Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala

Book Summery:
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 wo
rst 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 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.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
This is one fast-paced, emotional roller coaster from page one. Told through the main character's, Miranda (Mandy), voice. Mandy lives in the shadow of her sister Xanda, who is already dead at the beginning of the story. Mandy struggles with making decisions in various avenues in her life, constantly thinking "what would Xanda do?" At first, Mandy seems to be a quiet, heavily influenced character, who often lets others make decisions about herself, without bothering to correct or clarify their suspicious. This really frustrated me, as I watched Mandy silently suffer, yet take very little action on her behalf. In Cupala's website, she talks about using dichotomy in her writing. At first, I could sense was a feeling of unease and confusion in regards to Mandy; wanting so desperately to be carefree like her sister, but heavily influenced by the rigidity of her mother. Once I read about Cupala using dichotomy, everything clicked into place. I reflected back to my previous observation and used dichotomy to clarify the situation. It seemed more like Mandy felt she had to choose to either be like her mother or sister, instead of opting to be her own, individual self. Once Mandy becomes pregnant, she slowly, but progressively becomes less passive and more assertive. It's this journey that intrigued me the most. This is definitely a coming-of-age tale, where the main character must learn to find her own voice and make it count. I hungrily await more of Cupala's books!

Favorite Quote:
"It's tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl. It's like living at the foot of a mountain blocking out the sun, and no one ever thinks to say, 'Damn, that mountain is big.' Or, 'Wonder what's on the other side?' It's just something we live with, so big we hardly notice it's there. Not even when it's crushing us under it's terrible weight." (p.1)

Cover Art Commentary:
The cover art definitely coveys a feeling of intrigue, and mystery. I mean who doesn't love a good secret?! ;)

Overall Rating:


  1. I keep hearing amazing things about this book. And Holy is SO darn cool. Thanks for the review. You've been on a very cool darker serious mode with The Replacement, Beautiful Creatures, and now this one :) Great post! I always really enjoy your reviews.

  2. I loved TMAS. I remember crying s much when i read it and its one of the most heartwretching books I read this year.

  3. @Juju
    You are so incredibly sweet! Thank you for the kind words! :) Also, I agree...I've kinda been on a darker series mode. :P

    It's really a fantastic read! :)

  4. I didn't think this one would appeal to me but you make it sound like something I should read. Nice to have a character grow so much in a novel. Thanks!

  5. This sounds like it could be quite an interesting read.

  6. Ive had this sitting on my shelf forever....Im going to read it this weekend after that review..:D