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Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: Secret Society

Author: Tom Dolby
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 352
Source: Library
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Summary:  Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .
An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

I didn't love it. That being said, I didn't hate it. I guess I could say that the book was ok. I had checked it out from the library a while ago, and the book was due soon so I thought I would spend Thursday reading it. I had almost finished it when I went to bed... and then my body decided that it's on a weird sleeping schedule and woke up me up at 3:30. When I finally decided I wasn't going to get anymore sleep, I finished the book.

I guess my main problem with the book was the lack of credible detail. There were certain parts when I knew the characters were afraid, but I didn't feel afraid with them. There were also moments when I thought, if this "Society" is truly that intense, they wouldn't have gotten by with that. After the murder happens in the book (it's first shown in the prologue), it didn't seem like someone had been murdered. I kept asking my book, where's the emotion? Why aren't you making me feel this supposed fear that the characters are feeling. I guess it didn't help that the book was divided among four different points of view. I've seen that work in books, but this was not one of those. I felt like I was missing important parts of the story line. Secret Society was one of those time-filler reads where it will entertain you, but you don't have too much of an opinion about it afterwards.

Though I wasn't crazy about the book, there were certain parts that I really liked. Dolby did a great job at portraying success the way teens see it. There were clear pressures and intensities that every teen feels with a extra dose of crazy since the book takes place in the Upper East Side among private schools. I have a guilty pleasure for all things uptown New York City which is why I picked up the book in the first place. I also have a "slight" crazy for Ancient Egypt so that was a bonus for me.

I know that this was Dolby's first attempt at YA literature so I might read the next book in the series (The Trust) if I come across it really cheap somewhere, and I'm out of things to read.

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