Title: Circle of Silence (WiHi #2)
Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Release date: July 24th 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA; mystery
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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 flag pole, 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 morning.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed dancergirl, so I was very excited for this one. (Cirlce of Silence is the companion to dancergirl - have I mentioned lately that I love companion novels?) Circle of Silence started kind of slow for me, but the rest of the book is just as great as dancergirl!
What I loved most about dancergirl was the creepy atmosphere, so I was a little disappointed to see that lacking in the first half of Circle of Silence. It just didn't seem as menacing and dangerous as dancergirl did - MP (the secret society) plays a few pranks, but it wasn't as big a deal as the stalker in dancergirl, in my opinion. But later on, Circle of Silence definitely brought the creepy! The MP stuff starts out small, but towards the end of the book, their pranks turn serious. And I got that feeling I loved about dancergirl again - I was thoroughly creeped out and needed to know who the bad guys are. The suspense and the mystery are great, just like in dancergirl!
I loved all the stuff about reporting in Circle of Silence! Often, in mysteries, I don't get why the MC would even care, or why they'd try to figure out what happened, because well, I wouldn't try to figure out anything - I'd keep my distance and focus on staying safe myself, to be honest. But in Circle of Silence, it makes sense - Val and her team are looking for a story, so of course they'd try to figure it out. And I just loved reading all the stuff about filming and reporting and working on a news broadcast. Don't worry if you're not interested in that - it doesn't get too technical - but there are just enough details to have me fascinated by how all of it works.
The characters are pretty good. I liked Val - she's focused and driven, but still very relatable. Her best friend is a cool character, and there's a nice romance story in there too, even though I would have liked these two characters' past to be elaborated on more.
I was kind of disappointed by the ending. I'd figured out the biggest twist beforehand, so that took a lot from it. And the very optimistic ending bugged me a little... I feel bad for saying it, but I don't want the characters to be happy for the price of the ending being unrealistic! I just think everything wrapped up a little too nicely at the end.
Circle of Silence didn't blow me away, but it's definitely a book I enjoyed reading, even if I didn't like it quite as much as dancergirl. It's a good mystery that never takes itself too seriously and perfectly balances the creepy suspense with some fun minor storylines.