Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Circle Nine” as Want to Read:
Circle Nine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Circle Nine

3.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  416 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Who was Abby then? Who is Abby now? An unsettling psychological thriller, seen through a lost girl's eyes.

She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion; her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one th
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Candlewick
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Circle Nine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Circle Nine

We Were Liars by E. LockhartThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinAnother Little Piece by Kate Karyus QuinnUnremembered by Jessica BrodyDangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Liar Liar: YA Books with Unreliable Narrators
25th out of 39 books — 21 voters
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin GierEon by Alison GoodmanFire by Kristin CashoreThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenBitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Vibrant Color
175th out of 247 books — 50 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,230)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Wendy Darling
NO. Just no.
When I come across a book that deals with a subject matter that's so bleak, where the character has to walk a hard path towards redemption in an internally damaged mindset, it usually gets to me depending on how well its written. Many times, I may not like who a character is or the things they do, but if I can understand where they are physically, emotionally, and the surrounding aspects of their lives that contribute to the state of mind they're in, I can follow their story, sometimes even be m ...more
Debbie I Heart YA Books
May 28, 2011 Debbie I Heart YA Books rated it it was amazing

This is not an easy review for me. When a story deals with abusive relationships, I normally don't read them. Books with sexual abuse or drug addiction usually a hard read for me. But this book was on my new release list, so I said I'd give it try. I'm so glad I did. I really did fall in love with the story between Sam and Abby. I would have liked to have known more of what happened to Sam, seen more of a resolution for him. Sam really grabbed a hold of my heart and I couldn't let him go. The ch
Danielle Ellison
Apr 27, 2011 Danielle Ellison rated it it was ok
This is a weird book. Seriously. It's effed up. Yet, I couldn't stop reading it.

I was so drawn in that I wanted to know what was happening. The whole time I'm reading I'm thinking this book is weird and I have no idea what's going on but I like it! Unfortunately it takes have the book to know and then you're so invested that you have to see how it plays out. It was really well written--and that kept me going.

There's a girl named Abby and she is 16, living with Sam in a cave-palace. To her ever
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Jul 17, 2011 Melissa (i swim for oceans) rated it really liked it
Abby can't remember anything. When she wakes, she doesn't know where she is, who she is, or what is happening, but there is a fire, and she has to escape. The only person around to help her is Sam. She doesn't know who he is, but he says he can help her, and she feels as though she can trust him, so she does. The pair begin a life together in what Sam calls a cave-palace - a world central to the two of them alone, with the world outside called Circle Nine. Abby can't remember anything though, an ...more
Aug 25, 2011 CrystalBookSnob rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, reviewd
I had a really hard time reading most of this book because it was all just so confusing. The premise of the story is that Abby doesn't know who she is and she can't remember anything before a couple days ago. She knows only Sam because he was there when she woke up. She sees the cave they live in as a lavish palace with very expensive furnishings and everything she needs. Then Sam begins disappearing for long periods of time with another girl and she begins to doubt what he's been telling her: t ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Lucille rated it it was ok
This is one of those books where the blurb on the jacket is deceptive. A lot of this book is deceptive. If you're looking for dystopian or some sort of paranormal, go find something else.
Abby wakes up and doesn't know who she is. She is inside a cave palace with Sam, who tells her that they have always been together. He is her protector, her defender from the harshness of the outside world, her one and only true love. The only problem with her fantasy life- Sam is lying to her.
As Abby goes thr
Apr 26, 2011 Annika rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I find it difficult to review and rate Circle Nine. But lets cover what the book is about first.

Abby lives with Sam in a cave, not knowing her past, not knowing what happened to her, not really knowing who Sam is. She knows she loves Sam, because he saved her and cares for her. But as times goes on Abby starts to remember and life with Sam doesn't seem as rosey as it used to.

Circle Nine was a depressing and difficult read for me. It's not light literature, something that can be read within a few
Oct 12, 2011 Chelsea rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this butI did not get past the first30 pages of this book. It was just so bizarre and confusing. Not to mention I could not get my head around the writing style and sheer ... I don't know sluggishness of the storyline? It was not a smooth read, it was rather lumpy and unpolished.
Nov 18, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Circle Nine.. Well, I will certainly be reading more of Anne Heltzel. Her writing is LOVELY! I really, really enjoyed this read.

In the beginning of the book there is a large house fire. A girl, our main character, wakes up with absolutely no memory of her past. She doesn't even know her name. There is a boy next to her, pleading for her to run with him away from the fire. The girl, Abby, sees only this boy's face. She feels that she has been re-born, detached from all previous memories. She run
Jun 19, 2011 Precious rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The story started out as sweet and confusing. Abby had no memory of what her life was, who she was and what her name was. She didn’t even know the mysterious boy who was with her. Everything was lost. But she woke up and her angel was in front of her, waiting for her, ready to save her from the chaos. She trusted him, even though she was wary and confused. She was lost and it would not be so hard for her to be anchored to the only person she knew: Sam. It was as if I walked into a fantasyland fi ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Just to quickly summarize: This book starts off with "The Night Of" and then switches to "14 Weeks Before" where the main character wakes up outside a bruning building with no memory of who she is or what her name is or anything. Except there is a boy with her who calls her Abby, so that's her name. And the boy, Sam, tells her that they know eachother and they have to get away from "them". So, Abby goes with Sam to this cave in the forest where they live. And some stuff happens that I don't want ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
CIRCLE NINE, by Anne Heltzel, starts the reader off in the dark and slowly unravels creepy and thrilling revelations that will keep you thinking long after the book is finished.

Initially, the cover of the book spoke to me as a dystopian novel. Since I pretty much always judge a book by the cover I started reading it without reading the summary. Silly me. I started the book and was immediately hooked. When it became apparent that it was not a dystopian, I was already too deep into the book to sto
Jun 20, 2011 Rachael rated it really liked it
When she wakes up, Abby can’t remember anything. She doesn’t know where she is, why there’s a fire, or even what her name is. She doesn’t know who Sam is, but she thinks she can trust him. After all, he was the only other person around when she woke, and he says he’ll take care of her. Abby starts a new life with Sam, one filled with only nice and happy things—but one that is devoid of a past. Abby can’t live in ignorance forever. She can’t overlook the holes in her memory where she must have ha ...more
Jun 28, 2011 KWinks rated it liked it
I was kind of mesmorized by this novel. I just could not put it down. But, I am left kind of empty. Is this the story of Abby and Sam (an unhealthy relationship)? Or is this the story of Addison, and the effects of trauma on us? I am a bit confused. Heltzel has this talent for making the pages turn fast, fast, fast. I was glued to the story, especially when Abby sees her world one way, then blinks and catches a glimpse of "reality". I finished the story more than a little confused, was this a re ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Claire rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
The protagonist was maddeningly passive, and the final "big reveal" of what actually wiped her memory and brought her to this point seemed completely unrealistic. Her ability to imagine her surroundings as paradise never makes much sense, the relationship is icky but poorly developed, Sam is poorly developed, and there was a moment (page 149 of the galley, if you're curious) where race was used as shorthand in a way that I felt was facile and somewhat offensive -- a small moment, yes, but it wou ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Misty rated it it was ok
I have to say that I couldn't finish this book fast enough. This book was nothing of what I thought it would be. I thought it was a dystopian or apocalypse kind of book. Was I way wrong. After figuring that out, I still tried to get into the story, but I just couldn't. I thought the main character Abby/Addy was so naive and daft and stupid and an idiot... I could go on and on....both before and after she has her memories back. She totally frustrated me and I just wanted to shake some sense into ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Holy crap!! I could NOT put this down!! This was sad, very sad; once you figure what's going on along with the main character...I was like...whoa. it was disturbing, I wanted to scream at my kindle at times, but the hooks were in me, and I couldn't let go. The ending could have used a little something more..but I still really loved this story! I'm still like...whoa.

EDIT 11/14/11...just wanted to show you how I am still feeling

Reading Teen
Jun 29, 2011 Reading Teen rated it liked it
Not sure about this one. It is seriously eccentric.....peculiar, preternatural, odd, bizarre, curious, weird....but kind of beautiful, totally frustrating, psychedelic. It sucked me in on the very first page, and wouldn't let me go. The writing was beautiful, very poetic. The ending was so frustrating, though. Actually much of the book was frustrating.

I think fans of Stolen by Lucy Christopher will like this one too.
Mar 09, 2012 Zara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because a friend of mine gave it one star, and I was curious. I thought about giving it two stars, because I usually reserve the one-star rating for books I can barely get through or don't finish. But I actually skimmed most of it just so I could find out what happened, so I think it qualifies.
Jul 08, 2012 Matt marked it as not-gonna-read
Sounds creepy. I like creepy.

EDIT: Never mind, reviews suck
Aug 18, 2015 Jonathon rated it liked it
I was drawn to this book because it looked like a supernatural thriller. Its not. Not that it wasn't good, I actually read it in one sitting, just that it's not my usual material.
The story really is a psychological puzzle with a unique narrative style that I found entrancing. As the story goes on the style gets a bit more down to earth as Abby begins to gasp reality. I was really looking forward to the moment when Abby finally breaks free and rejoins society, albeit with some mental scaring. Wel
Jun 29, 2011 Jamison rated it it was ok
Trippy and disturbing. Can I coin the term "horrifical realism"?
SERIESous Book Reviews
Nov 22, 2014 SERIESous Book Reviews rated it liked it
Shelves: fell-flat
I went into this book with high expectations. I like psychological books that have a mystery to them so this book seemed like it was right up my alley. I thought this book would make me think about what had happened to Abby--however the only thing it made me think was WTF is going on.

You know when someone tries to be really "deep" about a certain subject and they just can't get there? Well that's what happens here.

I have to admit that I have never read Dante's Inferno (it's on my list!) but I ha
Jul 17, 2011 Kristina rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I really wanted to read this book because the summary intrigued me. I thought that it was going to be a supernatural story set in a dystopian future, but that was not the case at all. This is a story about a boy named Sam, who after saving Abby from a burning building, has her live with him and takes care of her. Abby has no idea who she is, or how she knows Sam, but in the beginning is content with her situation. The more we read, the more we learn that Sam is actually a very controll
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: The plot intrigued me.

Generally, I think this is going to be one of those books that you either love or hate. I loved it! Upon closing the book, I spoke quietly to the empty room, "Wow...that was something." and gave the book a gentle reassuring pat. This is the story of an episode in Abby's life and then is divided into the following 14 weeks and then the next 30 days. Therefore normal plot and character development is not followed which may annoy some readers. However becau
Sep 12, 2011 Addie rated it did not like it
An advanced copy of this title was generously provided by Candlewick via NetGalley!

Anne Heltzel’s Circle Nine is difficult to classify - it centers around a romantic relationship, but isn’t a typical romance; it has elements of mystery, but doesn’t have the tight pace and consistent plot necessary to one; and while it makes allegorical references to the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno, there are no real fantastical elements. It begins when a teenaged girl awakens outside of a burning h
NightlyReading Heather
More like 3.5 stars....

For once, I am at a loss for words! I am very conflicted as to how I feel about this book.

The writing style was very strange and I do not know if it is because I have an ARC copy or if the writer really wanted it to be this way, but the conversations all took place in italics instead of quotations. I did get used to it after a while, but then all conversation when the main character was having her memories, quotations were used? It made me think that none of the conversati
Sep 19, 2011 Jayjay rated it really liked it
Originally posted on soon :)

One Sentence Reaction
A world that is created with questions and doubt, it will keep your page turning and turning.

She doesn’t know anybody, all she knows is Sam. The mysterious boy who she knows is her only hope in finding the truth. Who she really is, and why doesn’t she remember anything from the past, not even her name. With only a necklace named her Abby, the only thing she can do is trust Sam. With Sam bringing in a new girl
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 74 75 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Predicteds
  • Damage
  • The Juliet Spell
  • Dark of the Moon
  • Burnout
  • Those That Wake (Those That Wake, #1)
  • Angel Kiss
  • Blood Wounds
  • The Shattering
  • Claiming Georgia Tate
  • As I Wake
  • Without Tess
  • Tears
  • Tunnel Vision
  • The Cupid War: All Love Is Warfare
  • Unforgettable
  • Shifting
  • Future Imperfect (Future Imperfect, #1)
Anne Heltzel is a children's book editor and author from New York City. She has also lived in Paris and India, both of which inspired scenes from her new novel, CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD (HMH/June 2, 2015).

Anne is also the author of THE RUINING, written under the pen name Anna Collomore.

More about Anne Heltzel...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Too much of something delicious becomes something poisonous.” 9 likes
“Having no history, I decide, is a blessing. I wouldn’t want to be cursed with the memory of a lifetime of mistakes.” 6 likes
More quotes…