Let me start by saying, I like Jennifer Hubbard’s writing style. It flows well, and you get through it rather quickly. Unfortunately, that’s where my praise for this book ends.As I sit here mulling over the book, and trying to squash my disappointment in order to keep this review as light as possible, I wonder if I’m so disappointed because I expected so much more. I read many reviews of The Secret Year, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Many people actually RAVED about it. I’m at a loss, because I just don’t get it.Colt’s story is a sad one. Heartbreaking, really. His journey towards finding himself after the death of his secret girlfriend is a hard one. Still, I should’ve cried, right?! With the circumstances in this book, I feel like I should’ve been emotional, but I wasn’t. At all. Am I just an emotionless stone today? Or was there something missing in the writing that made it connect with me? I don’t know.The characters felt flat. I understood Colt, his emotions are raw and it shows, but beyond that, there wasn’t much to him. Julia was a confused girl, who ultimately died far too young, but what I saw of her character didn’t make me like her very much.Many of the scenes seemed misplaced. I felt like some of the things happening in the book were just there to fill the gaps, and I don’t like feeling that way about a scene. I feel like each scene should mean something to the story, but I didn’t feel that with this one.When the book ended, I felt like I had been robbed of something. This story had great potential, but for me, something was missing.I’ll be looking for Jennifer Hubbard’s next book, because I feel like she has great potential.I had initially planned to rank it two stars, but when I thought about, I realized it deserved more than that. The story line kept me in it, and I never once thought about not finishing it. There aren’t any spoilers in there, though I realize this review would probably leave a bad taste in the mouths of some. I can only hope that this will balance out all of those excellent reviews you’ll read elsewhere, then maybe you won’t go in expecting more than you’ll get.