Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman

Circle of Silence
(WiHi, #2)
by Carol M. Tanzman
Received for Review
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Release Date: July 24,2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.76
Pages: 304

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

The biggest story of my life could be how it endsIt's my turn to run aCampus News crew, and I've put together a team that can break stories wide open. And Washington Irving High has a truly great one to cover, if only we can find a lead.

A secret society has formed in our school. It announced its presence with pranks: underwear on the flagpole, a toilet in the hallway, cryptic notes. A circle of silence keeps the society a mystery. No one knows its members, agenda or initiation secrets—until a student lands in the hospital under strange circumstances.

I will blow this story wide open and stop others from being hurt…or worse. And while my ex, Jagger, might want to help, I don't trust him yet. (And, no, not because of our past together. That is not important to this story.)

But whether you find me, Valerie Gaines, reporting in front of the camera, or a victim in the top story of the newscast…be sure to watchCampus News at 9:00 a.m. this Friday.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-galley from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I didn't know this was a sequel until I had finished reading this one so you can definitely read it as a stand-alone novel. 

I'll admit to being curious to see what happens in the first one now. I'll have to go back and read that one.

But let's get into what I thought of this book. I picked it up because it was a bout journalism and I'm a journalist (granted I'm on the print side not broadcasting).

I didn't have high expectations for this novel. I liked the idea of a secret society being formed and figured it would be interesting. What I didn't expect was the secret society to be actually dangerous and so creepy.

Tanzman's writing style drew me in and I loved the characters. I loved Val. She was so intense that she was sometimes narrow-minded but I loved watching her interact with her friends and then of course her ex Jagger. I'm definitely a Jagger fan. He was a bad boy who was not really a bad boy.

I don't know why I love characters like that so much I just do. 

The plot was slightly predictable and I felt like that the police and the faculty should have stepped in much sooner. In that regard, I found the plot slightly unrealistic. These pranks weren't so innocent and were more crimes than pranks. They should have stepped in more forcefully and much sooner.

But having said that, Carol created a thrilling tale full of suspense and while I had unraveled the plot very early it was still a compelling read. My heart was racing while I watched Val recklessly track this story. 

In horror movies, there are always the moments where you want to scream at the protagonist "don't go into the creepy dark basement" "don't open the closet." While reading this book, I had those moments several times. 

I still thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Carol's characters were compelling. The writing was for the most part very well done. Definitely an enjoyable read. It was entertaining and suspenseful. However, it lacked that extra something to push it up to a book that I really loved. 

I wouldn't reread this one or buy it since I've already read it, but wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to fans of this genre.  

In Summary: Carol's novel presents a suspenseful and compelling read that mixes mystery with enough romance to make this a book I adored reading. Compelling characters juxtaposed with an intriguing plot will keep you turning pages until the very end. 

The Wrap-up: This is the sequel but this acts as a stand-alone novel. Carol's writing was intriguing and I'll definitely be curious to see what she writes next. If you like mystery/suspense in the young adult genre, then I recommend this one to you. 


Danica Page

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