Rating: 3/5 Stars
Release Date: 6/22/2010
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About the Book: Shy sophomore Essie Green believes this will be the year her life changes. She's made varsity cheerleading and maybe popular football quarterback Austin King will finally notice her.
Essie starts to make friends and Austin asks her out, but Essie is hiding a secret-the new boy Micah is her cousin. Micah and his family are observant Jew and everyone at school makes fun of Micah. But if Essie admits that they're related, won't everyone make fun of her too? When the teasing turns to hazing, Essie has to decide what she wants to stand up for.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Queen of Secrets is loosely based on the Book of Esther. Knowing that as I read it, I liked picking out the parallels and seeing how the author gave this Biblical story a modern twist. That's not to say it's religious fiction, this is more realistic fiction with a religion in the story. Really this is Essie's story about growing up and figuring out who she is.
It's a fairly slow moving story and there's not a ton of action, so readers who don't mind quiet books would enjoy Queen of Secrets. I felt at times Essie was immature and acted younger than she was supposed to be, but then again, I know some sophomores that are much like Essie, so I guess it depends on the reader's background on how well they relate to Essie. I also would have liked to see the romance more developed. I never really saw why Essie and Austin liked each other.
I would give this to readers who like stories about finding your identity and stories about religion. I think fans of Melody Carlson would enjoy Queen of Secrets. Although the religion is more subtle than in Carlson's books, I could see the readers who enjoy Carlson's realistic fiction liking Essie and her struggle to do what's right.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from final copy provided by publicist for blog tour