The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Released: February 14th 2004
Series: Midnighters #1
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Oh my golly gosh. This book was awesome. If you could publish awesome, it would be in the form of this book. Big statement I know. But stay with me, because this book deserves much more attention!
Most of the YA community (in my experience) has read or at least heard of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Don't get me wrong, I adored that series too. But this? This was on a whole other level.
Now the Uglies series is still awesome, but since reading the books, I have come across books that are similar in some ways. Delirium being one, which I feel is a combo of Uglies and Matched. They are not exactly the same but that had the same feel. ANYWAY. The Secret Hour? So original! At least in my opinion.
Forget all you know about there being 24 hours in a day. In Jessica Day's life there are 25 hours in a day. There is a SECRET HOUR. Didn't see that coming did ya? hehe. There is a group of people in this small town of America that Jessica has just moved to, who call themselves the Midnighters. Why? Because they are the only small group of people who actually get to experience this 25th hour. If you are not one of the lucky (I use that term very loosely as they seem to have more bad luck than good) few who get to experience the hidden hour at midnight, then you remain frozen in place until the hour is up. Whether you are sleeping or mid conversation.
One of Jessica's first experiences with the secret hour is not at all pleasant. She is attacked by weird snakes and an incredibly abnormal panther. She thinks it is just a dream. That is until she gets to know the 'Midnighters' better. Rex, the brains of the operation gives her the lo-down on whats what. She finds out that they all have a special talent in the secret hour. Rex's is knowledge, Jonathan's (squee!! *deep breathe*) is flying (cool right?), Melissa's is projecting thoughts and Dess' is... Well I actually don't remember... Sorry! But you get the idea, right? The group has no idea what Jessica's talent is, and with all the weird miss-happenings in the secret hour, they need to find out, and quick.
Now, I am always rather partial to a love story in the books I read, and there is one (or two) in The Secret Hour, but it isn't the prevailing plot line. This I really liked. The story really didn't need too much of a love story, I think it would have over powered the whole idea behind the book, but there is still a love story none the less! If you didn't catch on by my previous 'squee' then: Jonathan and Jessica sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. There! Happy?
The blurb on the back of the book does not give much away at all, and I was hesitant to pick it up. Then I though 'what the heck, I'm at a library, they are free to borrow anyway! Plus I love Scott Westerfeld!' Best decision I have made all week. I also picked up the second one and it was just as good, if not better.
If you haven't already, then definitely give this series a try. I have never read another book where the author messes with time in such a way that there is an extra and secret hour in every day. I highly recommend The Secret Hour, it is currently my favourite Scott Westerfeld series!
What is your favourite book by Scott Westerfeld? Let me know in the comments below!