Yulia is trying to survive in the USSR in 1963. This is a world of long lines for rations, hiding from the KGB, and using the black market just to survive. Yulia has a special ability that helps her make good deals -- if she touches someone she can read their thoughts and emotions.
Yulia gets captured and taken to a house where several children with these types of abilities have been training to spy for the government. Yulia knows they have taken her mother and brother somewhere, and her only goal is to escape and rescue them. It is difficult to trust any of the students, since they have varying types of mind reading and pushing abilities. Also, their captors have the same abilities, sometimes even stronger.
So Yulia is trying to survive and keep her captors happy, all the while trying to figure out how she's ever going to escape. They are being hunted by the CIA and Yulia decides maybe they would be better so she's trying to get to them to escape to the west.
I'm not sure what set wrong with me about Sekret. I enjoyed the atmosphere. This was also the time of the space race, and you get the Russian perspective on that. I think the alternate history bothered me a bit. Usually I love this type of story, but some of the powers that the characters had were a bit vague, or maybe too convenient? I had trouble believing the tension as it built. I didn't feel my heart pounding like I think I should have. Like I said, I'm not sure.
I did enjoy reading Sekret. It is written well; it's quick and easy. I think teens who enjoy alternate history fueled by a paranormal element will enjoy Sekret. The second book in the series, Skandal, was just released.
Published by Roaring Book Press, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
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