Get a The Secret Year bookmark! Details at the end of this post.

Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party. I didn’t get to see her that night. I used to meet her on Friday nights, but I was never invited to the parties that she was invited to. We’d meet on the banks of the river, clutch at each other in the backseat of her car, steam up her windows and write messages and jokes to each other in the fog on the glass, and argue about whether to turn on the A/C. Sometimes we swam in the river late at night when the water was black and no one could see us. We did all that for a year, and nobody else knew.

There were a couple of reasons we never told anybody about us. For one thing, she lived up on Black Mountain Road, in a house that was five times as big as mine. With servants. And a computerized alarm system that looked like it should’ve been running the space program instead of protecting one house. At my place, we just had a sign my father tacked up in our yard that said TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT.

Excerpt© 2010 Jennifer Hubbard

About the book:

After his secret girlfriend’s death, seventeen-year-old Colt finds the notebook she left behind, but he is unprepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship.

What people are saying:

“With this debut novel, Hubbard has crafted a fine addition to the pantheon of YA literature.”—Booklist

“In this provocative debut novel, the relationship described–told in flashbacks and journal entries–is both tortured and electric, the teens as perfect together as they are absolutely wrong for one another.”—School Library Journal

“[a] moving portrait of grief and the sharp societal lines that divide.”—Publishers Weekly

Released: Paperback Dec. 23, 2010 (Hardcover was Jan. 7, 2010)

About the author:

Jennifer R. Hubbard lives and writes near Philadelphia, PA. She is a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through, a chocolate lover, and a hiker. She has written short fiction as well as the contemporary young adult novel The Secret Year (Viking). Visit her online at

Want a bookmark?

Email your mailing address to: jennifer[at]jenniferhubbard[dot]com.