Monday, August 24, 2009

ARC REVIEW: "Secret Society"

Author: Tom Dolby
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Teen Fiction
Summary (B&N): 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.

Pre-Order the book at B&N, Borders, and Amazon!

My Review:
Everyone knows that society splits itself into two groups-- the "In Group" and everyone else. But what if the "In" group went deeper than just old money and good looks? Prepare to be initiated into a society in New York that's only been whispered about for hundreds of years...
What should have been yet another YA novel about the upper-crest teens in a big city turned out to be much, much more. Though Dolby only skimmed the surface in this book, he left us with enough tiny hints and interesting turns that suggest that beneath the Society's superficial surface lies something much more sinister and complex.
If I have one "complaint" about the writing, it was the fact that Dolby switched from one character's POV to another-- without a break in paragraphs, cue, or other kind of heads up for the reader. And the POV's could change as many as three or four times-- in only a few chapters!
Now, I don't mind reading a story from more than one person's POV, but I don't like getting lost in every chapter as the author switches without telling us so. By doing this, he also short changed the characters as well-- I didn't connect to any of them as much as I would have liked, and they weren't as deep or developed as they should be. Where was the main character for this book? I wanted to say it was Phoebe, but even her character wasn't as complicated as she should have been.
This could have been easily fixed, I think, if the author had only changed the layout of writing, sticking with one or two characters' POV, and set aside a certain chapter for each one. This would have allowed not only the character development, but kept the story from seeming choppy.
Despite this one flaw, I did thoroughly enjoy Secret Society--- the mystery of what exactly the Society is, what they're hiding, grabbed my attention and held it until the very end. I'd love to read more from this author, and I hope that he's got plans for a sequel or two, since this one left us on such a cliff hanger...
4 STARS! Overall, a great read for anyone! A refreshing take on an all-too-true cliche that money and status equals power-- and how some people will do anything to keep their secrets. Don't miss out on this one-- prepare to be initiated this September when Secret Society hits store shelves!


Sound like an interesting book to read? Then be sure to check out my "Secret Contest", where I'll be giving away ONE signed ARC of Secret Society right here on my blog.

It'll be a fairly straight forward contest--- the usual ways to gain entries (leaving a comment on the post, extras for being a follower or posting on another site, etc), so be sure to come back when the contest opens! I'll leave it open for a full week, and then I'll choose a winner by putting the list in the randomizer ( The winner will then have up to 7 days to contact me with their mailing information, and if they fail to do so on time, the names will go back in (except for the first winner's name) and I'll choose another.

Click HERE to enter the contest now!


Until Next Time, The Book Queen

1 comment :

Debbie's World of Books said...

I've heard great things about this book. Cannot wait to read it.