A lover of mysteries, she finally gets the chance to solve something on her own when Ethan, a cute but mysterious loner appears in her class. Both fascinated and infatuated with him, Kelsey soon learns there are events at play in Ethan's life that are both tragic and dangerous. Events that, the deeper she digs, may end up threatening not only their relationship but their very lives.
In other words, everyone at least 10 years old should read this. I simply recommend reading Joshua's Island first. But definitely read this, too.
The entire tone of this is different from that of Joshua's Island, though. While some of the underlying themes are still present, this one is a mystery, which is to be expected. After all, the main character is the daughter of a police detective. It kind of goes with the territory.
When said main character, Kelsey, meets the new boy, Ethan, at school, something about him intrigues her. She can't quite put her finger on it, but there's something about him that simply begs her to figure it out. So she does. The masterful part of the writing here is that the reader, being as much in the dark as she is at the start of the story, is pulled in to the search, becomes a part of the hunt. We WANT to find out as much as she does! I know that some mysteries don't quite work out that way; this one most definitely does! I found myself trying to deduce what the answers to the questions in front of Kelsey were, but still not quite sure of I had the correct answers until the author finally yielded the answers to all.
I became emotionally involved yet again in Patrick Hodges writing. (I know, I know: I'm a blubbering sap. Sue me.) I found myself literally cheering when things went in the positive direction in the book for the multitude of characters involved, weeping when something negative came to pass, and having to stop reading so I could take a walk and calm down at times. (Don't worry. I'm not going to give any information about what exactly caused all of these reactions. You'll have to read and find out for yourself!)
This book has it all: romance, mystery, action, tension, and much more.
Ethan, a new student at Kelsey’s middle school, is mysterious… and okay, really cute. Kelsey finds Ethan fascinating. She’s obsessed with solving mysteries and even has the nickname Detective. What begins as an innocent fact finding mission turns into an adorable teen love story.
Steering away from the bullying theme, Ethan’s Secret focuses more on the many aspects of friendship, secrets, trust, and love. It’s done in a fast paced plot that, while aimed at teenagers, managed to keep me (who is very much NOT a teenager anymore) on the edge of my seat, wanting to know how it was all going to play out.
Hodges is an expert of transporting me back to my teen years with his realistic dialogue and awkwardness, giving me a wistful, nostalgic feeling that lasted long after I’d finished the book.
And while the main plot revolves around extreme circumstances that’s not a fact of everyday life, current issues for teens are addressed through secondary and supporting characters, making it not only an entertaining book, but one that has an important message: to accept your friends for who they are.
Kelsey is aspiring to be a detective after growing up with her father. When Ethan arrives at her school as the new student, he becomes her new mystery to solve. Badboy, quiet Ethan. Along her journey to find out what he's hiding, they fall for each other in the sweetest possible way. Ethan's Secret will keep you reading with the first chapters and I found myself once again drawn into James Madison Middle School.
I loved the relationship Kelsey has with her friends April, Bree, and Penny. There's a little twist in the story too that I love, but I don't want to spoil it so you should be reading this book. Like now.
Patrick Hodges perfectly crafted this story for his readers. He leaves little clues that keep you reading every word carefully to figure out what Ethan's secret is before Kelsey does. Ethan's Secret is a book you won't want to miss out on. And if you haven't read Joshua's Island, you don't have to read it before this one. But you should definitely read that one too.
This is a wonderful story about growing up in middle school. It starts with Kelsey’s story, then switches to Ethan’s view. A new school year begins with the typical drama and like most girls, Kelsey is immediately intrigued with the mysterious new hottie. But Kelsey soon learns this newcomer has a secret that awakens her detective nature. She will stop at nothing to figure it out.
A lot happens in this book with twists and turns to keep you engaged. I thought the author did a wonderful job fleshing out the characters. Each of the characters unique personalities contributed something to the book. But I absolutely fell In love with the main characters, Kelsey and Ethan. Between her wittiness and his sweetness, I just wanted to hug them both.
I want to thank the author for giving me an ARC copy. I truly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
This book follows the story of Kelsey, the little spitfire from JI. I have to admit that as much as I loved Joshua and Eve, Kelsey stole the spotlight in JI, and I was very much looking forward to reading my favorite character's backstory. I was not disappointed.
Patrick Hodges has this rare talent of transporting you into the midst's of his tales. You actually feel as if you are that eighth grader again going through all the angst, awkwardness and excitement associated with being a teen. His characters are real and utterly believable. His story focuses on so many aspects teens find themselves dealing with every day; acceptance, friendship, bullying, trust and first love. This book also delves into an amazing secondary storyline that will pull you in, glue you to the edge of your seat and keep you guessing until the end. No spoilers from me however, so you will have to read the book to find out what I am talking about :)
I cannot express how in love I am with this story. It will make you laugh, cry, gasp in disbelief, and bring back memories of Dirty Harry (For those of you who don't know who that is...Clint Eastwood. Google him :)
Great job Mr. Hodges. 5 out of 5 shiny stars. Looking forward to reading so much more from you!!!
Ethan and his family have a dangerous secret but Kelsey doesn't realize how dangerous it could really be. She's like a mini Veronica Mars. She has to get to the bottom of it. She doesn't know the troubles it will lead to or its connection to events that have been happening around her. What she does know is that she likes Ethan and he doesn't deserve everything that has happened.
Watching their friendship play out is cute and charming and also deeper than you would expect from kids their age. Mr. Hodges shows us, yet again, how he can shape a relationship in such a way that it neither seems childish or too mature for the characters. It's a true talent. He also proves that he is the master of teaching through entertainment. This book is thoroughly enjoyable, yet it has a number of strong messages for teenagers. I wish his books had been out when I was in middle school.
You want to read this book. And then you want to have your children or your students or your neighbor kids read it as well.
Within the first few chapters, I really enjoyed the way Kelsey and Ethan's stories began to unfold, but my initial thoughts were, I liked Joshua's Island better. As the story progressed, and I realized just how different this book was shaping up to be, I changed my mind. I loved it just as much as Joshua's Island but for very different reasons.
The author could have easily gone the same route to tell the same story with new characters, tacking an equally difficult issue. And to be honest, that's kinda what I was expecting and anticipating. Boy was I wrong! The plot twists kept me guessing and the last third of the book kept me up late because I just had to finish.
Once again, Patrick Hodges tackles some tough issues that all teens face during those awful middle school years and he shows us, through his remarkable (and remarkably adorable) cast of characters, how to overcome those issues. I absolutely love the way this author brings closure to his character's lives and their stories. Not many books culminate with such a satisfying ending. Hodges' books can stand alone, but they also cross over as a successful series, and that takes an incredible amount of talent to accomplish.
In the end, Ethan's secret felt much more like fiction than Joshua's Island, which you can tell was deeply inspired by the author's own experiences. That did not take away from my enjoyment of the book, but the emotional level was not the same. Still, a very enjoyable, entertaining read that will keep you guessing. I'm looking forward to the next one, hoping we'll get to see more familiar faces.