First Book: 'Keeping You A Secret' By Julie Anne Peters

RadclyffeGeek's picture

Votes are in, and 'Keeping You A Secret' won with 6. Thanks for voting everyone! You have about 3 days to get a hold of the book, and then I'd say about 4 or 5 days to read it? I'm not sure about everyone reading speeds though. The book is only 256 pages long, but I understand most of the people here will have school or business commitments so no worries. I also understand that it might be difficult to get hold of in some places- just remember this is supposed to be fun, and not worth stressing about! Happy reading everyone- post on here when you've finished and then I guess we'll just have to see where the discussion goes. Anyone who wants to take charge and ask questions- go ahead :D

rowie's picture

when do we start discussing t

when do we start discussing this? i finished it in 2 days...couldnt help myself - it was so good.

--how can you smile with all those tears in your eyes?--

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

RadclyffeGeek's picture

Start discussing whenever you

Start discussing whenever you've finished! I'm still looking for the damn book, it doesn't seem to be anywhere :D

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.

Geek It Til' It MHz

rowie's picture

that sucks, i had trouble fin

that sucks, i had trouble finding it at first but then i got it. can i also ask everyone who comments on this thread to reply to the bottom comment so its easy to read through, or else those who finish reading later will never work out the conversation. just mention who your reply is to or what its concerning. anyone else finished yet?

--how can you smile with all those tears in your eyes?--

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

sportytatu's picture

great, great story. the chara

great, great story. the characters the settings. just great.

people say love is blind, then isnt it blind for gender as well?

id walk through hell in a gasoline suite to keep playing softball.

doomflower's picture

I'm so ready... i wont have t

I'm so ready... i wont have the book with me anymore, 'cause a friend borrowed it (she's been dying to read it) But i remember practically the whole thing anyway..
I'm ready for discussion when you guys are.

supergray's picture


My library doesn't have it. (go figure) But I leafed through it at barnes and noble. I have to admit I wasn't drawn to it enough to 1. put down money for the thing, 2. struggle through it.

I did read enough to get a general idea and opinion of it, and I'd skimmed most of it a while ago. Enough to have a pretty solid idea about how I feel about the book, not enough to hurl quotes, scenes and insights around.

I know a lot of you guys were really hyped about this book, and I'm sorry I can't seem to find the same sort of enthusiasm. You guys probably don't want to hear me slag it, but shooting me down might kick start this discussion. =)

This is very obviously a YA book. (thats Young Adult) Now theres some good YA books out there, and some so good they blur the line between YA and grown-up books and are shelved in both sections.

I noticed this one wasn't. I had to trip through a herd of 12 year olds reading manga to get to it. (Why do they have to sit in the damn aisles? Barnes an Noble has comfy, cushy chairs, damn it!)

Theres some moments I find awkward, writing and story wise. Like the discussion about the IMRU shirt. I found it very, very teen and kind of tacky. (Also, using pridewear is a lame way to kick-start a plot. If it *has* to be included, it should just be there. As in mentioned, but not lingered on.)

I felt like I was reading some high school girl's emo LJ.

This felt like a gay book. As in: plot and story centered and revolved around being gay. And while this might be why so many of you seem to like it, I personally prefer the homosexuality in books to be coincidental to the plot. I like to think that the gay books I read are really just 'books that happen to have gay characters' and just as accesible to the straighter populace, and I don't think 'keeping you a secret' is.

It talks to its intended audience way too much, if you know what I mean.

This is the positive point: Its a gay-centric YA book, in a world that sorely lacks fiction for queer youth.

So go, shoot. Fire away!!

rowie's picture

yeah it was very YA, but that

yeah it was very YA, but that didnt really bother me - it made it very easy to read. it was in the adult section when i got it, after searching the teenage/young adult section - this was purely because of the content. hmmmm annoying, as if reading a book is going to change someones sexuality.

although i really liked the book, the pride wear did annoy me. it just seemed really unrealistic and was too much.

is keeping you a secret just a gay book? hmmm prodominently it is but im sure open minded straight people could enjoy it too. books which just happen to have gay characters can be goo too, but all too often its a stereotypical token gay, just in there for a few laughs.

--how can you smile with all those tears in your eyes?--

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

FallenMoon's picture

I feel really connected with

I feel really connected with Holland.

She depressed like me, not knowing what is missing in her life, not knowing what she wants.

All of a sudden, she meet's Cece, the open spunky lesbian who steals her heart the first time they met.

Seriously, in the book when Holland said "Hi" to Cece, it said that, "her heart jumped".

I look at the book and wish that when the day comes, my girl will come to me without me realising, like Holland.

Oh yeah and the shower scence was sexy. :)

"You haven't come to terms what it means to be a lesbian." -Cece Goddard from Keeping You a Secret

supergray's picture

everyone should reply to the last post, right?

I mean, to keep the posts in order of appearance/timeline. So we don't muddle up folks who finished later and haven't followed the whole thread.

How often does it happen that someone says 'hi' and your heart jumps? Unless you didn't hear them walking up, I mean.

Its filled with stuff like your quote. (No offense, but every time I see it:) It sounds like it means something. But does it? *What* does being a lesbian mean? Liking women? She should just say "You havent come to terms with *being* a lesbian." It would make so much more sense. Without the pretention to deeper meaning.

A lot of online amateur (no insult. I mean 'non published/professional') fiction involves romance and dawson's creek-ish lines like that. Published books should have a higher level of literary skill.

Is all.

Um. Are we supposed to be talking about writig quality? Because if its a story-centric discussion, I can stop. Or try to stop. Promise.

yeah, a lot of books with coincedental gays aren't the most sympathetic. But even a gay book can have its gays be coincidental. Its about Plot.

For example, CJ Cherryh's "Cyteen" is a sci-fi book set in a . . . well, its complicated, plot wise. Its really about the nature of love, intelligence and mankind. Stuff like that. Its main charachter, Justin, is sleeping with--I'll say his "freind", because theres more to it--Grant, but its sort off to the side. (So much so that a lot of people don't notice it, or are like "Are they? What?") The plot has more to do with intrigue, politics, and actual threat to their family and persons.


I guess it also depends on whether one likes to read romance. I don't. I find it irksome. I don't mind romance in the pursuit of a greater storyline, but a story thats all about a relationship bores me to death. It makes me want to put my bookmark through my eye.

So, whatever negative thing I say, please take into consideration that I'm fighting my romance allergy ang gag reflex. Things like 'thumping hearts' and 'I'll love her forever' sorts of lines turn me off a book right fast. (Please tell me theres no scene where she writes her girlfreind's name in/on her notebook while daydreaming. Because that would really push me over the edge.)

BTW. I wonder: Is ms. goddard herself gay or bi? Or is she a straight writer trying to 'connect' to kids? Because by this book I strongly suspect the latter.

rowie's picture


the writer is gay and she says its wasnt actually her idea to write a lesbian love story, she was asked to...just some irrelevant info for you!
hehe can i push you over the edge then....its not writing her name in a notebook - she goes a bit further than that...she does a whole set of drawings for her art class of the girl! just to make you like this book even more than you obviously already do!

onto general discussion - books like this do seem tohave a tendency for characters to fall in love, then realise they are gay. who has that happened to here? who actually didnt realise or even consider it until they met the perfect person? i cant imagine it happens often, but maybe im totally off there.

--how can you smile with all those tears in your eyes?--

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

supergray's picture

she does a whole set of drawi

she does a whole set of drawings for her art class of the girl! just to make you like this book even more than you obviously already do!

Obsessive, much? If I were the love interest, I'd be seriously concerned for my safety. =)

I can't say much on the sudden realization of gayness upon falling in love. I can't say that I've been there. I've just always been pretty laid-back about the whole sex thing, and sort of decided that I didn't really care if one was a boy or a girl, so long as I liked the person.

Yeah. Decided.

Gender exclusivity felt like sexism. hehehe~ I don't know if thats weird or not, but it might be part of why I'm bugged about sudden deep love sorts of stories. I far prefer the freinds to best freinds to lovers scenario to the WHAM!LOVE! one.

I guess being about lesbians, its probably targeted more towards young girls (young women?), who seem to have thing for insta-true-love. Theres also a bit of she-saved-me-through-love going on in that book, if I'm not mistaken, which is also a recurring theme in a lot of romance stories. Neither of which are terribly reaslistic, much as they might appeal to the teen female demographic. (straight, gay or otherwise)

rowie's picture

oooo large generalisation the

oooo large generalisation there...but you are right!!! theres just something about the "love making everything better" theme that makes even me go soppy...ok so its probably because most people do just want someone to love them and make them feel safe, away from their problems. hmmmm...agree? guys too - its a people thing.

as for the being freaked out by obsessive drawings...its a bit scarey/stalkersih...but isnt it sweet???? :) ok i know you are going to disagree, lol :) i still defend this book...its hopeful, quite realistic and cute! hmmmm im starting to wonder why we are the only ones in this conversation...considering you didnt even read the book!!!

--how can you smile with all those tears in your eyes?--

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

doomflower's picture

'she does a whole set of draw

'she does a whole set of drawings for her art class of the girl! just to make you like this book even more than you obviously already do!'

I too have a reply to that..
Being an artist/art-class-obsessive, I sort of understand. I mean, artists can have many pictures about someone who fascinates them, just as musicians write songs about the ones they love. If an artist finds something intriguing, chances are they'll draw it. Repeatedly, or otherwise. It's kind of the whole "she's my muse." thing..
have you ever had a muse? someone or something that makes you so inspired that you have to put it onto paper, or elsewhere?
I love the idea...

General dicussion:

What do you guys think about Holland's breaking up with Seth? or what about the dicrimination against the people who're trying to create a LesBiGay group? And the reactions of student council?

just some things to ponder... I have many more :P
"Id much rather to be hated for who I am than loved for who Im not."

rowie's picture


i think however she did it, it was always going to be hard on seth, especially when people found out. peoples reactions to the lesbigay club where probably typical of a school which appears to be non-discriminatory, but which still holds predjudice views. it wasnt a homophobic uproar, just a very real reaction. with all the stuff with the locker and inults people said, somehow the one i found worst was when someone said something like: "you know GAY stands for Got AIDS Yet" did anyone else think this? there was just something about that comment that got me so mad. what really got you guys mad/upset that happened? i found the most upsetting part when holland was telling cece about getting chucked out of home and she just dissolved crying, that made me cry.
so, opinions? im really keen to get others into the discussion. who else has finished? what did you think?

~~Liebe kann nicht falsch sein~~

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**'s picture

I thought the book was ok. Li

I thought the book was ok. Like, I'm not going to say it was good, but if you had some spare time and nothing better to do, sure, go ahead and read it.
For me, I just didn't like the way it was written. There were some parts where it was like, you'd space and think, wtf? But I guess that's just my opinion.
I don't consider myself a speed reader, but I finished that in like, 5 hours.

Happines makes up in height
for what it lacks in length.

jeff's picture

Julie weighs in...

I sent Julie an e-mail, to let her know you all were reading and loving her book. This is what she wrote back:

This is very exciting. Thank you so much for letting me know. I hope
your young readers enjoy reading KYAS as much as I loved writing it for
them. The amazing reaction to that book -- to even having mainstream
queer literature -- has made me such a strong advocate for coming out and living proud. I owe much of my own strength, courage, and hope for the future to young people. May they RULE.

krystaelise333's picture

Quick Question

Hey y'all! So this is really random but I'm writing my senior thesis on this book and have not been able to find a copy of the book since I read it a few months ago. I want to include the shower scene as part of my research but need that info in the next few days...Would any of you with copies of the book be willing to type out the shower scene for me so I could use it in my paper? Or at least tell me what page number it's on so that I can try to google it myself? Thank you guys so much! :)