Series: Sekret #1
Expected Publication by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s on April 1, 2014
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley
Rating: 4 stars
I feel like I need to explain the title for you. The guy who made the cover art actually could spell, it’s just that this book is set in Russia, so you know, Sekret instead of Secret. Glad we got that cleared up.
Sekret was… Welll, one of the best set-in-Russia, about-psychics books I’ve ever read.
The bad guys in this book may be some of my all-time favorites. Rostov, Kruzenko, and the American scrubber *oooo* (I’m not going to tell you his name to avoid spoilers) were all terrifying. I don’t know how Yulia managed to sleep at night with them in the building.
Rostov = Evil, psychopathic, sociopathic, killer, psychic. He went into people’s minds and “scrubbed” them. He is a villain that could make me sleep with a night light on. This book did evil really well in a way that is so logical and so almost human that it terrifies us. SCARY.
Sergei confused me.
I couldn’t tell if he really liked Yulia or if he was just some creep that enjoyed torturing her and reading her thoughts. Plus he had missing teeth from hockey which is strange and a little scary.
Yulia was pretty great, but I still didn’t feel like I really knew her at the end of the book. I didn’t have a clear picture of what she looked like after it was over which is not fantastic at all. She was so conflicted the entire book (and sometimes a little stupid). By the end, she finally manned up and learned how to control herself. Even though she seemed a little dim, there was a “something” about Yulia that just made you love her and want to give her a giant hug.
Her main romantic interest, Valentin was a little dry and strange, but I warmed up to him by the end of the book. Yulia breaks down his walls and I saw a ton of character development over the course of the book.
As for the plot, there were so many unexpected (and expected) twists that it sometimes was a bit hard to keep up with and I was just lost.
After I reread those few pages I got what was happening, but the writing style was sometimes hard to follow because of all the jumping between inside the characters’ minds and reality. It was like Inception, fantastic, but so weird and confusing that I’m sure I’ll have to reread Sekret again to finally understand all of it. The psychic’s abilities also got a jumbled up, so I had to keep flipping back to remind myself who had which powers.
Possibly my favorite part of the entire book was the description of music. Psychics protected their minds by weaving blankets of music around their thoughts. Yulia in particular used SHOSTAKOVICH, who is my favorite composer in the whole wide world.
Plus, violin is pretty fantastic. Hence, Sherlock.
One of the only downsides was that I had figured out how all of the romance would work out as soon as Yulia met the two boys that were destined to become her *whispers is awe* triangle.
There is a theme used over and over and over again in YA love triangles that I am pretty great at predicting. Girl meets two boys. One is friendly and blond. The other is dark, brooding and scary. Girl initially falls for the charming farmer-y blonde, but ends up with the other guy after she figures out that his dark, brooding-ness is just a facade.
Same old, same old.
I don’t think I even would have cared if there had been absolutely no romance in this book. It felt like an afterthought and it really wasn’t needed to the plot, but oh well.
Even with the sketchy, cliche romance, I really loved Sekret. I haven’t read a book set in Russia since Between Shades of Gray (NOT 50 Shades of Gray) and I ‘d say that Sekret was every bit as good. So, if you’re in the mood for a set-in-the-cold-war, action packed, psychic thriller, Sekret is a great book to pick. ~The Red Queen