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The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I Paperback – Student Calendar, August 21, 2012
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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The dramatic black cover, with blood-red lettering and a close-up photo of an intense young woman with dark red lips, might suggest vampires, but the series title (The Secret Circle) gives it away: here there be witches. Quiet, shy Cassie and her single mother reluctantly move from California to New Salem, Massachusetts, to take care of Cassie’s grandmother, who looks suspiciously witchy and seems to know an awful lot about herbs. The local high school Cassie now attends is dominated by a very exclusive group of teens known as “the Club.” It won’t take the reader long to figure out that Club members are teen witches descended from the witches who survived the Salem witch hunts by leaving that town and starting their own. Our hapless heroine is, of course, a witch herself (though only half, as her absent father was not of that community), and in this first title in the series she begins to find her power and her position within the group. Fans of Smith’s Vampire Diaries series will find the same basic formula here: plenty of foreshadowing, lots of action, mild creepiness, and instant infatuation. Characterization is minimal, but those seeking lightweight, mildly scary, somewhat romantic titles will gobble this up and eagerly await the sequel. Grades 7-10. --Debbie Carton
Praise for The Secret Circle: The Divide: “Attractive teens; hot, but innocent, romance…dangerous adventures…all guarantee popular appeal…Main character, Cassie, is both likable and realistic…Stir in suspense–filled scenes…and Smith bewitches readers into clamoring for more.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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So no more spoiling the book, because it's awesome! For most people, they only know of this because of the show and watched the show instead. But I think for the most part, the show lacks a certain quality that the book has: magic! I'm not talking spells or doing cool things with incantations, but I'm talking that quality that book has that makes you enjoy every second you read the book.
There is something about the way that Cassie meets everyone and how she learns of the "secret". My favorite part was that is was set in Massachusetts. The show doesn't have that. My big complaint about the show. Reason for this is the witch trials happened in Salem Mass. and that reference/story is brought up in the book too. It's one of the huge elements that is played on the last half of the book as well.
I simply enjoyed how there was a part in the beginning when Cassie sees Diana for the first time. She is described as this tall girl, with hair so long and beautifully blonde, "that is woven with the sun and the moon". She is also described as being this unbelievably nice girl and how everyone LOVES her in school. All the girls can't get enough of her and every single guy she passes in the hall asks her out on a date.
Then you have the complete opposite to her: Faye. Faye is a this tall girl too. Dark black hair that is long and raven black. Red fire painted nails and the body of something 'exotic'. She is always wearing clothing that is too sexy for her and doesn't give a care in the world that she goes after the boys that are never single or just flat out a challenge.
Those two characters added such a dynamic, that it was intriguing to know what they were capable of doing to anyone or to each other in their "circle".
This book is a great read for those wanting something deeper than the show can offer, while also knowing maybe how it came about as a book. The one thing I can give away is that in the books that didn't happen on the show: Cassie's mother never died and her father wasn't a witch either. Something I didn't enjoy they doing for the show. Took away too much about the original story at hand.
Anyway, this is something to really check out if you have the time, especially if you haven't seen the show.