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The Best Kept Secret Kindle Edition
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|Length: 306 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
We meet Emma as she is in her sophomore year of high school - a year that is pivotal to social status for these kids. As an adult, reading this book brought back the flood of memories, insecurities, and emotions that I went through during those hard years of learning about who I was and what my place was in the craziness of high school.
Wendi's writing style is so smooth, and her character development is on point. Emma is not your typical whiny high school girl; she was very easy to fight for as I was reading. She has a had time finding her way and while sometimes I didn't agree with choices she made, I still fought for her and for the lessons she would learn through this book. Then there was the boys - Deegan and Jesse. While opposite each other on the popularity scale, both play a huge part in Emma's life and it was interesting to see how she would handle them. Then there is Andy, the long time childhood best friend, who is also struggling through changes in relationships... and Emma's female BFF, Elsie who brings balance to the whole book.
This book was NOT what I thought it would be going into it.... it is not cute, light-hearted and sexy... There is a very serious line underneath the story and some bigger, more serious things come to light - some secrets aren't worth keeping... that's all I'm going to say.
The first half or a bit more of the story was your typical contemporary young adult novel with romantic entanglements, unrequited crushes, and friendship troubles. Nunnery did a great job fleshing out the way Emma felt about Deegan, as well as the way she started to come to terms with her feelings for Jesse. Since Deegan was good friends with Andy, Emma got to spend more time with him, and the way she saw him act around Jesse made her begin to think twice about what kind of a person he truly was. The uncomfortable nature of his remarks about Jesse being gay, which had never been overtly stated by Jesse or anyone else at that point, were a sense of foreshadowing in the worst possible way.
When Emma is asked to the prom by Deegan, her heart leaps, partly because she hopes to be able to see Jesse there. Her emotions toward both guys lead her to a trainwreck of troubles at the prom, starting with a conversation she was clearly not meant to overhear between two people she thought she knew – or at least hoped she did. The conversation brings to light realizations that are not at all pretty, and which send the story into a downward spiral of uncertainty over what will happen next, and what should be done about what Emma now knows.
The barrage of 'what if' scenarios and revelations of truths that permeated the storytelling were rife with emotion. Any reader who doesn't feel a slew of emotions ranging from happiness to hope to anger and disgust, on to animosity toward anyone who has suffered at the hands of a bully will find this story compelling and relatable, despite the host of emotions plaguing them as they read it.
Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen,' A Young Adult Novel
I found myself both angry with the author, but also admiring her bravery in exposing realities without any bit of sugar coating. I wanted a happy ending. I hated the ending because it just felt needlessly devastating. But of course, that is life. I think she did the right thing by not taking the easy route and giving us the fantasy ending we would all hope for. I'm sure she knew we would hate her for it, but she remained true to the realities of the world and characters she created. That is good writing!
I deeply cared for the characters in this book, even though there were times I didn't like them or their actions very much. I wanted to shake the protagonist for missing what was so obvious to the readers, but I could also relate to her naivety from my own adolescent years. Honestly, I didn't feel much connection in the best friend relationship of Andy and Emma. It didn't seem believable to me. Also, I feel like it's rare that teenagers of the opposite sex could actually be best friends without having feelings for each other. She alluded to that possibility a couple times, but again, I didn't feel it. I was much more invested in Emma's relationships with the other characters.
I find myself still thinking of the characters and wondering what they're doing or how they're feeling...even though I know the book is over! That's a good indication of how much I enjoyed this book! I will definitely be recommending The Best Kept Secret to my friends! It's a quick read, but will leave a lasting impression. I'm eagerly awaiting more from Wendi Nunnery!