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TELL ME A SECRET by Holly Cupala

TELL ME A SECRET

By Holly Cupala

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-176666-4
Publisher: HarperTeen

For five years, Rand has been trying to separate herself from her sister’s death and to make sense of it. Her family life, her school life and her interior life have all been largely defined by what isn’t there: her sister, Xanda. Desperate to reinvent herself, Rand distances herself from her controlling mother, her passive best friend and her emotionally detached father. Unfortunately, what she gains—a manipulative friend, a disloyal boyfriend and a positive pregnancy test that sits at the bottom of her book bag—does not outweigh what she lost. Cupala’s strengths include the ability to write compelling dialogue and paint vivid scenes. Alas, these are muddied by a less-than-fresh story; readers will quickly tire of being one step ahead of Rand. Stock characters with predictable quirks further empty the story of its power. An overfamiliar premise and stale particulars combine to create a flat story that never hits its stride. (Fiction. 14 & up)