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Circle Nine Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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With explorations of addiction, homelessness, and abuse, this book touches on some of society’s weightiest issues. This is a title for teens who like their fiction serious and gritty.
—School Library Journal
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Circle Nine is one of the more unusual psychological thrillers that I have read, and I mean this in a complimentary way. Heltzel writes from the perspective of protagonist Abby primarily in first person stream of consciousness with sporadic flashbacks. This gives incredible insight into Abby's fragile mind and allows the reader to plainly see all her thoughts, wants, and, most of all, confusion. I just loved how I was just as much in the dark as to the realities of Abby's situation as she was; this made the revelation of each new truth so savory to read about. What made Circle Nine really stand out to me from the other psychological thrillers that I've read is that the tone was slightly more contemplative rather than edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. There was much less urgency and action in the plot because the focus was more on Abby's inner struggles. As a result, Heltzel's crafting of Abby's character really shined in this novel, leading to a thoughtful and subtly thrilling read.
Circle Nine will be enjoyed by fans of Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. I greatly look forward to what debut author Heltzel will produce next.
Amanda's presence upsets Abby's world. She feels as though she's trying to steal Sam away from her. They go out late at night together, always leaving Abby behind. Then one night, Amanda and Sam get into a fight and something happens to Amanda. She knows about Abby, she wants to take her away from there - from Sam - but he isn't going to let that happen.
As Abby begins to remember her life before Sam, as she begins to remember the fire, her parents, her sister, "Circle Nine" becomes impossible to put down. This isn't an easy book to read. Both Abby and Sam, although it's easy to hate him, are frail characters. They are broken, and for a while, they manage to complete each other...until the truth comes out.
At times its hard to follow along with the story, especially in those moments when Abby's perception of reality changes so quickly: one minute she's seeing the filth of the cave, of Sam, and the next minute she's seeing the `beauty' of their world. One sentence would state the ugly and the next would state the beauty she saw.Read more ›
The writing style was very strange and I do not know if it is because I have an ARC copy or if the writer really wanted it to be this way, but the conversations all took place in italics instead of quotations. I did get used to it after a while, but then all conversation when the main character was having her memories, quotations were used? It made me think that none of the conversation was said out loud, just in each others heads.
Although the writing style was different for me, it did not deter me from reading the book. I HAD to get to the end to find out about Abby's story and what exactly happened to her. The storyline was intriguing and kept my interest until the very end.
I enjoyed the character of Abby and felt her sadness many times throughout the book. She just kept searching for the truth no matter what the cost and in the end found out that the truth may have been better hidden. I was not a big fan of Sam throughout most of the book until the end and found out how he saved Abby, but, he still was not that great of a person due to the fact that he really messed with her mind.
If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then you would enjoy this book. Do not let the writing style sway you, the storyline is enough to keep you reading. Although this book is classed as YA, there are sexual and drug references and I would recommend it for a mature young adult.
*Thanks to Candlewick Press for the ARC copy for this review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very quick and easy read because it kept me interested. I like to read series and this was a great "between books" book!Published 2 months ago by Pam74leo
I read this once before and I am still picking up new details I missed!Published 14 months ago by sweetness
In "Circle Nine" by Anne Heltzel, the main character, Abby, needs to learn how to determine the difference from reality and fantasy and remember the past that she has somehow... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amalia Ramos
It was different and just ok
I fast read through a lot of it. Would like it to have gone on.
This is one of those books that I literally couldn't put down. I did try. I woke up at 6am, started reading, thought, hmm maybe I'll check my email and do some work, but found... Read morePublished on February 15, 2013 by Carissa
Very good book, but is confusing. Although I loved the writers style, the plot and over all story wasn't amazing but it is still a good bookPublished on January 29, 2013 by teresa
I found it interesting in the beginning still i lost interest at the end. Though i liked it i did not like the end you could have put something like “SHE WAS ON THE ROAD THOUGHTS... Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by Nicole
This book was so weird. I read a few reviews and just couldn't finish it. I skipped to the end and read some of that and I must say that was a very very odd book. Read morePublished on April 23, 2012 by Jessica Porter
When Abby wakes after being pulled from a burning building, she discovers that she doesn't remember anything about herself. It's Sam who saves he, who helps remind her who she is. Read morePublished on March 18, 2012 by The Compulsive Reader