My Reading Brain

The Initiation / The Captive Part I

By: L.J. Smith
Series: The Secret Circle (#1-2)

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witched that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants - even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.

Review: The Secret Circle follows Cassie, a new girl who becomes a part of a group of witches. She has to navigate social dynamics and face magical challenges in her new school, despite having limited knowledge about magic.

This was a hard book to get through. Throughout the book, Cassie does not seem to be very likeable, which to me is crucial for a decent book. When Cassie moves to their town, a group of witches treats her like absolute crap. During her time with them, she is taken under the wing of Diana, another member of the group. Cassie has a tendency to feel sorry for herself and compare herself to Diana and the other girls in the group, and so you do not feel bad for her.

As the book progresses, it becomes increasingly frustrating to see her not grow as a character. There is also an awful love story between her and Diana’s boyfriend. Out of nowhere, they declare their love for each other behind Diana's back, even though Diana has been nothing but kind to Cassie. The love between them feels fake and contrived, and I was not rooting for them to get together. The storyline is okay, but I could have skipped it. This book could have been better if Cassie’s character had progressed and the love story had been more realistic.