Can a young man come out, find love, and survive senior year all at the same time?
Zach Denham, the editor of a small town high school newspaper, struggles to act like a "normal" guy by dating a female friend. Key, the school’s newly arrived attractive jock, forces Zach to confront the truth about his sexual identity.
Friends will become enemies when an explosive issue divides the school community. As Mrs. Trevott, Zach’s trusted and sharp-tongued English teacher advises, some of them will stand up for what they believe in even if they are standing alone.
©2010 Matthew W. Grant (P)2013 Matthew W. Grant
I liked that the story focused on Zach, Key and their friends and the relationships among them. This is also a romance but it is written in a sweet way with no overt sex scenes to make anyone uncomfortable.
While Mr. Avery could be a little 'dry' at times, I felt that there were moments when he gave the characters and the scenes the emotion that they needed. He did draw me into the story and kept me entertained. I would listen to another of his works to see what he does with other genres of books.
I would love to go out to eat with Ms. Trevott. Her back story was sad but she endured on and was making a difference to her students. I appreciated that. There always seems to be that one teacher in every school that just connects with the students in a way that makes it all ok.
Zach's Secret is the story of a young man, a senior in high school, his coming to terms with who he is. This is a book that everyone should listen to or read. I would highly recommend it. Many things can be learned from this story.
I received a copy of the book for free in exchange for an honest review.
The narrator, yes. The author, probably not.
Completely wrong choice of narrator for a high school student
The whole story with the headmaster was stupid, but I could have lived with the OTT drama, if there had been some emotions!
Rabid Listener/Reader and Shopper!
Narration - Luke Avery - Pretty good...he's a good narrator, although he did sound very much like an adult. Which I guess these guys are 18 and adults, but he just sounded a lot older than I would perceive these young men to sound. But other than that, he has a great voice, capable of voicing several unique character voices and it seemed to be a pretty good production.
The story, I loved and hated. I hate that there are people in this world that have to go through what these kids had to go through and I know this isn't just a story, but crap like this happens every day and well, that just makes me mad.
I agree with some other reviewers that Zach seemed a little emotionless at times and that there was room for this story to go so much farther with this whole topic, but it was still a really enjoyable book for me. I experienced a whole range of emotions while listening to this story so it gets a big thumbs up from me!
English teacher Mrs. Trevott was an exceptional character - loved her teaching style and the messages that she shared with her students.
I received a copy of this audiobook free of charge from audiobookblast in exchange for an unbiased review
Eclectic reader, from YA to adult. Favorites include romance & mystery, but I'll give anything with interesting words a try. Love diversity.
***I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.***
Although I don't read it exclusively, I love reading young adult stories and was really happy to have a chance at a new-to-me author. Although the story wasn't a complete success for me, there are definitely pieces of it that shone brightly, and I'm glad I got the chance at Zach's Secret and would happily pick up another Matthew Grant story.
One of the highlights for me, and who I felt was the best written character in the story, is the kids' English teacher, Mrs. Trevott. She wasn't out of some "inspiring teacher" mold. She did have a great rapport with her students; she did care about them together and individually; she did say inspiring things, but she also had her own important story arc that culminated beautifully in one of the closing scenes. Major kudos on this aspect, and her whole "now, go think about it" thing always made me smile.
I also really enjoyed Zach as a character. The story is told through his thoughts and experiences so he's definitely the one we spend the most time with. He's smart and has a lot going for him, even though he still has a lot of growing to do. I think that's shown well, with him only dipping occasionally, for me, into acting uncharacteristically. Even though I liked what the relationship with Key brought out for him, some of his reactions just didn't ring true.
His love interest, Key, and some of his friends/classmates were less successful for me as characters, some of them feeling more like props than I would have liked. They dipped into caricature, which surprised me given the level of depth I saw in other characters. No one more exemplifies this than the principal of the school, though Zach's mother would come a close second. I understand very well there are hateful people who spew their vitriol, but even villains need to be written three-dimensionally, or else the conflict doesn't feel real. Those times when dealing with the principal's machinations were the low points for me, and the culmination of those plot elements didn't satisfy.
The lowest point for me in this, though, was the narration. I never enjoyed his delivery, and at most I tolerated it, with the really great parts of Grant's storytelling making it palatable. I'd say if you listen to the sample, and it works for you, then you'll be fine since his performance worked well for others. Everything's a matter of taste, and his narration just wasn't to mine. I will say, he did a lot of different voices distinctly, and that's really important to me.
All in all, although I wish they'd been able to be supported by better storytelling throughout, there were some real not-to-be-missed aspects that I appreciated experiencing.
A clean, young adult m/m romance. Zach's journey of self discovery coming out and dealing with prejudice. I found this book very relatable and saw some familiar scenes from my highschool years when my best friend came out. A great book to remind you stand up for what you believe in and to "think about that".
I listened to the audiobook edition, which I received free in exchange for an honest review. The narrator was great, speaking clearly and at a good pace.
There was so much I liked about the book that it is hard for me to choose. I think what I liked most was Zach finding and liking himself and the support he received from his true friends.
The English teacher. She got her students to think and was a fantastic nonjudgmental mentor.
More drama and personality to the characters.
There were several moments that moved me. A few of them include:
The reading of Zach's essay 'masks'
The judge's ruling in the court case
How people moved their place settings to Zach's and Key's table at the prom
When Zach's best friend Brandon rejected him when Zach came out to Brandon
When the principal's contract was cancelled
This is an excellent coming of age gay themed novel. It deals with prejudice, bigotry, high school bullies which include the administration, parental rejection, true friendships, standing up for one's values, finding one's self courage and so much more.
Any one who ever had a nightmare High School experience and/or a tough adolescence can relate to this book. It demonstrated how a caring supportive teacher can make a big difference in a student's life as well as the damage that can be done by a really small minded bigoted adult in power.
I found the high school politics and social climate to be very realistic. Unfortunately ultimate general happy endings, like what occurred in this book often do happen in real life.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
the vocal performance was ok...he had a few different voices but at times he bothered me. it seemed he was going just a little too slow and he seemed a little bored at times.
the story was fantastic. i loved that Key was so self-confident and well adjusted. he was a great influence for Zach. Zach frustrated me at times by not standing up for who he was or what he believed in...he eventually got there and he was surrounded by homophobic bigots which scared him. this is a pretty powerful coming of age and coming out proud story.
one word: PROM. i was bawling on an airplane listening to that part of the book.
definitely a must read or must listen book!
Zach's Secret is a great story about young love and the trials they endure. The difference a teacher can make that can turn your life around. Loved the Prom and how they pulled off a night to remember
I definitely should have played the sample before downloading this one. If I had, I would have gotten the Kindle version. The reader sounds completely bored, even in scenes where the characters are very excited. I finished it, but only because I drive a lot and wanted to listen to something new while driving.
"Intricate and beautiful. Realistic and poetic."
The moment when the protagonist's teacher tell him her secret and why she stood for what he stood for. It almost made be teary.
I enjoyed the wrap up. How things go full circle.
Yes. It is written well. It contains the cliches of school cliques but has it's own ground of realism that didn't shout cheesiness or unpracticality.
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