wolves. She takes no part in the prenatal care or even making sure Rand gets quality care. Instead she is more concerned with appearances and what people think of them because of this pregnancy.I am ambivalent towards Kamran. This part is some what spoilery so stop here if you don¿t want to know more of the story.**Start Spoiler**I know he is being manipulated by Delaney through much of the story but the fact that he does not want to have anything to do with the pregnancy and even tells Rand he doubts it¿s his baby aggravated me so much. He comes through in the end but as someone who has had stressful pregnancies I know how important it is to have that support and the fact that he doesn¿t provide it just put him on my bad side.**End Spoiler**The Story LineThe plot about teenage pregnancy is nothing new but the way Cupala handled it draws you into the story and doesn¿t let you go. There are so many things going on in Rand¿s life as she has to deal with this pregnancy, losing both her boyfriend and her supposed best friend,becoming an outcast in school and learning the truth about her sister¿s death. `s not surprising that Rand has a mini meltdown in the end and although she comes across as a selfish, whiny little you know what it¿s hard to blame her. My heart was breaking and I had tears in my eyes at the end when she has to deal with the reality of having a baby and especially one with all of the complications she faces.This is definitely a page turner that will be hard to put down.
pgeglein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the book is mainly about Miranda and her secret ¿ she¿s pregnant - Tell Me a Secret is really not about teen pregnancy. Rather, it is about how one family deals ¿ or doesn¿t deal - with the death of Miranda¿s "bad girl¿ sister. Her dad drowns his grief in his work, her mom disguises her grief behind the rigid mask of perfection, and Rand is left to work out her grief on her own. So, Miranda chooses to follow in the steps of her sister in the hopes of finding answers ¿ she changes her name to Rand, she dumps old friends in favor of new, and she meets a boy who she thinks can give her freedom. While Rand is a sympathetic character, especially given her home life, the book straddles a thin line between realism and melodrama as Miranda is shunned by pretty much everyone in her life except for an online community of expectant mothers. Unfortunately, the book heads full-on to soap opera land when she goes into labor prematurely. Cupala handles the reality of the baby¿s birth and precarious future well, but I found it hard to believe that a minor could loiter for months at a hospital without social services stepping in. Still, teens will be drawn into Rand¿s story. The book ends on slightly higher note with the baby bringing healing to the family ¿ a slightly less rigid mother, a slightly more involved father, and more importantly, Rand who has come to terms with the truth about her sister¿s death and has discovered her own path to follow.
pocketmermaid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a disorganized mess. I don't want to rip into this book too much, but I do want to share a few thoughts.The main character was petulant and selfish, which I guess is probably true to how most teens are these days. But that doesn't make for interesting reading. Neither do off-the-wall names, like Xanda, Rand, Delaney, and ESSENCE. Sorry, you can't fool me. I'm not going to think a character is interesting just because she has a bizarre name. And I'm definitely not going to connect with any of these characters either, since most of them had personality changes at the flip of a page. A very uneven read that could've been a 3 star book with a few more edits and changes. Adds nothing new or interesting to the "teen pregnancy" genre. A few issues were left unresolved (sure, that's life, but this is fiction), and none of it felt important enough to care about.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don¿t think it¿s a secret that I read A LOT. If it¿s a particularly good book I¿m reading, I am absolutely swept into it and time passes too quickly. But then I finish the book, sigh and think about how much I liked the book, then move on. There is no moving on from Tell Me a Secret, though. This is, without question in my mind, the most emotionally powerful book I¿ve ever read. EVER. I honestly can¿t even write a review that will adequately convey how intense this book was for me.Tell Me a Secret is a beautiful, perfectly crafted story filled with heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, soul-splintering secrets. Miranda is forced to find her way through the secrets that everyone around her is keeping. As her own secret is revealed, she slowly begins to discover those of her boyfriend, best friend, sister, and parents. My heart ached for her as she had to confront her fears. I wanted so much for her to catch a break, to have someone reach out to her and give her a hug and comfort her, but she was forced to move through a lot of the story on her own.Cupala uses the imagery of labyrinths in the book, and there is no image more fitting of Miranda¿s journey. A labyrinth is used as a place of reflection, but it can also be a place to get lost. Miranda¿s journey in this book forces her to twist and turn, sometimes coming close to where she was mere moments before, but her situation forces her to keep moving forward. As with any labyrinth, she eventually found her way through it, and she was a changed person because of that experience.This book made me cry. It made me want to pull hair out (my own, from the stress, but mostly that of some of the characters). I was disgusted and sympathetic and hopeful. And that ¿ hope ¿is what I was left with. Yes, reading this book was a little like having someone chip away at my heart until it shattered into a million pieces and crumbled to the floor, but it also gathered up all those pieces and glued them back together.Normally this is part of the review when I¿d mention the characters or the pacing. Yes, the characters are amazingly complex and wonderful and the pacing was perfect (I started reading it at 11pm with the intention of reading one, maybe two chapters; almost three hours later I had to force myself to put the book down). But this book is greater than the sum of its parts.Clearly I¿m a fan of this book. There is so much I could say about it, and if I wasn¿t paranoid of giving away anything that will ruin anyone¿s experience of the story when they read it, there are certain aspects of the story (read: people) I could expound upon for pages. But I won¿t.Read the book, okay people? Seriously. It¿s that good.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miranda¿s outgoing older sister Xanda died mysteriously when Miranda was twelve. Since then, Miranda has tried to figure Xanda out, but no one talks about her, least of all her parents, who blame Miranda¿s boyfriend at the time for her death.Miranda has always been the good girl, but when she is offered the chance to have the cool best friend and the ideal boyfriend, she falls into a life that hardly seems like her own, but more like her sister¿s. But then Miranda¿s world is turned upside down when she gets pregnant. Now, Miranda must figure out her own problems, instead of chasing afer her sister¿s.Wow. Just¿wow. An unassuming concept for a story glows in the talented hands of Holly Cupala, who captured my attention on the very first page.Miranda¿s narration is easy on the eyes and mind. Through her, problems that could¿ve been easily overdramatized become painfully real expressions of emotions that anyone can relate to: grief, fear, desire, and more. While there is never much physical movement throughout the story, the emotional arc is so poignant that, towards the end, I found myself bursting into tears at certain lines or gripping the book with shaking hands as I rushed to find out what would happen, if things will turn out alright, in a way that reminded me of the frantic and passionate mood swings of PMS.It¿s true that very little seems to happen, and that Miranda¿s past with her sister doesn¿t entirely convince me that it¿s driving her present-day decisions. Miranda herself is definitely a quiet protagonist, so those who like their female main characters snappier and wittier will not find that here. Still, there is a way about Miranda that endears her to readers, that draws us into her problems and concerns and misconceptions. Quite, ¿good girl¿ Miranda is a fully realized character: we see her flaws but love her all the more for them.TELL ME A SECRET is a heartwrenchingly good contemporary YA read. Holly Cupala proves herself to be a powerful writing force with this one, and I can¿t wait to see what Holly will write next.
Readinista More than 1 year ago
Teen pregnancy is never an easy issue to read about and Miranda¿s pregnancy in Tell Me a Secret is no exception. While Cupala accurately depicts the many challenges of teen pregnancy, she also weaves in an enthralling story that makes you want to keep reading. Five years ago, Miranda¿s older sister, Xanda, died in a tragic accident. Years after Xanda¿s death, Miranda continues to talk about her sister, think about what her sister would and wouldn¿t do, and compare her life to her sister¿s. Between Miranda¿s bad girl best friend and her cute boyfriend, she makes a decision that changes her life forever. Miranda learns she is pregnant and her world begins to unravel. As news gets out about her pregnancy, her classmates, friends, family, and even her boyfriend all look down on her and shut her out of their lives. Her pregnancy becomes the catalyst for resolving many years of problems with her friends and family. As her pregnancy progresses, she uncovers more about her family, the events of her sister¿s death, and ultimately herself. Miranda steps out from her sister¿s shadow and transforms into a strong, confident, and happy person. It was difficult to read about Miranda¿s friends and family turning against her during her pregnancy. I hated it but it is a very much the reality. So often teens are expected and pressured by their peers to be sexually active. Yet, when teenage girls actually become pregnant, they are looked down on, called sluts, and are considered outcasts. If girls do not engage in sexually activity, then they are also criticized, called prudes, and have a hard time finding and/or keeping boyfriends. With these two options to choose from, girls are destined to fail. This fact breaks my heart, and I hope that someday at least girls can give each other a break and be supportive no matter what decisions another girl makes. Tell Me a Secret does not imply or say what I just stated, but it did make me think about the issues behind teen pregnancies. With that said, I have a hard time rating this book. Reading about teen pregnancy is not something I want to do, but this book successfully portrayed the life of a troubled teen, while making me think about difficult issues. And because of that, I recommend this book to all teenagers and even older readers as everyone should understand what it is like to be in Miranda¿s shoes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A_Readers_Record More than 1 year ago
Holly Cupula really pushed the limits with Tell Me a Secret but it was in a realistic, tasteful way. This is one more of my reviews I will be keeping short and sweet, anything more could ruin it. Living in her dead sister's shadow isn't something anyone would want to do, least of all Rand. Not only did Xanda leave her little sister behind but she left behind two parents who were broken and unable, perhaps a little unwilling, to be the parents Rand needed. Despite the dysfunctional family dynamic, ultimately caused by Xanda's behavior and Rand's mother's judgmental ways, Rand lived in the past making moving on with her future, in any capacity difficult. There are many characters introduced to us in this book, each with their own personality and roll in Rand's downfall and comeback. A book where faith is not blind to all and the truth is found in many forms, Tell Me a Secret was eerily realistic in its execution, beautifully written, and a story which isn't sugar coated and no happily-ever-after is guaranteed. I didn't ever feel like I was simply reading Tell Me a Secret, I felt like I was living it. Everyone one of Rand's crazy-overwhelming emotions, the betrayals against her, the uncertainty and the fear. Holly Cupula wielded a hauntingly, heart wrenching story that was meant to touch your heart in a way to make you be appreciative for what you have or have had and take everything else head on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
It's difficult to put into words how I feel about Tell Me a Secret. In a way, it is a great book. It's gripping and emotional; I read it in one sitting, completely unable to put it down. But in other ways, I hated it. I didn't hate the book as a whole, but I found it more than a little difficult to like almost any characters. Miranda, Mandy, Rand to most, is this selfish, self-centered, and immature high school senior who gets pregnant and then loses everything. Her sister Xanda died years ago and she has never really dealt with, never really moved on from it - constantly searching for ways to fill the void that Xanda left. Sometimes, I felt for her, I mourned for her loss and understood her behavior, but most of the time I couldn't understand her problem; how she couldn't see the poison that was her 'friend' Delaney and how her own actions could only be construed as selfish. Sure, her family isn't perfect, her mom seems more than a little crazy, but Rand does so many things that I just couldn't get behind, and she blinds herself to the world around her, ignoring everything and only seeing what she wants to see. And most of the characters were these horrendously vicious people, or just plain mean. I think I need to have someone to connect with in a book, someone to really enjoy reading in order to love a story, and I didn't really find that here. There were brief moments when I thought Rand's dad was going to be the redeeming character of the story, but then he failed me. Just as Rand did, just as Delaney did and Essence, Rand's ex-best friend, did, and just as Kamran, Rand's ex-boyfriend and father of the soon-to-be baby, did. The only person that seemed good in any way, was Shelley, Rand's boss; and maybe Andre, Xanda's boyfriend and the person her mom blames for the death. Holly Cupala's debut novel is a raw and emotional journey of a high school senior dealing with pregnancy, but really, it's about a dysfunctional family dealing with a death that they choose not to acknowledge. And while I didn't love Tell Me a Secret, it is nonetheless a seemingly realistic portrayal of teenage pregnancy in the midst of a world crashing down. Other reviewers have shown outpourings of love for this book, so it obviously appeals to many, it just wasn't for me. Opening line: It's tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl. ~ pg. 1 Favorite lines: "Life is constantly weaving together, and we can look back and see all of the threads. . .We don't always know why things happen until down the road." ~ pg. 251
La_Femme_Readers More than 1 year ago
Tell Me A Secret was a dynamic debut with an emotional, heart-wrenching storyline. Holly's writing provided substance and meaning behind actual, real life issues. Named Miranda as a baby, but known as Rand in her teens was a complex and lost soul. Ever since her sister Xanda passed away, everything turned into shambles. At first, her intelligence and artistic talent was impressive. But, instead of trying to move on, she continued to have her sister's unknown death suck away her existence. Rand wasn't the only one effected by Xanda, her parents grew apart which caused a rift in the family. Her mother dreamed Rand would be nothing like Xanda. In contrast, Rand held a secret that would stand disastrous in her mother's eyes, she was pregnant. The whole journey through Rand's pregnancy was a chaotic roller coaster ride. Kamran, the baby's father wasn't around, while her friends, especially Delaney were turning on her. Ugh, let me not get started on Delaney, she was one evil, backstabbing witch. Overall, the supportive system she needed was lacking. I felt so bad for her until an unexpected person wrapped love and comfort during the hospital scenes. The chapters where Rand was giving birth was beautifully written. Holly created a raw, vulnerable moment that a non-mother could feel. Lexi, like so many other babies, helped Rand understand herself better and gave her a reason to breathe. Also, the element of her sister's revealed death was eye opening. The unexpected and interchanging lives of everyone in this novel was uniquely crafted. I can't stress enough how moving and deeply inspirational Tell Me A Secret was. I am thrilled to see Holly's future mark in the YA industry, her sheer creativity will prove advantageous in her works. This debut not only will attract to teens but adults as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
"Tell me a secret" are some of the last words that Miranda (aka Rand) will hear from her older sister, Xanda (Alexandra). Rand's sister was killed in a car accident. Rand has always been told that Xanda's boyfriend, Andre, was at fault. Like everything in Rand's life, she accepts that at face value and is the good daughter. Xanda was the wild one, running around and dressing provocatively. Things change for Rand when Delaney enters her life. Delaney livens things up for Rand and the two are soon inseparable. Rand meets Kamran Ziyal and has her first boyfriend. She also starts to distance herself from her long-time friend, Essence...mainly because Delaney doesn't like Essence and constantly puts her down. The summer before senior year is when everything changes. Delaney was supposed to go to Amsterdam. Kamran was to be working two jobs and taking classes to help him get into a good school. And Miranda is off to be a counselor at a church camp. When Rand gets home, she can tell something isn't quite right. And to make matters worse, once she gets home from camp, she can no longer put off the frightening fact that she is pregnant. As Miranda tries to get time alone with Karman to discuss the situation, Delaney is constantly there. Through this difficult time, Rand finds herself running into Andre. Now, not only does she have to face the pregnancy, she has to face the truth of Xanda's death. TELL ME A SECRET is a difficult story about falling in love, being betrayed, and facing hard truths. Ms. Cupala writes a brutally honest story that can frustrate and anger the reader, making them side with Miranda through it all and hoping that she manages to come out okay in the end.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Rand's sister died in a car accident years ago. She's never really moved past her sister's death. Instead, she's unconsciously following in her sister's footsteps. She's at camp when she realizes she might be pregnant. After she takes the test, she still can't believe the truth. Rand turns the her boyfriend, whom she hasn't talk to most of the summer, but he's not there. He's starting to avoid her. Rand tells her secret to her two friends, still believing that everything will turn out just fine. She'll get married earlier than planned and they will survive. That's not the case. Soon she's without a boyfriend and her two friends. She's a social outcast. She's a stranger within her own house. Rand knows that she's keeping the baby. She doesn't know how everything will work out or even if it will anymore. All she knows is that she's not giving up or giving in. My Thoughts: WOW! An amazing debut novel. This book is very powerful. I spent half the morning crying over it. It's sad and uplifting at the same time. An amazing tale our a girl trying to life in her sister's shadow but also trying desperately to find herself and her own path in life. I can't wait to see what Holly comes up with next!
CleverlyInked More than 1 year ago
Tell Me a Secret is one book that may have a secret but shouldn't be kept a secret. Tragedy is no secret in Miranda's life. She longs for the essential emotions that parents should provide for their children. So many secrets so many lives touched all because materialism and making sure your appearance is picture perfect. Miranda was self-efficient yet she was unable to help herself in so many ways. Things are said to happen for a reason and in Miranda's case Life happens for a wonderful reason. That life is Lexi her child she fights for courageously. How many obstacle would you go through to prove your worth of that picture perfect life? I have never loved to hate a character so much until I read Delaney's character. I would love to read more about her. She is a chameleon of deceptions that will eat her alive in the end. I had this yearning to smack Kamran and tell him to wake up and be man, but he isn't he is a freaked out and scared teen. His character made the book that much more emotional and passionate. Desperation, longing and a chance to be whole makes Tell Me a Secret a book you will never forget. I know all families have secrets. They can make you or break you. Holly Cupala has created intoxicatingly real story that will soar right to your heart. Tell Me a Secret is one of the must reads of 2010. I loved TMAS!!
Cariblogs More than 1 year ago
Tell me a Secret is the story of Miranda, a teenage girl whose life dramatically changes after the death of her older sister Xanda. Miranda's life spirals out of control without much of a support system. In the darkest moments of her life she finds a reason to be strong. Tell me a Secret will pull at your heart and make you want to hug Miranda. Miranda always saw her sister Xanda as larger than life. Xanda gave Miranda a nickname of Rand, because it has an edgy ring to it. Xanda was the wild child! She dressed provocatively and would sneek out to meet her boyfriend whom her parents would never approve of. When Xanda did come home she would always smell of cigarettes and alcohol. One of Miranda's last memories of her sister is sneaking into Xanda's room to try on one of her dresses. Xanda catches her, but instead of throwing her out she finds it amusing. Miranda tells her sister she has a secret and Xanda promises to share one with her. Miranda finally tells her that she wants to be just like her. Xanda never shared her secret because she died shortly after. Miranda's passion in life is drawing and she hopes to make it a career. After her sister's dead she was determined to be Rand. At the same time Delany, a new transfer student comes to town and quickly becomes Rand's friend. Delaney is similar to Xanda and Rand is instantly drawn to her. Rand also meets Kamran a very cute guy who understand her art. Rand seems to be getting a new life all her own inspired by Xanda. During the summer Rand goes to camp and comes back with her own secret. She tries to find comfort in Delaney and Kamran but instead finds herself alone. Living with her parents after Xanda died felt empty and void of all life. Little does she know that the days of her parents yelling about disappointment are back when they find out that Rand is pregnant. Her mother gives her one choice and Rand choosing not to follow that path leaves her completely alone. A teenage girl who goes from being lost to becoming a mother is not an easy journey, but one that happens so often in real life. Fans of Sarah Dessen will fall in love with Tell me a Secret! I recommend this to mother and daughter duos because there is so much to learn from this book. Holly Cupala is a first time author and did a remarkable job in telling this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingAngel002 More than 1 year ago
This was such a heart-wrenching story. Rand is such a fantastic character. She swept me into her world and wouldn't let me go until I devoured every last page. She's strong and vulnerable at the same time. She's not sure who she truly is, trying to act like her dead sister in order to feel closer to her, she begins to lose the parts of herself that make her, her. When she finds out that she's pregnant, she tries to deny it, until it gets to the point where that becomes impossible. She finally tells 2 friends in confidence, only to be overheard, and before she has a chance to break the news to her boyfriend or her parents, someone else has done it for her. Everyone is in a rage after finding out the way they did, and poor Rand is left to deal with it all on her own. This story was really touching for me, teen pregnancy is a tough subject to broach and Holly Cupala did this with such grace and style. I myself was pregnant at 17, I wasn't treated as harshly as Rand was, but it's a tough thing to go through. I felt her pain and mine all over again as I watched her friends suddenly abandon her. I cried like a baby through some of the more emotional scenes. This was just a story that ate it's way right through to my heart. There was also alot of great supporting characters, Xanda, the sister who died, felt like a real character as you learn the secrets of what really happened to her. Rand's Dad, who can never stand up to her Mom, and blames himself for his daughters death. Rand's Mom, who is harsh and judgmental. The boyfriend, who's confused and scared, and is getting fed alot of false information. The friends, Delaney, who turns out to not really be a friend at all. Essense, who was the former best friend, but turns out to be a better friend than she expected. And my favorite character of all, Shelly, who is Rand's boss at work, and really takes her under her wing. The situations that Shelly has been through reminded me alot of a friend I had when I was pregnant. We were pregnant at the same time, and experienced all of the crazy firsts that go along with that at about the same time. What happens to Shelly happened to her as well, and I was so touched by her character and strength. I just have to thank Holly Cupala for such a wonderful story that I will be thinking of for a long time to come. I recommend this read to anyone and everyone!!