Wed, May 28, 2014

Sekret by Lindsay Smith Review

Sekret book cover

Sekret book cover

By Lindsay Smith
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s, 337 pages
Source: Publisher

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia’s father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she’s captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she’s thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one–not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention–and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

— description

I’ll admit it: I know very little about Russia and the Cold War.

On the one hand, that made Sekret by Lindsay Smith a cool reading experience. I was introduced to a new culture and a beautifully depicted new setting.

On the other hand, I got so lost in the Russian names and historical plot points that I had a hard time following quite a few parts of the book.

But, if you’re into (a) Russia or (b) historical fiction or (c) paranormal spins on actual events, I think you’ll have a better go at this one than me. Historical fiction fans, do note point (c) there, though: They are mind readers. So, you know, not 100% historical. At least I hope not!!!

Also worth noting: Some of the characters were a bit stereotypical to me: mean girl, shy boy, jock boy, etc. Would have liked to see that mixed up a bit more.

So maybe it wasn’t a favorite and didn’t totally win me over, but I’m still glad I tried Sekret. I loved the amount of research Lindsay Smith clearly put into this book, and her writing was great. And, hey, it’s always good to try new types of books and challenge ourselves as readers, right?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: historical, lindsay smith, paranormal


  1. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA said:

    I get lost with Russian/Eastern European names pretty easily. If I can hear them pronounced, I’m fine; if I’m just reading them they go right over my head or I totally hack them. I do enjoy books set in this part of the world though, mostly because it’s pretty mysterious to me!


    Posted on: Wed, May 28, 2014

  2. Pam@YAEscapefromReality said:

    I definitely have read mixed reviews of this one so I’m still on the fence about it.

    I just have to say that you have such a talent for writing a negative review without it really being negative (you always seem to find the good parts to focus on and still let us know about what didn’t work for you).


    Posted on: Wed, May 28, 2014

  3. Alexa S. said:

    I really, really loved Sekret! I thought it was a cool concept, and creative, and I loved the Russian and historical elements Smith wove into it. I’m glad you decided to give it a try!


    Posted on: Wed, May 28, 2014

  4. April Books & Wine said:

    See, I am a total nerd for Russia, so the history stuff and the naming didn’t bother me. Sorry you did not love it more 🙁


    Posted on: Wed, May 28, 2014

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