Monday, October 5, 2009

Secret Society (YA review)

Jacket description:
" 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.

Tom Dolby makes his teen fiction debut with this riveting novel about a dangerous society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out."

I've heard the good and the not-so-good about this book and I was really expecting to lean more towards the latter. The concept was certainly appealing, but who knew if Dolby would pull it off without making it sound similar to all the other "secret club books filled with rich kids" that you can find on the shelves. I think he was successful, definitely much more successful than I admit I was expecting, and I ended up being completely drawn into the plot.

I really enjoyed the different points of view, as we heard from Lauren, Phoebe, Nick, and Patch, each from a different side of "rich" society. It was refreshing to see each have a passion and lack that snob factor that usually is quite prominent in books like these. I think that particular aspect gave the book that extra little push it needed.

There were some weaker moments in the plot, but the ending made up for it (at least for me...other reviews have disagreed) and there has definitely been an opening made for a sequel. I did find myself halfway through thinking "if this author ends up making these people vampires, I'll be one angry reader." I was safe. :)

I see this being easily marketed to teens and think it would be a popular choice on the library shelves. Not the best book I read this year, but very enjoyable overall.

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Thank you to HarperTeen for the review copy!

Secret Society
Tom Dolby
352 pages
Young Adult
September 2009


Susan said...

Your vampire comment made me laugh, because I was thinking the same thing all throughout the book. I really, really thought that's what was going to happen. I'm glad Dolby was brave enough NOT to do the vampire thing.

Although I didn't love SECRET SOCIETY, I am curious to see where the story is going.

Amanda said...

If vampires had shown up, I would have thrown the book!