Sunday, April 7, 2013

Book Review: The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith

Today I am going to share my review for the first book in The Secret Circle series by L.J. Smith. This book has two books in one, the first book is called The Initiation and the second is The Captive part 1. This is a book that I have been wanting to pick up for a while now, ever since I started watching the TV show when it came on the CW a year or so ago. I started to watch season one, but I never finished watching it. I really, really liked the TV series so I always wanted to read the books too (and also finish the TV series). But, I was really reluctant to pick up the books because I don't necessarily like this author. I have read the whole Vampire Diaries series, and a few other books by her as well, but I just never really got into her writing style. It's not that she is a bad author by any means, I just didn't personally like it. I did enjoy the VD books okay, but they were just okay to me and nothing too special. So anyways, (lets get this long intro over with) I'm going to get started on my review and talk about things that I liked and disliked and I will get more into the writing style later.

Summary from Goodreads:

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witched that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants - even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.

So this book is about a girl named Cassie, who moves to New Salem with her mom because her Grandmother is getting older and her mom wanted to be around her (or something). At first Cassie is mad/sad because she doesn't want to leave her school and friends, etc. And in her new school, she isn't really making friends, and in fact she feels like everyone hates her. That is until she makes friends with Diana, and learns her family is defended from witches. Diana brings her into the Secret Circle which is made up of 11 other witches who's family has also been in New Salem for hundreds of years.

My first reaction of this book was that I did not like it. I did change my mind later though, but let me explain why. First off, in my opinion, it's really difficult for me to read a book after I've seen a movie or a TV show on it because I already have a picture in my head of how the story is suppose to be. (kind of like when you read a book first and then dislike a movie) And after seeing part of the TV show, it was hard to get into because the book is a lot different. Second, was because of the wiring style. I mentioned this before I know, but I'm saying this again because I did learn to look past the writing in this book. I find the writing style to be a bit 'cheesy' the way the author words things and the way she makes her characters act. Now I had to keep reminding my self that these books were written in the 90s and that is my assumption of why they were written this way. Maybe the way authors wrote was different then than it is now? This is how I looked past the writing in this book, and also because the story line is good, too. I mean these books are about witchcraft. That is one of my favorite fantasy things to read about!!

Now I'm going to talk more about the story and the characters. I thought the beginning of this book was a little confusing. We were introduced to Cassie, and her friend Portia and how Cassie and her mom were visiting. However, it never said where she was 'visiting', or why she was there and away from home. It never explained who Portia was, or how Cassie knew her, etc. So this was confusing and it bothered me a lot. This was before they decided to move to New Salem as well.

Cassie was and okay main character. She was really immature and annoying at some points, and it bugged me how her and Adam didn't even know each other and instantly said they were in love with each other after literally talking to each other once or twice. (This is a great example of what I meant by the story is 'cheesy', and this is exactly what bugged me when reading Vampire Diaries too) All of the other characters were kind of bland and ran together. I don't even really remember the other members of the Secret Circle because there were just so many and no one stood out. Now in the TV show I believe there are only 6 members and that was a lot easier to keep track of everyone.

I really liked the concept of this book though. Like I said before, I love witchcraft books. I loved the different spells that they talked about, the different herbs the use. I loved how there was different gem stones for certain things. And I really, really loved how each family has their own book called their Book of Shadows. I loved this most during the TV show so I'm glad it was in the book too. I found it really intriguing and I was like, Man I wish I had one of those! Lol. The story line gets a lot better once Cassie is initiated into the Circle, and more action starts happening. Things get a lot more suspenseful towards the end of the book, and the ending kind of leaves you hanging a little bit too.

Overall, I did enjoy this book despite some of the issues that I had with it. I immediately went online and purchased the rest of the books that were in the series because I just wanted to continue to read them. I do plan on watching the rest of the TV series after I read all of the books so I might do a TV/book comparison post on them!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed my review!

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