Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Secret Society by Tom Dolby



Title: Secret Society
Author:
Tom Dolby
Genre: YA mystery
Publishing Information: October 1, 2009 by HarperTeen
Series: First book in Secret Society series, followed by The Trust

Where I got it:
E-book from the library

One sentence:
Four wealthy young people from New York- Phoebe, Lauren, Nick and Patch- are invited to join the Society: a organization that seems innocent, but as time passes becomes more and more sinister.

Themes:
Secret societies, New York City, prep-school, mystery

Main characters:
3/5
I didn’t particularly like or dislike any of the main characters except Patch, who for some reason I really disliked. I didn’t feel like there was any real depth to the characters, and while I sometimes empathized with them, I couldn’t really relate to them at all. Further, none of the characters were really defined for me and I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to them.

Secondary characters:
2.5/5
Very minimal interaction. Some interesting characters, like Patch’s grandma or Nick’s dad, but mainly because of their connection to the Society, not based on their personalities or development through the novel.

Writing style: 2/5
The pacing was probably the biggest negative for me. While I thought that the plot had the opportunity to be remarkable, the pacing left me feeling uninterested and bored. The slow pace combined with the length of the novel made it difficult to wade through, particularly the middle section. The one thing I did like was the alternating narrators, which switched it up and gave an insight into all four protagonists.

Plot:
4/5
I really liked the idea of the secret society set in modern day Manhattan and the prep-school scene. Coming from my first year in a sorority, I found the initiation and ritual similarities very interesting. I also really loved the mystery elements (although some of the execution fell short) and the twists and curveballs thrown in. Some of the coolest parts for me was watching what the society could do to help each of them out- like Lauren’s jewelry design being bought, and Phoebe’s art being displayed at the gallery.

Ending: 3/5
A couple twists save it from being boring, but it ends on a cliffhanger and I’m just not interested in reading a sequel to this mediocre book.

Best scene:
The initiation ritual

Positives:
Premise, twists, multiple POV’s

Negatives: Slow pace, length,

First Line: Even the most seasoned walks through Manhattan's Central Park often miss Cleopatra's Needle.

Cover: Absolutely gorgeous and so stunningly simple.

Verdict:
Definitely not a read you should feel guilty about missing. Falls short of its promising premise.

Rating:
5.8 / 10

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