Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: Keeping You a Secret

Title: Keeping You a Secret 
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publisher: Little, Brown 2005
First read: February 3rd, 2011
Page total: 250 pages
Genre(s): Serious Issues; Young Adult; Realistic Fiction

Synopsis: When the hard-working, council-running, stressed-out-because-she-doesn't-know-what-to-do senior Holland Jaeger meets the transfer student Cecilia "Cece", she is instantly intrigued by her and is puzzled about her sexual preference. What about her year-long relationship with Seth? What is she now? Gay? Bi? Questioning?

It is palpable from the very first page that Cece is an out-of-closet lesbian. And Holland seems to be straight on the outside. I mean, she's been dating this Seth guy for a year - they even have had sex. So why does Cece have this impact on her?
I was, admittedly, intrigued. I thought people know when they are gay. I even considered Holland being bi. She did, too. The readers accompany Holland as she struggles to find out who she is, what she wants and how she should act on it - it was heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

To be totally honest -which I'm intending to do nowadays- I had trouble reading this book. Not because it was boring. Not because I feel uneasy with the topic GLBTQ. But because it felt so real. I felt the pain Holland must be suffering from and I felt like I had this lump in my throat. As if I was chocking. I felt the hope Holland felt when she was Cece, the joy. It was as if I were inside her head, experiencing everything with her. And she's so brave. Stubborn, brave, and kind-hearted. She loves childeren. My heart broke when she thought about not being able to have children and about wanting to raise children with somebody she loves.

I don't know anyone in my circle who's gay - or maybe they haven't come out yet, because of the same reason as Holland's: They haven't met someone who sets off this sparkle yet. Who knows? Maybe Holland would have stayed with Seth forever if not for Cece.
I know some people believe being gay is something wrong and dirty - just like Holland's mother does. But it's not. I'm not gay so I can't tell you how it feels to be in love with a girl but does it matter? Why should it matter if you are in love with a girl or a boy? Why should someone else care? Why shouldn't you be allowed to love someone you loves? Now that's twisted. Nobody can force people who are gay to "become straight". It'd be like as if all straight people were forced to become gay.

Love is something beautiful. Something glorious. I could totally understand Holland's best friend Leah when she said: "I hate [Cece]. (looking at Holland's expression) I don't mean that. I'm insanely jealous. I can't even imagine how it would feel for someone to love me that much."


Michelle said...

I really enjoyed this book as well. Definitely an important topic to be written about.

Zakiya LadyWings said...

Awesome review, Ginny! :D

Ginny said...

@Michelle: Yep, I agree. Most people tend to avoid this kind of topic... that should change!

@Z: Thanks ^-^

Stray said...

wow great review, i can't even think of anything else to say

Ginny said...

From you, that's enough! :D

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