Monday, July 12, 2010
Queen of Secrets by Jenny Meyerhoff
Release Date: Available Now from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Source: From Publicist
This is the year that Essie Green's life is going to be different. Now that she's made the cheerleading squad--and even managed to catch the eye of hunky Austin King, captain of the football team--she's positive that sophomore year is going to be one to remember. So what if her best friend thinks that Austin is bad news, or if Essie doesn't always feel at home with her new crowd? Those are things Essie can deal with.
What she might not be able to deal with is Micah, the football team's newest member. Awkward and not too friendly, Micah is instantly branded the freak of the team for wearing a kippah and praying during games. And Essie doesn't want anything to do with him. Unfortunately for her, he just happens to be her estranged cousin--and the person who may hold the key to uncovering one of Essie's family's long-lost secrets. Essie hates hiding the fact that they're related, especially from Austin, but if she tells the truth, won't everyone think she's a religious freak, too? When the football team's teasing of Micah gradually shifts into hazing, Essie is forced to make a choice. Do her loyalties lie with the boy she thinks she might love or with the cousin she barely knows?
Loosely based on the Book of Esther, Queen of Secrets is the engrossing story of family, first love, and a girl's struggle to do what is right.
Tomorrow, my blog will be hosting a visit from the oh-so-awesome Jenny Meyerhoff, so I figured now was as good a time as any to let you know what I thought of the book. Yeah, I loved it. It wasn't what I expected when I first heard about the book. I'm not sure what I thought it was, but I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down and started reading.
Essie is a fantastic character. She loves her life and her friends, but what's so wrong about wanting to try something new? We've all been guilty of trying to fit in at some point in our lives. It's hard to know sometimes how far to take it. Essie has all of those same emotions that many if not all of us have faced. She chooses what to tell and more importantly not tell her new friends, so that she can remain in their group. Hiding her true self becomes harder and harder as the story continues. Meyerhoff has done a wonderful job of putting us in Essie's head. It's easy for the reader to understand why she does the things she does, simply because we are seeing it through her eyes. One of my favorite elements of the book was watching Essie and Micah become reacquainted as cousins. It's not always easy when it comes to family, but Meyerhoff has given us an honest portrayal of family bonds tested over time.
It's a beautifully written book about finding the courage to be yourself and to share yourself with the world. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and Essie finds that courage with a little help from the people around her.
Read it now, and come back tomorrow for more Jenny Meyerhoff!