Read Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala Online

tell-me-a-secret

It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to flyIt's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own.In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future....

Title : Tell Me a Secret
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061766664
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tell Me a Secret Reviews

  • Jenna
    2019-01-24 10:59

    FINALLY DONE! What an EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER journey it has been! Whew! After losing myself in this book, crying my heart out, my ripped and crashed 4-chambered heart is now recovering. The ending whipped up in a nice way. The story kinda reminded me of the 5 stages of grieving. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Though the story didn’t go through all of it, but the thought is that. Rand (Mandy) lived up to her late sister Xanda’s shadow, when she was a live and still after her death. Five years after her sister’s death, she still hasn’t gotten over it. Causing all her relationships with people around her to mess up. I think it’s kind of true that these things happen (especially now, many teenagers get pregnant). She was caught up with her mother’s fake facade plasticness, her father being under her mom’s wing, her trying to be Xanda and Delaney..she getting pregnant. Her pregnancy was wrapped up in depression. She was ALONE. Relying on her fellow mother-to-be online friends and herself. When finally she came around (Andre helped, i think) and started to build up courage and face the truth, that her supposed-to-be friend is the one messing her life (well, most of what’s happening to her in the present, that is), her baby wants to come out. An emotional wreckage, we might call her, but because she came through because of FORGIVENESS. It did a LOT to her and her mom. Turned out she was more like her mom (in attitude and life pattern). It was such an eye-opener for her. That somehow, because of her attitude blaming others and pretentions (to be like Xanda,and forming her own image of Kamran after Andre). The end was really good, lots of RESOLVED issues. With her BFF Essence, her Mom and Dad (view spoiler)[ her dad went away after Rand gave birth, after the opening night of the play(hide spoiler)], her relationship with Kamran coming around (at least, they’re on good terms)..wow. this was just a drama-ful of book. Great story. Lots of things to learn. I loved how somehow Christian/good values were put in it. and it was just great.

  • AngelaM
    2019-01-29 08:04

    This was such a heart-wrenching story. Rand is such a fantastic character. She swept me into her world and wouldn't let me go until I devoured every last page. She's strong and vulnerable at the same time. She's not sure who she truly is, trying to act like her dead sister in order to feel closer to her, she begins to lose the parts of herself that make her, her. When she finds out that she's pregnant, she tries to deny it, until it gets to the point where that becomes impossible. She finally tells 2 friends in confidence, only to be overheard, and before she has a chance to break the news to her boyfriend or her parents, someone else has done it for her. Everyone is in a rage after finding out the way they did, and poor Rand is left to deal with it all on her own.This story was really touching for me, teen pregnancy is a tough subject to broach and Holly Cupala did this with such grace and style. I myself was pregnant at 17, I wasn't treated as harshly as Rand was, but it's a tough thing to go through. I felt her pain and mine all over again as I watched her friends suddenly abandon her. I cried like a baby through some of the more emotional scenes. This was just a story that ate it's way right through to my heart.There was also alot of great supporting characters, Xanda, the sister who died, felt like a real character as you learn the secrets of what really happened to her. Rand's Dad, who can never stand up to her Mom, and blames himself for his daughters death. Rand's Mom, who is harsh and judgmental. The boyfriend, who's confused and scared, and is getting fed alot of false information. The friends, Delaney, who turns out to not really be a friend at all. Essense, who was the former best friend, but turns out to be a better friend than she expected. And my favorite character of all, Shelly, who is Rand's boss at work, and really takes her under her wing. The situations that Shelly has been through reminded me alot of a friend I had when I was pregnant. We were pregnant at the same time, and experienced all of the crazy firsts that go along with that at about the same time. What happens to Shelly happened to her as well, and I was so touched by her character and strength.I just have to thank Holly Cupala for such a wonderful story that I will be thinking of for a long time to come. I recommend this read to anyone and everyone!!

  • Steph Su
    2019-01-17 11:04

    Wow. Just…wow. An unassuming concept for a story glows in the talented hands of Holly Cupala, who captured my attention on the very first page.Miranda’s narration is easy on the eyes and mind. Through her, problems that could’ve been easily overdramatized become painfully real expressions of emotions that anyone can relate to: grief, fear, desire, and more. While there is never much physical movement throughout the story, the emotional arc is so poignant that, towards the end, I found myself bursting into tears at certain lines or gripping the book with shaking hands as I rushed to find out what would happen, if things will turn out alright, in a way that reminded me of the frantic and passionate mood swings of PMS.It’s true that very little seems to happen, and that Miranda’s past with her sister doesn’t entirely convince me that it’s driving her present-day decisions. Miranda herself is definitely a quiet protagonist, so those who like their female main characters snappier and wittier will not find that here. Still, there is a way about Miranda that endears her to readers, that draws us into her problems and concerns and misconceptions. Quite, “good girl” Miranda is a fully realized character: we see her flaws but love her all the more for them.TELL ME A SECRET is a heartwrenchingly good contemporary YA read. Holly Cupala proves herself to be a powerful writing force with this one, and I can’t wait to see what Holly will write next.

  • Andrea
    2019-01-18 15:02

    This one for me was one of those that I started -- just wanting to read the first few chapters -- and then three a.m. came and I closed the book, finished. It was THAT addicting. Not only did it suck me in but it also broke my heart a little AND made me happy I'm no longer in high school. I couldn't put TELL ME A SECRET down, but it was the story that kept me reading, not the MC. While Miranda wasn't my favorite narrator ever, I did appreciate the ending she got. Character growth + real life feel = I now like you a lot more, Miranda.

  • Glass
    2019-02-05 09:11

    When you read description of this book, you may think it's a usual YA novel with girl falling for boy, "firsts", friendship and family trouble. If you're expecting light summer reading, you should probably search for other book. But if you want to read something that will make you think twice about it, about your own life and choices which you take for granted, this is book for you! Tell Me A Secret is one of the best debut novels I've read so far.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-05 08:02

    I have really mixed feelings about Tell Me A Secret, on the one hand I thought the teenage pregnancy aspect of the story was extremely well written. The things that Rand goes through during the pregnancy and her labour painted a realistic picture of what women go through, especially a teenage mother. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book although I did find the scenes after the birth where Rand spends weeks hiding out at the hospital were unrealistic and I wanted to see her grow up and take responsibility for herself and her life.The problem I really had with the book was the fact that I found it extremely difficult to like any of the characters. Rand has had a lot to deal with since her sister Xander died 5 years ago, she has never really dealt with her grief and her parents haven't helped by refusing to talk about Xander now she is gone. Rand seemed to think that Xander had been perfect but the more I found out about her the less likable she became. I absolutely hated their mother too, she was so self obsessed and only cared about what other people might think of the family. It didn't seem like she cared for Rand at all and after the way she acted throughout the entire book I found the turn around in her attitude at the end of the book was completely unbelievable.I found it hard to feel any sympathy for Rand when she was so cruel to the person who was supposed to have been her best friend for years. Even knowing she was grieving and then later struggling with her pregnancy I found it hard to forgive her treatment of Essence and that meant I just didn't care about what she was going through. It annoyed me that she couldn't see through her new so called friend Delaney, yes I could understand why she wanted to see the best in Kamran & Delaney but you've got to be pretty stupid not to put two and two together and come up with four.I downloaded this as a free audio podcast from Holly Cupala's website and the only thing that kept me listening to the end was that I wanted to find out what happened with the baby. The scenes where Rand gives birth and the following few chapters were heartbreaking and kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know how things would work out. Perhaps this book would be enjoyed more by teenagers (I'm hardly the right age to be included in the books target audience) and hopefully it contains enough information about teen pregnancy to make them think twice about getting themselves into Rand's situation.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-03 14:04

    Have you ever read a book that made you want to leap into its pages and throw cats at the characters? No, well I guarantee that Tell Me A Secret will change that. I can't remember the last time a book pissed me off so much. I don't mean this in a negative way. Sometimes it is good when a book pisses you off. I gave Tell Me a Secret 5 purrs because I cannot remember the last time I became so emotionally invested in a book. I experienced anger, sadness, and happiness at different periods throughout the book. I even found myself getting a little teary eyed a couple of times (actually cried like a baby shhh...).Miranda is such a well written character that you cannot help but react emotionally. The loss of her sister Xanda leads her to make some very stupid choices. One of which is ditching a long-time friend to become besties with the ultimate mean girl. Looking for a replacement for her sister, Miranda instead winds up pregnant and friendless. There were time when I wanted to throw a cat at Miranda for being so stupid, but alas I loved her too much to stay mad at her. Miranda was impossible for me now to like because she was so strong. I don't think I could have handled her situation as well as she did.It also doesn't help Miranda that her family is completely dysfunctional. Miranda basically has no one to help her through her pregnancy until she meets a new friend at work. I thought that the issue of teen pregnancy was handled rather well in Tell Me a Secret. Miranda considers her baby to be a replacement on sorts for his dead sister, but the author never shies away from the negatives of being a teen mom. Miranda's pregnancy is never romanticized nor glamorized.Miranda's relationship with her family is very complex. Her mother is a judgmental bitch and her father is emotionally distant. However, as Miranda's pregnancy progresses her relationship with her family changes drastically. By the end of the story they come to an understanding of sorts. Though I honestly don't know how Miranda could ever forgive her mother for some of the things she did.I could go on and on about how amazing this book was, but I don't want to bore you all. Tell Me a Secret was a real page turner. The pacing and format of it was perfect. I was never bored or confused by anything that was happening. I pretty much picked Tell Me a Secret up and didn't put it down again until I was finished.

  • Cass -Words on Paper
    2019-02-08 14:09

    First off, I've got to say I LOVED Tell Me a Secret. Of course, from the very moment I saw the cover, read the title, met the author (over the internet and through her massive book tour blow-out!); I had a feeling that this was going to be one sweet book. It was anything I could have expected... It was exactly the kind of book I needed. No, I'm not pregnant, or labrinths-y or have an ex-sister, so to speak. This book goes from a completely hopeless point in a teenage girl's life, when her perfect girl image crumbles at the seams, and she's broken and lost and just trying to find something to cling onto...to a realisation and acceptance of that which is reality.Teenagers have issues, and, I believe that Holly Cupala's debut novel Tell Me a Secret has successfully and effectively established and developed the idea that, yes teenagers have problems and issues, but there is always some little inkling of hope and, well, "faith manages" (a recurring message in the novel). I think this is something that teenagers could walk away from the novel with, because it just makes so much sense, to me. :) Also, despite being a definite YA novel, there were so many analytical elements of the book that I couldn't help thinking "Hmm...the ____ means ___", as though TMAS was a book I had to read for english class. (believe me, if I did, I'd be doing a whole lot better in english!)Tell Me a Secret was a hard-hitting, emotional read and, while it explores deep and serious issues (pregnancy, death), it was really quick and easy to read through to the end. This one is a page-turner, as others have declared. Oh, and just so you know, I'm trying to be subtle and not give any spoilers away. However...Here's a teaser: A blue patch of light stretched across my sketch and I smiled, remembering how Xanda and I used to draw pictures of the minister and choir. We would sit with Essence as far back from the minister as we could get away with. Even at twelve my drawings were smooth, balanced, carefully rendered. Xanda's were angular and dramatic, with dark lines and unexpected details. Like the eyes of the soloist, one of them bigger than the other, or the too-loose blouse on the Elder after her mastectomy. Essence drew them as stick figures, acting out their secret sins on a stage and sending Xanda and me into snorts of laughter. (pp. 43-44)

  • Erin
    2019-01-17 11:11

    I had assumptions when I picked up Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala. I guess it had been a while since I read all the reviews for this book and of course I didn’t read the back cover because I had heard so many positive reviews that I knew I just wanted to read it. Needless to say, I was surprised by the contents of this book. Rand, the main character, has a lot of issues to deal with throughout the course of the story. Just to name a few, she’s dealing with her sister’s death from 5 years ago, her mother is a little bit off her rocker and way too controlling and her father is absent, she’s almost positive her new best friend is trying to steal her boyfriend, plus she hasn’t had a period in 3 months and she thinks her old best friend is telling people she’s pregnant. That’s a whole lot to deal with if you ask me. This book started off a little slow for me, but once I passed about page 100 everything started to pick up pace and it really start to dig into the depths of this novel and let me tell you, it had depths that I never imagined it would get to. Which is probably the reason that I enjoyed this novel so much. You really have to read it yourself to understand what I mean when I say, this novel was full insight, self-discovery, and is a long road to forgiving people for all the things that they did when they thought they were doing the right thing, but it wasn’t exactly the best course of decisions.I had problems with how easily this book ended because nearly all of the people that surrounded Rand neglected her in her time of most need and as the book began to close they suddenly morphed into decent human beings. I understand it, mostly, but I would have liked to see more of the change in some of the characters. That’s really the only complaint that I have about this book. I really enjoyed reading this story, it is a terrific debut novel and I am looking forward to seeing what else Holly Cupala will come up with and if this book is any indication of what is to come, I can’t wait for more stories with depth that will surprise me.

  • Andrea
    2019-01-28 09:21

    3.5 out of 5 ratingFirst off, let me say that I think this would be an interesting book for teens to read. I think it could be a semi-accurate portrayal of being pregnant while being a teen. That being said, I didn't really feel any connection from Miranda. I don't know if it's that I found her personality boring or that she was a downer, but I just didn't really care for her. Or any of the characters for that matter. Her new friend, Delaney, was just a witch and I have no idea why Miranda would have chosen to be friends with her. And her old friend, Essence, wasn't any more pleasant. And her mother--my god, it makes me glad that my own mom is as great as she is. While I get that it could be reality for a mother to be so unaccepting of her pregnant teenager, it horrified me to read it. And then Kamran was not the guy I wanted him to be (once again, I realize that this is reality and many guys freak when they find out a girl they slept with is pregnant). I did however really like Shelley. What a sweet, understanding character. It was nice for Miranda to have someone to look up to and have take care of her. And I felt bad for Miranda's dad. You could tell he cared about Miranda and wanted to care about the baby, but was intimadated by his wife. I think the pregnancy leading up to the birth could be pretty accurate, but after the birth was another story. There is no way that the hospital would let Miranda sleep there, and even if she was hiding, it wouldn't last that long. Anyways, I think that this could be a good book for teenagers to read and possibly even parents of pregnant teenagers.

  • Trisha
    2019-02-09 16:03

    teen pregnancy. so many shows are glorifying and horrifying it.This story doesn't glorify or horrify it...but that doesn't make it an easy read. It's like a band-aid. Open this story when you have lots of time - because it's so painful to read you should just rip it off quick and read it all at once.and I did. although I appreciate that it's a cautionary tale - everything goes wrong...and wrong...and wrong. And it's so painful to read.but that's the good part of the story. Because that makes it honest and true. This is the REALITY, or at least close to, having a child while still in highschool....

  • Ashley
    2019-01-24 11:15

    Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala is a powerful Contemporary novel. Miranda lives every day with the memory of her beloved older sister's death. Alexandra (Xanda) was the bad-girl, the rebel and Miranda worshiped her. But, after her sister's death, Miranda became what her parents most wanted, what she thought they needed, and she was the good girl who always followed the rules, never rebelled and did as she was asked. Until, of course, one unplanned night changes everything and leaves Miranda pregnant.When Miranda gets back from her summer job as a camp counselor, she finds her world completely changed, totally pulled upside down. She's pregnant, there seems to be something wrong with her relationship with her boyfriend and turns out, the new best friend that she ditched her old best friend for is not a great friend at all (something that Miranda knew intellectually, but ignored because Delaney reminds her of Xanda). The whole school ends up finding out she's pregnant, which means her mom finds out and life gets really hard for Miranda, very quickly. Her mother disapproves and her father is (as he has been since the death of her sister) physically there, but emotionally absent, allowing the mom to be the leader in almost all things, and her aforementioned bad best friend abandons her for bigger and better things.My heart went out to Miranda. Oh did my heart go out to her. It would be so incredibly hard to be pregnant in high school, but even harder to have everyone you know also shutting you out. Needing someone to talk to leads Miranda to find an online message board of women also pregnant at the same time and she creates this fantasy Miranda- in college, still with her boyfriend, maybe getting married etc and finds the love, acceptance and support through these women she isn't getting in her real life.Everything happening in Miranda's life forces her to start taking stock of her life, her actions and her beliefs. She has to come to terms with what really happened the night her sister died, realize and accept who Xanda really was and what she wasn't and prepare to take care of something greater than herself. She grows so much during this book and I was so proud of her! The growth and maturity she shows towards the end of the novel vs the beginning is amazing.The supporting characters are also incredibly well developed. All of them, from five-years-dead older sister Xanda, to boyfriend (or not) Kamran, Delaney, the terrible new friend, her parents, the old best friend and the huge community and religious network, all the characters were done so well. Some I loved, some I hated, some I pitied and others made me angry. Delaney was such a great foil character- she's not evil, but she definitely thinks she is above everyone else. She uses people, goes after what she wants anyway she can, regardless of who is hurt in the process and finds a way to make every situation about her. At first, I loved Kamran and the idea of him. Miranda's memories of the two of them are everything a high school romance should be. But after he finds out Miranda's pregnant, he reacts horribly. Not all of it is entirely his fault (a lot of people whispering in his ear) but he treats her abominably and steps away from his responsibility. He isn't the focus of the story, but he grows as a person as well, and by the end of the novel, I had stopped making angry faces when his name was mentioned. But for a lot of the book, he really is kind of a stupid jerk.(Ahem- I just gotta say- If you aren't ready to be a parent, don't have sex. If you DO end up fathering a child- suck it up, man up and get your act together NOW or Ashley will think you suck...And, same goes for the girls. Grow up. It's not the baby's fault.)The one weakness to this story is the resolution. The epilogue gives us a glimpse of how everyone is doing and it was just a little bit too... neat. It wasn't so tidy as to be unbelievable, and I'll admit that I do like the idea of things getting better, but it didn't fit in as well with the rest of the story. I like resolution in my books, but sometimes, especially in a Contemporary novel that has felt so incredibly real up to this point, there needs to be a little real left over, which means it should reflect that life doesn't usually come with a bow.But that small grievance aside, this was an incredibly real and powerful story. The story itself is amazing and well told, but the real strength to the story is how much Miranda grows as a person and how much she learns about herself, about others and about life. This is a book that I highly, highly recommend.

  • Kristi
    2019-02-08 09:17

    I was really curious about this book after reading the reviews, and after the recent light shed on teen pregnancy, thank you MTV. I don't think I was expecting such a heartfelt and unusual story though. Miranda "Rand" gets pregnant basically from a one-nighter with Kamran (sp), and is in denial for the first couple of months that she's actually pregnant. After that, it's pretty sad and heart breaking to watch Rand go through her pregnancy essentially by herself. Her mom is a total b!tch, even attempting to con Rand into giving the baby up for adoption. I found that part of the book sort of crazy, as usually a mom would make sure her daughter has medical care FIRST, not instead arrange a social worker for adoption to come?? It could happen, but just made the mom look even more like a nominee for "worst mother of the year". I got it that she still had unresolved issues and feelings over what happened to Rand's older sister, Xanda, but it just didn't excuse such crazy behavior to make her actions believable or understandable. To further add to her loneliness, Kamran wants nothing to do with her after discovering she's carrying his baby. Granted, he did find out through Delaney, who turned out to be anything BUT a true friend to Rand, and didn't exactly tell him in a positive way. But if he was old enough to make a baby, surely he had enough common sense and logic to TALK to Rand before deciding to abandon her pregnant butt. There was no talk of Rand's parents pushing his parents to get Kamran involved, or anything of that sort. It could and does happen, but again, was hard for me to believe that she not only lost her mother's support, but then Kamran. This book was a worst-case-scenario situation for a pregnant teen.I did enjoy seeing her grow over the course of the book, and see how she dealt with the whole Xanda situation. There's underlying tension throughout the book based on what happened to her sister, and it affects her situation and the relationship with her Mom (which somewhat explains her Mom's cold attitude towards her). The book goes back and forth between Xanda moments and the present, so it's sort of difficult at times. -Rand will be in the middle of a moment in the present, and then suddenly, the scene is her remembering a moment with her sister. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a bit annoying for me after a point.In the end, she eventually does have her own HEA, and seemed to come out of this whole mess stronger and wiser. I was relieved to see her happy and moving ahead with her future, after so much heartache and sadness during her pregnancy.

  • Danielle
    2019-02-07 11:09

    Miranda, no, Rand is a girl with secrets. Yes, we all have secrets but not many of us have secrets that could forever change the landscape of the lives of everyone surrounding us. Unfortunately for Rand her secrets have huge consequences. And it’s just one of many secrets that have sent her and her family in a continuous downward spiral even since before she was born.Do you keep secrets? Secrets can be some of the most damaging things we carrying with us. Sometimes we do it because we think we are protecting others and then there are the times we are protecting ourselves. As the theme carries throughout the story from character to character you slowly discover that the secrets in Rand’s life began before her birth and don’t ever seem to stop. Again, some are kept with the best of intentions, like those from her mother, and others are intentionally kept from her, including those from her so-called friend Delaney. The most tragic secret is of course the one kept from her by her late sister Xanda.Holly Cupala’s debut novel, Tell Me A Secret, is a tremendously well written story that explores not only the relationships we have with those around us, but the choices we make and their impact. It’s not often that I find myself enjoying a story about a young girl, still in high school, who after some poor choices ends up pregnant, but Rand was an amazing character. She was incredibly likable and I found myself relating to many of her doubts from when I was a teenager. Didn’t we all question whether there was that guy that would still like us after spilled some of our deepest feelings? Or wonder about the girls around us and whether their intentions were pure? There are so many feelings that get wrapped up into being a teenager and Cupala did a brilliant job communicating each of them in her novel.It’s almost difficult to believe Tell Me A Secret is a debut novel. Holly Cupala does such an amazing job illustrating each facet of teenage life without sounding condescending or out of touch. Each of the characters in the book brought something different to the experience, even the minor ones. I’m also not an advocate of teenage pregnancy, but Cupala handled a touchy situation with finesse. Without a doubt Tell Me A Secret is a book I would eagerly share with readers of almost any age, especially those that enjoy a well written young adult novel.Originally reviewed and copyrighted at There's A Book.

  • Katie
    2019-01-30 14:11

    Debut author, Holly Cupala, has taken a very tough subject and written a beautiful novel about it. I was worried that the subject matter would depress me but that was not the case at all with this book. From the very first page I was drawn into Miranda's world and I never wanted to stop reading about her.Miranda Mathison hasn't had an easy life since her sister died. Xanda was the light in their house and she was what kept everyone together. Her death shattered their perfect family and nothing can make it better. Of course, some things can make it worse. Like Miranda getting pregnant. Nobody saw that one coming and with this new member of the family on the way, their bonds are tested. Some friendships are lost while others are gained. And Miranda is finally ready to find out Xanda's secret. Five years after her death, Miranda will finally know who was at fault. Will the truth change the way Miranda sees things and if so will it be for better or worse?I am going to start off by saying that I didn't actually like Miranda very much. She was so hung up on wanting to be like Xanda and then Delaney, that she was never herself. She wasn't a bold, outgoing girl but she tried to be because that was what Xanda was like. All her thoughts were about Xanda's life and death. I wanted to know more of what she thought about the world. I wanted to know what she would do one her own without Xanda's memory influencing her. Eventually she did grow out of that but it took a lot for her to finally get past it. I know it was part of her growth throughout the book but it did bug me a little bit. Other than that she was great. She was brave and forceful when it came to her baby and that was what really mattered. I loved that side of her. The rest of the characters seemed minor to me and I can't really get into them without giving away something so I won't.The plot was fast-paced. I didn't expect it to be but it definitely was. It wasn't hard to get into the book and after I did it was so hard to put down. I wanted to know more about Miranda and Xanda and just everything else. There were times when I felt so bad for Miranda and others when I wanted to jump for joy. Tell Me A Secret was an emotional roller coaster. I was so touched by this book and Miranda's trials. I didn't know that I could feel so strongly for a character.Overall, Tell Me A Secret is a not-to-be-missed debut novel and Holly Cupala is an author to look out for. I can't wait to see what she has in store for readers next.

  • Britta
    2019-01-18 16:11

    This review will be a bit different because this is my first audio book ever (well except for The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe that we had to read along to in third grade). So, I will do this in two parts and try to separate the story from the audio.The Audio:I have decided I don't like audio books. Not this one specifically, just in general. I find it extremely difficult to concentrate and found myself missing details. The audio was not bad, I just couldn't focus. Actually, I really enjoyed the reader's many voices. It was easy to differentiate between characters, so that was not as big as a problem as I thought it would be. My only issue with the voices is that the one she used for Essence was so annoying I wanted to punch things. Other than that, if you like audio, this was very good quality (then again, I have no real reference material).The Book:I read Cupala's second book before reading this one (both standalones) so I had guesses of what to expect from her writing style. If you're wondering what that is, it would be a heartbreaking story, a hopeful ending and great character development and plotting. Did I get that? Definitely. Miranda - Rand for short - is still living in the shadow of her dead sister. More accurately, she would give anything to just be like her. When she becomes pregnant and catapults from the "good daughter" to just as screwed up as the dead one, her whole life changes. When secrets come out that changes everything she felt and knew... the future looks even more uncertain. Rand has to learn to separate herself from a future of thinking in her sister's past in order to become her own person and truly be happy for the first time in over five years. I decided with this novel that I will read anything that Cupala writes. She has a way of tackling a really difficult situation in a heartbreaking yet hopeful way while still depicting it very realistically. This is a hard task to complete! The only way to really describe how I felt while hearing this novel was that I wanted to pull Rand out of her world and hug her. To give her all the love and attention that she is deprived from. That may be Cupala's true talent - making the characters so real that the reader has no choice but to feel for them.If you are a fan of self-suffering in the form of heart wrenching literature, read this one. In other words, if you like serious contemporaries, I would recommend Tell Me a Secret.

  • Kate
    2019-01-27 14:11

    Tell Me a Secret is a breathtaking debut novel. Holly Cupala's writing gets to the heart of high school drama and the ramifications of the choices that we make in a realistic and heartfelt way.Growing up, Mandy idolized her older sister, Xanda. She wanted to dress like her, act like her, and to a certain extent be her. Everything changes one day when Xanda dies presumably in a drunk driving accident. Years later, Xanda's death has left a hole in Mandy's life. Mandy cannot stop thinking about her older sister and what life would have been like if she was still around. So when Mandy discovers that she has become pregnant, she begins to look to her sister's spirit for guidance. And along the way, uncovers secrets that could tear her world apart.Cupala does a fantastic job in creating memorable characters. You may not love them, but you will definitely have a hard time forgetting them. Mandy shines in adapting to the hand that she has been dealt. She was not always my favorite character, but I admired her for her spunk. Unfortunately, as the novel progresses, Mandy does lose most of her shine. However, I attributed this more to her situation rather than poor character development. In regards to the secondary characters, they were decent, but not as fleshed out as I would have liked. Many of these characters had potential, but the simple fact is they were not in the plot enough to relate to. But like Mandy's development, I am ok with this. The plot and emotional ambiance definitely overshadow these minor flaws.Tell Me a Secret was an emotional roller coaster as I followed Mandy through the ups and the downs of family life, friendship, and teen pregnancy. I laughed... I cried.. I felt angry... I felt happy. I just felt so much from reading this novel. Every time, I believed that things had leveled out... bam, another dip. In the end, I gave up on trying to guess the emotional waves and just went with it. And it was an incredible journey.

  • Lauren
    2019-01-27 11:05

    I am not a fan of books about pregnancy. This is mostly because they make me cringe and never want to have children. Ever. Luckily, Tell Me a Secret focuses not so much on pregnancy, but more on its consequences and how it changed the main character’s life (and also, how the main character confronts her past).Miranda’s struggle was not only believable; it was powerful. Her emotions were so easy to feel as a reader, and the last hundred pages, especially, were gripping. I could not believe all the obstacles that popped up in Miranda’s path, and although she was realistically flawed, she managed to somehow overcome each of them in her own way. I felt so relieved and happy when something finally went right in her life. (Seriously, I couldn’t believe that Miranda’s life was so stinking awful! I felt so bad for her!)The storytelling in Tell Me a Secret was really nice, too. The readers are left in the dark about certain things, which makes it easier to get inside Miranda’s head. There are all kinds of secrets being kept, and the way they were revealed was very smooth. The subplots all worked themselves out beautifully, and the main issues did as well.Tell Me a Secret managed to be an issue book without becoming preachy. It didn’t tell the reader to never, ever have sex, but through the story encouraged being oneself and having faith in the face of adversity (Miranda is my freaking hero. She got through so much! Let’s all follow her example! Except maybe not the pregnancy bit.).So! If you’re looking for a contemporary novel with excellent themes and a heroine who has to deal with not only a pregnancy but family (and friendship) issues, Tell Me a Secret is your book. Don’t let the pregnancy aspect of the story scare you away. It’s worth the read.

  • Cindy
    2019-02-10 13:59

    Tell Me a Secret is the emotional and gut-wrenching story of teen pregnancy like you've never seen before. Miranda "Rand" Mathison has spent the last five years since the death of her older sister, Xanda, trying to live as she would have. She makes decisions about her friends, family and just about everything else you'd want a teenager to really think about for themselves, based on what Xanda would have done. Rand makes a series of bad choices including dumping her best friend for the new and exciting Delaney and sleeping with her boyfriend Kamran for all the wrong reasons. After spending the summer away and realizing she's pregnant, Rand finds all of her relationships are suddenly strained. She suspects something is going on with Kamran and Delaney, her old best friend is always hanging around at the wrong times and as any teenager would say, her parents just don't get it. Although Tell Me a Secret is told from Rand's point of view, Cupala finds ways to incorporate the feelings of others without ever explicitly telling us what they are. There are a few characters that I was convinced I'd despise for the entire story but by the end found myself feeling a range of emotions for them, none of which were not hatred.There were moments in Tell Me a Secret that made me cry when I thought back to my own first days as a parent. The online baby forum that Rand utilizes is also something that is familiar to me and made this book that much more believable. Tell Me a Secret is a tremendously powerful and beautiful debut from a talented author that I cannot wait read more from. I highly recommend this book and think it should be a must-read for any teenager - or parent of one for that matter. Excellent read!

  • Jenny
    2019-02-01 13:02

    This is an emotional, heartbreaking and wonderfully written debut novel by Holly Cupala. I haven’t cried so much reading a book in a long time. I stayed up late to finish the book and had puffy eyes the next morning.I really connected with Miranda and got what she was going through. All her friends have turned their backs on her and she’s having a tough time with her parents regarding the pregnancy so she really has no one to lean on. There were so many instances in the story where I ended up crying so much because of what Miranda was going through. In her family, she’s the good daughter and has always listened to what her mother has told her. But when it comes to her pregnancy, she always manages to stand up for her baby and go against her mother’s wishes. And through it all Miranda always manages to put up a brave front and never loses hope no matter what she's up against.Since she was little, Miranda has looked up to her older sister Xanda and always wanted to be more like her, always wondering what Xanda would do. Some of the things Miranda did and decisions she’s made were influenced by her memory of Xanda. She was never really herself so the unexpected pregnancy really sets the course for Miranda’s path to her own self discovery.The story was surprising in that I didn’t know where it might go and how it might end. It kept me guessing especially about what really happened to Xanda. Holly Cupala really blew me away with her debut novel and I look forward to what she writes next.

  • Megan Bostic
    2019-02-08 10:11

    Tell Me a Secret was a difficult read. No, it’s not because of the writing. Holly’s magnificent and beautiful words seemed carefully chosen for the exact space they filled on each page. It certainly wasn’t because her characters were boring. Each one popped off the page, unique and meticulously crafted, breaking the molds of clichés and dimension. It definitely wasn’t the plot or story that made it difficult. I dreaded the moment I had to put the book down because I had to work, or cook dinner, or go to bed. It kept me enrapt: intense and evocative, gripping and poignant.So why was it a difficult read? Because of its significance. Because at one point or another, we’ve all felt like Holly’s protagonist Rand, whether we’ve believed we were living in the shadow of someone else, been the victim of gossip or lies, suffered the pains of feeling like an outcast, or experienced the agony of loss, neglect, or abandonment. This novel has a way of bringing our own fears, anxieties, and tribulations in life to light.This novel is not all gloom and doom though. It’s also about acceptance and forgiveness. It’s about hope. It’s about following the stars to find your place in the universe. It’s about acknowledging and understanding yourself and using your experiences to mold and shape your own existence. Finding your worth and believing in the person you’ve become.Let me tell you a secret. Holly Cupala is a writer we will be hearing from again, and I for one, am looking forward to it.

  • Trisha ❊ Devoured Words
    2019-02-09 12:54

    This story is GREAT! I loved it, the way how Rand overcomes all the problems she had in life and fight her own demons was great. Her life was a train wreak. Her sister's death affected them so much that the life they all were living was a sham. It wasn't until Rand was pregnant did she realized that all she did was hide behind her sister and all the friends she had and even her boyfriend they all in her mind were the people she believed them to be. I would say that Rand having Lexi was the best thing that happened to her because she needed to see what she let her life become. She needed that push and her becoming pregnant was the sign that she need to pull her socks up and stop hiding and to fight. The ending was good I have not many problems with it, its just not what I normally would have liked because it left me with a hollow feeling in my heart. I am happy that she keeps Lexi with her and doesn't give her away it certainly will be a trial for her. She needs Lexi as much as Lexi needs her mother. However I hoped a bit more for Rand and Kamran. I hoped it didn't left as it did and they had the happy ending they need like something to look forward to that after all they went through they may be together after all.

  • April
    2019-02-14 10:20

    A few months ago, which is basically years in the blogging world, Harper Teen began releasing weekly podcasts of the unabridged audiobook Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala read by Jenna Lamia. Week after week, I would download the podcast on my iPhone, until suddenly it seemed the podcasts just stopped. I would refresh on my phone to see if that week’s podcast was up, and well nothing new would show up, so I sort of chalked it up to a possibly discontinued initiative, which sucked, because I was really getting into it. Anyways, I hop on my iTunes the other night, and lo and behold, the rest of the chapters are there, just waiting for me to finish the story. Immediately I began doing some chores, just so I could finish Tell Me A Secret.Read the rest of my review here

  • Neshiikinz
    2019-01-20 11:17

    I dont know. At times i really hated this book and at other times i really liked it. Rand really pissed me off throughout the story. She barely stood up for herself. I would of freaked in her condition: at her supposedly best friend and that stupid bf of hers. i hated Kamran. I really did. I really disliked Rands parents too. They are messed up. I know the death of Rands sister messed the family up but come onnn. The dad n Rand need to yell more: fight more for whatever they wanted. The best part was Rand fighting for her child. That was the ONLY good part of the story. Otherwise didnt really like it.....

  • Arza
    2019-01-25 15:21

    Even though I gave up my beauty sleep for this book (:P) I have a few comments. I liked this book in general, it's very emotional and I cried a few times, but I was so pissed at Mandie for... letting things happen even though she can change something. Ok, her mum was horrible but she could try to do something, not just let her do what she wants... and Kamrah. I don't know, in some points it's just her rebellion taking her where she was. I liked the second part of the book with Lexi. I sense there will be a sequel.

  • Brenda
    2019-01-26 10:10

    A wonderfully crafted book, we explore the life of a teenage pregnant girl named Randa, as she tries to understand what really happened to her sister and tries to understand who she is herself. Even though life seems perfect one minute, the next, she is up for a rude awakening. I loved the whole mystery of hte character Xanda, Rand's sister, and I love the close relationship they had. With a baby coming and the lack of support coming from her friends and family, Rand has to find the strength within herself to keep living for her baby and for herself. A great ending and a lesson learned.

  • Skye
    2019-01-27 08:01

    I keep sitting down to write a proper review of this and keep failing for some reason.I liked this book just fine. The writing style was very nice, and the characters sometimes did stupid things, but I couldn't find anything noteworthy about it.It's the kind of book that's good while you're reading it but is unmemorable once you're finished and it's resumed life nestled between more interesting books on your shelf.

  • Chrissie
    2019-02-05 07:55

    An emotional story that kind of broke my heart a little, but a great read. Really enjoyed the main character's journey both personally and within her family, and the forgiveness and hope discovered in both.

  • Kendal Reeves
    2019-02-01 10:00

    wow this story was really good. Talk about time going quickly!

  • Maria
    2019-02-14 10:10

    I told myself that I would just read two or three chapters. Before I knew it, I was reading the last sentence. Review to come.