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Review - Circle of Silence

Saturday, July 28, 2012
Circle of Silence (WiHi #2)
by Carol M. Tanzman

Publication: July 24, 2012 (Hardback)
Pages: 304
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

THE BIGGEST STORY OF MY LIFE COULD BE HOW IT ENDS

It's my turn to run a "Campus 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 watch "Campus News" at 9:00 a.m. this Friday.

Carol M. Tanzman has a gift for writing contemporary stories that explore the real, gritty side of high school life in a way that keeps the reader captivated and hanging onto her every word. Honestly, I'm not fond of the synopsis. It doesn't capture the thrill and shivers and dread that I felt while reading this book. It doesn't capture the essence of the story as did the synopsis for dancergirl (WiHi #1). However, I had read dancergirl, and I remembered how much I loved that book. With high expectations, I picked up Circle of Silence, and I loved it.

Although this is the second book in a series, what ties the books together is that they take place in the same high school. (You can read this without having read dancergirl!) The character are all different, but for a couple references to Ali, which was pretty exciting. I cheered, "I KNOW THAT GIRL!!" in my head, as though I'd spotted a celebrity. In a way, I did. I'm that big of a book nerd.

The story focuses on Val's perspective; however, every now and then, the mysterious leader behind the society gets a word in. Each time, I knew that something bad was going to happen. Because the leader doesn't have anything good to say. What we see is plotting--plotting on how to use the other members of the society, what new and dangerous prank to pull, and who should be eliminated. Each prank is more daring and threatening than the last, and I was hanging off the edge of a mental cliff, worrying that Val and her team wouldn't expose the truth in time to prevent something irreversible from happening. As it is, they come across many close calls.

Val is a very different narrator from Ali. Both have large amounts of pressure put onto them, and both are courageous in their own ways. Ali for going after a stalker; Val for pursuing the truth of the story at all costs. The difference is that Val seems more energetic and with more drive, which comes from the reporter within her. As an aspiring journalist, she is always pushing after the truth, after the story, and her curiosity often gets her into trouble. (And having a stalker isn't very energizing. It's downright scary.) Oftentimes, it causes her to forget about what matters. However, that is at the heart of this story: learning to accept yourself and the proper way to go about doing that. I loved watching Val and her team pursue the story on the mysterious society

Val is a courage girl. It takes a lot of guts to pursue a story as dangerous as this one, especially when you know that the authorities won't do anything to help. With this second book, Tanzman has established herself as one of my favorite authors. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book that she has lying in store for us!


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
6 comments on "Review - Circle of Silence"
  1. Great review! I just reviewed it myself a few hours ago actually. ;) I loved the parts from the MPs POV the most and it was definitely creepy knowing they planned something bad and waiting to see what would happen... The society was quite creepy!

    I had some trouble connecting to the characters, but besides that, it was a really great read! Love your review and I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

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    1. I loved looking into the mind of MP's leader as well. It was so surprising afterwards to see how ordinary and unrecognizable he was, but then again it goes to show how the most extraordinary things can be plotted by the most seemingly ordinary people.

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed it too!

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  2. Glad to see a review from someone who's read dancergirl. I didn't realize they were connected and was so happy to realize that it wasn't necessary to have read the first book to enjoy this one. Of course, this one was so good that now I really want to read the first one!

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    1. If you love this book, you'll love dancergirl as well. You should definitely check it out!

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  3. I didn't know this was the second book in the series! I was JUST about to request it! THANK god I saw this :)

    Interesting review
    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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    1. You can read this without having read the first book!

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