By Lindsay Smith
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s, 337 pages
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.
— Goodreads.com 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?