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Kathy Colton can't stand her brother Brett. Her family talks as if he were perfect! All Kathy knows for sure is that Brett is dead. He died of leukemia when he was seventeen and she was only two. But when Kathy turns sixteen, she discovers her brother's hidden journala journal written especially for herand learns about the brother she never knew. At the same time, Kathy is mortified by an assignment to tutor the popular high school quarterback Jason West, a football jock who, even worse, is a Mormon. Author Kay Lynn Mangum brilliantly weaves dual stories of a dying brother and a coming-of-age sister who learn the importance of loving family and nurturing faith.
- Published: June 20005
- Pages: 352
About the Author
Kay Lynn Mangum holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Southern Utah University. She has enjoyed reading and writing stories since her elementary school days and has always dreamed of publishing novels. She works as a legal assistant and loves traveling to the places where she wants to set her stories. The Secret Journal of Brett Colton, her first novel, began as a short story she created at age 15 for a high school writing contest. Kay Lynn lives in Utah.
Great for young and young at heart!
by Patricia - reviewed on July 07, 2005
I don't find much time to read novels and very rarely take the time to read them with such a busy schedule. I have focused on non-fiction and things that would help me in the gospel and with my family. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK! I am encouraging everyone to read the book. I have told many others about it and am trying to get my family, and foster children to read it. Two Thumbs Up!
by Shauna - reviewed on August 18, 2005
As a cancer survivor this book was very touching to me. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the book. I cried and laughed.
ONE OF THE BEST I'VE READ IN A LONG TIME
by Alicia Williams - reviewed on March 18, 2005
It's rare that a book can keep me up until 3 00 in the morning, but that's exactly what this book did. I was completely absorbed by the third chapter. The Secret Journal of Brett Colton was an insightful look into what a family goes through with the incurable illness of one of their own. It was an insightful look into the way a testimony of the Book of Mormon changes us. What I felt while reading the book remained with me long after I finished it. I've already passed my copy on to my own family, what a powerful book about change, family, love, life, and death.
A Must Read
by Lucinda - reviewed on June 20, 2006
I could not put this book down. What a wonderful, uplifting story. Great for anyone wanting an inspirational and heart warming read. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
A heart warming page-turner!
by Customer - reviewed on July 15, 2005
What a wonderful book! Having been out of high school for over 10 years I was a little hesitant to order this book. What could a book about a teenage girl be of interest to a thirty year old mom? A lot, apparently! It helped to remind me of some of the important things in life that can get neglected. This is a book for just about everyone. The characters are ones you want to root for. Excellent reading! , -ASW
I read this book in two nights.
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
I read this book in two nights. It is outstanding. It doesn't follow the story line you might think. It causes us to use some introspection as we look at our religion from an outsiders point of view. It is riveting and I could only put it down because it was 1 00 am and time for bed. , Great reading for young adult and adults as well. , Dennis
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
I haven't read LDS teen fiction since high school. But, I decided to read the Secret Journal of Brett Colton, honestly, just for kicks. I guess I got my kick. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not just your typical dramatic teen love story. It teaches about the gospel. about how important it is to live it every day of our lives, and how crucial it is that we share it with others. This book has the ability to reach many, even outside its target audience. Well done, very well done. -Natali Hamblin
Where has this author been hiding?
by Customer - reviewed on March 28, 2005
I cannot believe this is her first book! Where has this gem of an author been hiding??? I absolutely loved this book! The way she writes lets your imagination flow . . . I cried at the end of this book, and I never cry when I read books. This book buried deep into my soul and gave me chills. It touched my heart with how much a brother could love his sister . . . I really loved this book, and look forward to more material by Kay Lynn Mangum. --Chantelle Webster
I started crying and couldnt stop
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
Wow! I started crying at chapter 3 and pretty much sobbed my way through the book! I am a fan of LDS fiction- but- I must admit, the formula stuff does get a bit redundant. This book took on a life of its own. The story was poignant, the characters were real people. Kay Lynn Magnum did a great job on this book. I can't wait to get my hands on her next one.
Pass this on to every young woman
by Customer - reviewed on March 24, 2005
I admit it--I am the world's biggest skeptic when it comes to LDS fiction--ESPECIALLY young adult LDS fiction. With that preface, let me say that I absolutely LOVED The Secret Journal of Brett Colton. I have passed it on to the young women who work with me at the BookCellar, and they love it too. Just thought I'd pass it on--such a pleasant surprise!' --Rose Powell
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
I second everything that has been said so far about this book. I have read a ton of LDS fiction and do have favorites but this book is special. VERY SPECIAL! I could not put it down and I did tear up a time or too. When I finished I felt a deeper and clear meaning about t a lot of things. -Mary Jane Lane
I absolutely loved the Secret Journal of Brett Colton
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
I absolutely loved the Secret Journal of Brett Colton. It was such a powerful story. I stayed up until 3 am just so I could finish it. I cried as I read Brett's touching journal entries to Kathy and watched her attitude change towards her family. I see Kathy as an ugly duckling that by the end of this book has turned into a beautiful swan both inside and out. This book is great for teens and adults. Everyone will like it. I cannot believe that this is Kay Lynn Mangum's first book. I want to read everything by her. The only thing I would have done differently is the epilogue. I wish it had shown them on their way to the temple to be sealed as a family with Brett. But this my just be my need for closure. , Jenifer Wright
a must read
by Customer - reviewed on March 25, 2005
I just finished 'The Secret Journal', and WOW!!!! I'm not a big fan of LDS teen fiction, but this one I could not put down!! It is one of the most moving stories I have read in a long time. . . . This really is quite a remarkable book. I would definitely recommend this to everybody. - Brenna Hyde
It's not the same old tired LDS novel.
by Customer - reviewed on April 26, 2005
I don't read much LDS fiction, I’m a doctrinal man myself, but your review and passion for it in our Managers Leadership Conference in February got me to crack it open. I must say I really became involved in the story and in the characters lives. Believe me, this is huge coming from me. I just don't read this kind of stuff. I believe the story to be so unique and untouched in fiction today many regular readers of this genre will be happily surprised left wanting more from this author. I truly believe it hits a niche readers are wanting to experience. It's not the same old tired LDS novel. You know the kind, the sappy love drama saga. Thank goodness for a fresh approach to LDS writing. Richard Harline
Awesome book for a first time author!!!!
by Ronda - reviewed on August 20, 2005
This was such a great book. I read it all in one sitting(except for going to the bathroom and eating!) It is one of my favorite LDS fiction books ever!!!!!!!!!
A wonderful book!!
by becky - reviewed on August 15, 2005
What a wonderful read!! I could not put this book down! I cried and laughed and truly felt the spirit so many times while reading this book. I would recommend it to anyone. I hope there will be a sequel
by Beth - reviewed on February 23, 2011
This book was well-written and so interesting that it was hard to put down. I can't wait to read another book by this author!
LOVE THIS BOOK!!
by Customer - reviewed on June 27, 2006
I read this book in one day and won't put it down at all! I really love the book and I think it's one of my favorite book right now. They MUST make the book into MOVIE! I wish the book don't end at all! You need to write MORE! Please... )
You will love this book!
by Cheri - reviewed on May 01, 2005
The Secret of Brett Colton was excellent!! I couldn't put it down. I was surprised that it was the authors first book. This book is good for both adults and teenagers.
An amazing heart warming story!
by Kristin - reviewed on March 16, 2006
This book has now become one of my all time favorites! Its one to make you laugh and cry. I recommend it to everyone!
Daughter's all time favorite.
by Robin - reviewed on December 05, 2007
My daughter who is very choosy about what she reads declares this book one of her all time favorites. Her enthusiasm prompted me to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised. What an amazing young adult novel.
I would buy it again
by Maria - reviewed on September 20, 2008
This was a great read. The style of writing was excellent and the character development was superb. I really enjoyed this book and I am likely to get it for a few teenagers on my Christmas list this year.
THE BEST EVER!!!
by Ariane - reviewed on July 28, 2006
O my goodness, I loved this book so much.. I couldn't put it down! I would tell everyone that I knew to read this and I hardly read at all... O man I'm telling you this is the best book I've ever read in my life!! Better then Harry Potter )
you can not read this and not cry!!
by Customer - reviewed on July 02, 2005
This book is so good! I just got it yesterday and I could not put it down. The book make you think! I can't wait tell another book come out. It worth the read. you will get a good cry out of this book.
The Best LDS Fiction book ever!!
by Karissa - reviewed on August 03, 2005
This is truly the best LDS fiction book I have ever read!! It was so good. There wasn't a moment that I wasn't wondering what was going to happen next. It was a mystery, and a love story rolled into one. I loved it!! I recomend it to everyone.
Great uplifting book - Must read!
by Jill - reviewed on August 15, 2005
This story was great! Original with lots of surprises. I was inspired and touched, I laughed a lot, and yes I cried too. As I read Kathy's story, I related to her character, it brought back so many memories from high school and I found myself laughing out loud, because I realized I had had similar experiences in high school and just forgotten about them. The story has a lot of good moral lessons. In the beginning, I wasn't sure what to think of the main characters. But as the events unfolded in the story, the author did a great job developing the characters and showing the contrast in the growth and maturity of their personalities as they came to realize what was most important in life. This is a great, wholesome, uplifting novel. I couldn't put it down and read it within just a few days - I didn't want it to end. A great gift idea for any young adult, parent or friend, and my husband enjoyed it just as much as I did. It was strongly recommended to me and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
Best LDS Story Ever Written!
by Jamie - reviewed on March 14, 2006
It can't be said enough... this book of so amazingly GREAT! I read it last year, and then every one of my girl friends read it. We almost convinced the guys to also. It makes me so happy even to think about it. Please read it! It's the greatest story!
by Jillian - reviewed on July 15, 2006
Its impossible to say how many copies I have sold working at Deseret Book. I bought the book immediately and have shared it with my family. This book is incredible - it inspires. No matter what your age, this book while soon become your favorite. There is no review that can give it justice. The best author I've read in years.
by Becky - reviewed on February 11, 2007
I usually dont like to read but I read this book in a week. I loved this book and could relate.
by Becky - reviewed on May 30, 2006
This book is amazing and the best book i have ever read by far. It has comedy, romance and it makes you cry. The book is so spiritual. I absolutely love it and recommend it to all.
by Customer - reviewed on July 27, 2007
It was an amazing book...with a mixture of laughing...crying...and i little bit of romance! It was inspirational!!! And it made me think a lot about my life...! ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER...AND READ A LOVE LIKE LILLY TOO!!! ITS ALSO JUST AS GOOD D
by Debbie - reviewed on November 09, 2007
My daughter brought this book home, saying she thought I might like it. I loved it. What a powerful message and story. It also got me motivated about keeping my own journal up. Also my own children had a brother die and it made me wonder what he would have said to them in a journal. Thank you to a very talented author.
Best Seller for a Reason
by Michele - reviewed on March 21, 2008
I'm a 12 year old who HATES to read but after I read 'When the Bough Breaks'(Also by Kay Lynn Mangum) I fell in love with reading books. I bought 'The Secret Journal of Brett Colton' not to long ago but I haven't had much time to read it because of school, homework, and all that other stuff. So spring break i got my chance to finally read it. I read the whole thing in a few days, and let's just say, it got to me. This book is absolutly amazing. I've never cried through any book except Kay Lynn's. At first I was so scared of death and dieing but now I know when I do die that I lead a good life and touched many people and I not afraid to die. This book helped me see that. This book did wonders for me so it can do the same for you.A true best seller.
by Customer - reviewed on June 18, 2007
I am a very slow reader, and this is a pretty big book, I read it in two days. I couldn't put it down! I read it in class, after school, during lunch. I didn't' talk on the phone, I didn't' do anything, I could not put this book down! It was awesome!!!And I don't think my eyes were dry at all!
Life changing book
by Kiley - reviewed on June 26, 2007
This book is the best book i have ever read. i dont like to read but when i finish this book i start over again. it's changed my life. its helped me want to be a better and nicer person. im alot nicer to my family and get alone with people because i want to be like Kitty is!!
Don't hate on someone, especially if you don't even know them!
by Customer - reviewed on July 07, 2007
This book made me never want to put it down! It really teaches you that you have no idea of what a person may have been like, unless you knew them. It really stands behind he phrase 'don't judge a book by its cover' she judged her brother without even knowing him! But once she started to, he helped her through a lot! I recommend this book for anyone! It really is a life touching story!
I'd read it again and again and again!!!
by Customer - reviewed on July 08, 2007
I loved the Secret Journal of Brett Colton!!! I got a new understanding for a lot of the points packed into that book...thanks Kay Lynn Mangum...it was a great book!!! and I loved it!!!
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!
by Brittni - reviewed on September 15, 2007
This is the best book I've read in my entire life!! I couldn't put it down, I read it in a day. Since then, I have read it six times, and it never gets old. I'm usually not a person that cries over book, but reading this one I cried and laughed through the whole thing.
If you havent read this book DO IT!
by Katelyn - reviewed on October 10, 2007
This book was amazing I have never felt so close to someone who I didnt know. I read this with my mom and it was so special I love this book. The Secret Journal Of Brett Colton has by far been the saddest book I have ever read I cried every time I read it. I wish their was more I didn't want it to be over!
Oh my goodness!
by Kelsey - reviewed on October 25, 2007
Okay, I just finished reading this book about an hour ago, and I absolutely loved it! Never have I ever read a book that hit me the way this one did! I hated having to put it down at night so that I could get some sleep, only to wake up and start reading it again! I do not cry during books, only during movies, and, although I have cried reading two books in my entire life, neither of them compare to how hard I was sobbing while I was reading this book! I cried even harder when it ended, because I thought that I should have just kept going and going! I hope that someday I might be able to meet Kay Lynn Mangum and express to her how much I love her book!
by mandee - reviewed on November 02, 2007
I've just finished reading this book for the 9th time. It's so unbelievable. I'm just in love with this story. Sometimes I just crave reading it again. Every time I read it I cry. Kay Lynn Magnum did an incredible job with this thrilling story. I can almost believe I'm Kathy living the entire story out. I have falled in love with the story, and altough I have read it nine times, I know there will be a tenth time!
Ah, the happy surprise that was The Secret Journal of Brett Colton!
by Malibu - reviewed on July 09, 2009
The premise: Kathy was two when her teen-aged older brother died of leukemia. Now she feels like living in his shadow is ruining her high school years. All her family seems to talk about is how great her brother, Brett, was at everything Kathy is not. But the resentment Kathy has nurtured for so long is upended when she finds his journal that he kept just for her. There is romance, humor, drama and spiritual epiphany in this well-written book. It is a compelling read, a real page-turner. This was Kay Lynn Mangum's first novel and her craft is evident. It was entertaining to watch headstrong Kathy get flummoxed by the dashing football hero, Jason West. The characters make believable decisions that are in line with who they are (instead of just making decisions for no apparent reason than to further the plot- which I refer to as 24-itis and drives me CRAZY). The spiritual moments are genuinely touching and refect real-life concerns and truths. There is a missionary arc to the story that may seen too coincidental but works well and hey, sometimes life is just like that. There are a few plot twists that are visible miles away (especially if you read much LDS fiction) but all the technique and overally story compensate nicely. I found myself crying at times while reading this book- and I hate crying while reading. But I am willing to forgive this book for that because I really enjoyed it. It is classified with the 'teen' books. I think any young woman age 12 and up would be enthralled by this story.
One of my favorites!
by Wendy - reviewed on September 15, 2008
I absolutely loved this book. I think this is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I would recommend this book for both young adults and adults alike.
Bushland, Tx. Autumn Ryan
by autumn - reviewed on April 01, 2008
I love Kay Lynn's book the secret journal of brett colton. There are some times when I begin reading a chapter and can't stop, so I read like two chapters a day or more! Kay Lynn's first book has been so great, and now i just can't wait for her next one to come out!!! I hope it comes out soon!
by Customer - reviewed on September 14, 2008
Wow, this was a great book! I read it for a relief society book club and absolutely loved it. It is a tear jerker though! Once I started it, I couldn't put the book down. The relationships that developed in the book were heart warming and well written. This is a book that everyone can relate to.
A Great Read
by Kasi - reviewed on September 18, 2008
I absolutely loved the book! I didn't want to put it down! It is so wonderful to find wholesome books that also teach us something. I enjoyed the characters and certainly hope to see more about them in later books!
by Customer - reviewed on September 19, 2008
Kay Lynn does a marvelous job of writing. I enjoyed the book. Sometimes you don't know the sacrifices someone makes or the love someone has for you until they are gone. An excellent book for any age.
by Morgan - reviewed on September 22, 2008
This book can be read by teens and adults. It is a good story about learning to be comfortable with ourselves and dealing with how we are perceived by others (and how WE perceive that we are being perceived by others). A pleasant way to learn that we all deal with struggles and that we can all learn and grow. Pleasant, warm, charming, and fun. 5 Stars!
A good book for everyone.
by Customer - reviewed on October 17, 2008
I am a 14-year-old girl, and I LOVED this book - I've read lots of books in my life, and this makes the top ten list. This book appeals to many people, though - it's also one of the favorite books of my 20-year-old brother. This is definitely an awesome book, and I would recommend it to anyone.
by Alicia - reviewed on October 17, 2008
I was incredibly amazed by this book. I received it as a gift for easter from my parents and was not that enthusiastic about it, but decided to read it that day since we did not have any special plans. I started it before church and read a few chapters- and was begging for more, that's all I could think about. Then, I read as soon as I got home until I finished around 10:00 at night, crying the whole time (and I never cry during books). I am 17 and it caused me to take a look at my life. I was so thrilled with it, that I told my mom to read it and she loved it too. I recommend it to anyone who is considering reading it- especially teenagers.
by Customer - reviewed on November 21, 2008
This book was really good. I can't even describe it. Which i will sadly admit i did cry. The love in the story is strong. THIS BOOK WAS MARVELOUS
by Sabey - reviewed on January 14, 2009
This book is one of my favorite books ever!!! It has comedy, drama, romance, but the perfect amount of each one!! I am almost 14 and I loved it. My Mom loved it too!!! Perfect for ANYONE!!!!!
One of my favorites.
by Eric - reviewed on August 01, 2009
This is by far one of the best of the books I own and I'm still reading it the first time through. I want to have my friends read it. The end of the thirteenth chapter really hit me. It can make you think and I really enjoy it.
by Joy - reviewed on October 01, 2009
For me, reading books is not my favorite thing to do. A book has to hook me right at the beginning and if it doesn't i don't read it. When I was reading this book, I couldn't put it down. All I wanted to do was keep on reading to find out what is going to happen next. This book is a book that I can read over and over again and still get that feeling of not knowing what is going to happen and the feeling that I don't want to put it down. I love this book and i have told everyone I know about it and they have wanted to read it! When they read it they have loved it as well! to sum it up.. IT WAS AMAZING!!!
Loved this book!
by Linda - reviewed on October 19, 2009
I finished reading The Shack by William P. Young the day before I started The Secret Journal. It fell flat comparison. Kudos to Miss Mangum for bringing the characters to life in such a way that I feel like I know them personally. Also I am glad she resisted the temptation to marry off Kathy and Jason. Kept the story that much more real.
by sabrina - reviewed on September 05, 2010
i simply love this book. it was really great and so worth it. i spend every hour possible reading, just couldn't put it away. a really sweet story with a great moral. definitely one of my favorite books now ;)
by Makenna - reviewed on September 21, 2011
This book was absolutely amazing. I couldn't put it down. Must read!:)
by Leah - reviewed on December 01, 2011
This is a must-read book as it is simply amazing and very well written. The book is about a teenage girl (Kathy) whose unforgettable brother (Brett) died from Leukemia when he was sixteen. She cannot recall any memory she had of Brett because she was only two years old when he died which frustrates Kathy because Brett is all her family ever talks about, and speaks so highly of. Kathy merely cannot understand why they just can’t get over his death and move on with life. She wishes her family could just find something different, or someone different, that will make them just as proud as Brett had. However, after receiving a journal Brett had written specifically for Kathy to receive on her sixteenth birthday, she experiences a change of heart. By reading Brett’s journal, falling in love with the popular jock she has to tutor, and eventually seeking out to find the Mormon Church, Kathy experiences changes she never thought would happen in her life. This is a fantastic book for anyone and definitely targets teenage girls who need a pick-me-up in life and to know they are loved. It is great for members of the LDS church as it shows different sides and perspectives of this gospel and everything in between. Beware of laughing, crying, and feeling inspired to become a better person. This book has a great message of finding out who you really are, where you come from, and where life can take you if you allow it to. It is an easy read with realistic emotions that will catch the reader off guard and find they are unable to put the book down because the reader will experience the same change of heart as Kathy. I would highly suggest reading The Secret Journal of Brett Colton, for you will find yourself in someone else’s shoes for a couple of days.
Truly unique story..fantastic!
by Carrie - reviewed on February 02, 2012
Just read it.