Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel

Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel
"When your whole life has vanished and only one person knows who you are . . . don't you have to believe him?

Abby doesn't remember what happened the night she woke up in soot-stained clothes, lying next to a burning building with an unfamiliar boy at her side. But her connection with Sam is immediate and intense. And she has no one else: no family, no home, not even a last name.

She and Sam start a new life, just the two of them, and Abby's deliriously happy. Until memories from her past begin to haunt her and suddenly everything she's learned to love turns sinister. It's only a matter of time before her reality cracks apart."- summary from Amazon

First of all, the cover had me fooled for a bit about what the book was about- it looks like a dystopian or paranormal, but it's actually a psychological thriller. Originally, I was against the prologue having been there because I felt it gave too much away, but then a twist later on in the book made me rethink that. It does still make you distrustful of Sam, which I didn't like because I felt that maybe the reader should have been finding things out along with Abby. I think the other thing is that the reader is only presented with two characters for the majority of the novel with almost no outside characters, and that can be difficult to pull off. It's very isolating, which I guess is the point.

I was hooked in the beginning but then it dragged a little bit for me, but once I finished the book, I understood why Heltzel wrote the book the way she did. There's a slow build up to the climax, with little cracks being made in the "perfect" world Abby and Sam share. I think the other thing was that my expectations were a bit skewed once I read the summary. I was kinda expecting something like an episode of Criminal Minds and so I started thinking about tons of theories in my head that never came to fruition. That isn't to say that what Heltzel did was bad or anything; quite the contrary, I loved what Heltzel did and it was really interesting.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book even though I had a couple complaints about it. It's a wonderful debut and shows some real promise. I can't wait to see what she writes next.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. You're right, it looks like a dystopian book, but from your review I realize is nothing like that at all! :)

    It sounds a lot more interesting! thanks for the heads up on this one!

  2. Some people have told me that they really didn't like this book, but something about it really piques my interest and I'm curious to read it. Thanks for the review!

  3. You hooked me with this cover. I thought dystopian too! ;)