August 09, 2010


Young Adult
Hardcover, 281 pages
August 3, 2010 (in stores now)

From Amazon:

Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

The cover: The colorful cover caught my attention. That, and the fact each girl is a different color. Upon reading, I liked the cover even more because I realized each color fit the girls' personalities/powers perfectly.

The book: I hadn't heard of Benway's debut, AUDREY, WAIT! when I signed up to read this ARC. You can bet AUDREY is on my to-read list now. I read the majority of SECRETS in one late-night sitting, engrossed in April's mysterious vision and how it would play out.

The dialogue has a JUNO-esque snappiness that, while sometimes bordering on unrealistic ("Whoa, Nellie!"), works for these quirky sisters. Their vocabularies are impressive, and it's refreshing to read about smart girls. Each sister has a unique perspective, all very relatable.

Another refreshing aspect is the parents, who are flawed and yet still loving, responsible people. I also liked how nearly every character is composed of shades of gray. Some you like, some you don't, but even with the less likable ones, you understand why they act the way they do.

The only thing I had mixed feelings about was the sisters' names. I was intrigued by reading about sisters named April, May, and June; it's one of the reasons I gave the book a second look. However, when all three sisters were together (especially in the beginning), I sometimes found it difficult to keep track of who was who. The gimmick (if that is what Benway intended it as - who knows, maybe she just likes those names) did its job in drawing me in, but in the end, I found it unnecessary. The girls could've been called anything and the story would still be equally engaging. I did appreciate little sister June giving her mother heck about their unusual names, though (as well as her mother's quick-witted answer).

Especially recommended for: lovers of contemporary YA with a spark of the fantastic, people who like Diablo Cody's JUNO, snappy dialogue, sisterly stories, or Benway's AUDREY, WAIT!

ARC courtesy of Traveling ARC Tours.


Rachel Bateman said...

Yay! I can't wait for my turn to read this one. I LOVED Audrey Wait so SO much, so I have been waiting for this one for a long time. I am glad you liked it.

Debbie Barr said...

I was also rather intrigued by the cover, and I'm glad to hear the story was good! I'll have to check it out one of these days. :)

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