Book Review: The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris

The Secrets Between You and Me
Stolen Kiss #2
Author: Shana Norris
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Review Source: The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit imprint | Netgalley

4 wheels on a rusty truck * 2 gray eyes * 1 secret that could ruin everything...

All Hannah wanted was a summer break from being “perfect Hannah Cohen” and a chance to forget about the devastating family secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect life. So when she takes off for her eccentric aunt’s house in the mountains of North Carolina and everyone makes one big (wrong) assumption about her past, Hannah figures that it’s easier to live a lie than have to face the truth.

She never expected to make any real friends, like the hilarious and spontaneous Kate and Ashton, who drag her to late night bonfires and ice cream marathons. And she especially never counted on meeting Jude Westmore, the brooding bad boy next door with gray eyes and permanent oil smudges on his fingers, or that he would ever take an interest in her.

Between moonlit movie nights in the bed of Jude’s truck and nearly romantic Ferris Wheel rides, Hannah’s old life seems father away then ever, but can she keep her secret, or is the truth worth the risk of losing everything, including Jude?

The Secrets Between You and Me is a companion novel to The Boyfriend Thief and the second book in Shana Norris’s Stolen Kissseries.

Rule #1: Never lose control. Maintain the image of perfection.
Rule #4: Never ask for help.

Hannah lives by the rules her parents drilled in to her head. Maintaining the perfect image and becoming some big-shot like her parents is everything they want for her, but is it what she wants?

Hannah’s word crumbles. And it all began when her father overdoes with prescription pills and nearly died. Now he's recovering in a rehabilitation center and her mother is an alcoholic in denial, abandoning her responsibilities to prance around in Paris for the summer while Hannah is visiting the aunt she hasn’t seen in 4 years.

It’s no secret that Hannah is a lost soul. She’s only seventeen but forced to make these huge life decisions which are heavily influenced by her parents. She’s completely lost to as of which direction she wants to take her life in. Visiting her aunt was the best decision she could have made. She meets some awesome friends, and Jude, and the confusion in her mind slowly begins to clear and the real Hannah unfolds in front of our eyes into this strong, independent character who’s making up her own rules.

Rule #1: Be Honest. Don’t complicate things.
Rule #2: Do what scares you the most. 
Rule #3: Always do the thing that could get you arrested
Rule #4: Don’t be afraid to face reality.

Replacing one set of rules for the other; Hannah stuck to them and evolved into a person every parent would be proud of. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if Hannah was trying all these new things because she wanted to, or if because she knew her mother wouldn’t approve, like an act of rebellion, but then I realised it was neither. Her mother’s influence was so heavy on her that in everything Hannah did her mother lingered in the back of her head.

Soon into the novel Hannah meets Jude, the guy described as a loner. They were perfect for each other, and I’m not just talking about romantically. Hannah didn’t deal with what her father done, and she certainly hadn’t dealt with her mother, and it’s all building up in her, waiting to bubble over. Jude isn’t much better. Last year his brother died, and he took a part of Jude with him. His mother is a no-good alcoholic who can’t maintain a job for very long and his life isn’t far from disaster, too. Hannah and Jude help each other a lot. They offer friendship in a way neither has had before, and in a way, they help fix each other some.

Jude and Hannah were lost people. The Secrets Between You and Me is them finding themselves and each other.

NOTE: This is a second installment in the Stolen Kisses series, however, you do not need to read book 1 in order to fully understand this book. I didn't know of book 1, The Boyfriend Thief, until I'd already read The Secrets Between You and Me and I understood it perfectly. 

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