Wendy Darling's Reviews > Circle Nine

Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel
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NO. Just no.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 51) (51 new)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) LOL, I absolutely love this review, Wendy. Very concise.

message 2: by Nic (new)

Nic LOL. I love the bookshelves for this one!

Wendy Darling Well, at some point I suppose I will go back to write a review and explain why. If only to try to save others.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I wouldn't change it if I were you. :)

message 5: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Hmmm reading other reviews, I'm tempted to read it...or at least to ask very specific questions :P

Wendy Darling Maja, you're always in favor of these 3 -5 word placeholders I write! Ginny, if I do write it, I plan on having a giant spoiler-tagged section for anyone who might be curious.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I am a linguist, you know. I'm all for economy of language. Always say what you need to in as few words as possible. That's what I'm trying to teach my students. :P

Wendy Darling True, true...but "NO. Just no" will not stop most people from reading this book. And I feel I need to justify the rating, given the many good reviews that are already posted.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Lol, I think you're right. But it stopped me, I guess that counts for something. :)

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Love the review. I think the review is perfect.

Wendy Darling Hah, I love you guys.

message 12: by Crowinator (new)

Crowinator I just got this ARC in the mail. Now I can ignore it in favor of something else.

Wendy Darling Well, you might like it more than I did, Crowinator. But it made me pretty frustrated.

message 14: by Crowinator (new)

Crowinator Oh, I'll still read it eventually. I'm reading as many first YA novels as I can this year. But it doesn't sound like my kind of book at all.

Wendy Darling It's actually not at all the book I expected it to be. But even after I figured out what was going on, it still didn't work. Eh, I have to think on this further before writing a review. I'm also waiting on another book from the library that is somewhat similar (and fairly well known) so I can compare notes.

message 16: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Are you waiting on Stolen: A letter to my captor? Just from some of the reviews I've read that's the book it makes me think of.

Wendy Darling Yep, exactly. I'm curious to see how the situation is handled there, though I'm conflicted about whether I should just write this one up first and amend it later.

message 18: by Angela (new)

Angela I guess it's a spoilery question but the blurb is so vague that I have to ask: is this actually set in Hell or is that just part of a captivity mindgame thingee?

Wendy Darling The only circle of hell is where I was as I was reading this. It's all part of the mind game.

I wasn't sure whether to mention what was really going on either (since the blurb is very deceptive), but you pretty much figure it out within a few pages.

message 20: by Angela (new)

Angela Wendy Darling wrote: "The only circle of hell is where I was as I was reading this. It's all part of the mind game.

I wasn't sure whether to mention what was really going on either (since the blurb is very deceptive),..."

Now I understand one of the aspects of the complete ick. Glad to know that you suffered so we don't have to. :)

Wendy Darling Ohhh Angela, you have no idea how far the ick factor goes. (Now I really want to write this review.) And if I must suffer, I suppose I am glad that others may benefit from it!

Stacia (the 2010 club) I have to know now. I'm reading Stolen and not having a big issue with it, but then again, I liked Comfort Food so I'm probably twisted...

message 23: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Okay, are we talkingLiving Dead Girlick? Ugh, you know what. I'm just gonna have to read the book! Glutton for punishment and all that jazz I guess :P

message 24: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 06, 2011 04:02PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling Okay, okay, I should clarify. I don't believe that what happens in this approaches the ick factor of Living Dead Girl (which I have yet to read, but just going by the reviews).

In my opinion, the way this subject was handled was not very well done, and I was not convinced by the set-up or the characters. Some of the things the main character is subjected to is extremely tasteless, which is partly where the turn-off is for me. But it's really no worse than anything else you've already read out there when it comes to this kind of story, whether it's fictional or not. There's nothing really crazy extreme about it, I just don't enjoy reading about this kind of thing for the sake of pure entertainment, especially when I found what happened afterwards to be illogical and not entirely emotionally true.

I want to skim back through this before I write a review, though, because I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Depending on how I feel once I've read Stolen, it might be amended again. Sorry if I stirred the pot prematurely! But keep in mind I just read several visceral zombie books which didn't make me turn a hair, but this was something that I thought was off-putting.

Stacia (the 2010 club) Is this one a galley?

message 26: by Ginny (new)

Ginny That makes sense. In many ways reading zombie books are "safe" because for the most part, most of us will not see it happen...well we could, but for all intents and purposes, zombies will always be on par with the boogeyman. Not real, just something we use to scare ourselves.

On the other hand, books like Stolen, LDG, and now Circle of 9 are ick and disturbing because they CAN happen. It's way more plausible and realistic in some ways. Which is even scarier than zombies.

(Now I just need to tell my subconscious that so I stop having recurring nightmares based on zombies, and the desire for a zombie shelter!)

Wendy Darling I'm actually a lot more bothered by things that could happen than things that aren't likely to, so yes, I'm with you on the "zombies safe, child endangerment not" thing. I may have explained myself poorly, because it's not exactly the subject of kidnapping or imprisonment that bothers me about this particular book, but the way in which it was done.

I'm going to reiterate some of this in my review, but suffice to say that I expect any sort of fictionalized account of this kind of thing to move me or enlighten me in some way. This did not. I had similar problems with the lack of depth and the narrator in the much-lauded Room.

Stacia, this was on NetGalley, but for some reason they've pulled it along with several other titles that I snagged.

message 28: by Angela (new)

Angela @Wendy: Not that I mean to imply that you should suffer for our sakes, but because you've already done so...at least we can benefit. Looking forward to the review! :)

message 29: by Ginny (new)

Ginny ugh, it makes me sad face when they pull titles from NetGalley

Wendy Darling I know, I don't really understand since I don't see a lot of reviews up for this one yet. (And with books like Imaginary Girls, so few people were approved. It was weird.)

On the plus side, I now really want to read Living Dead Girl. And I just ordered ] When Jeff Comes Home. I'm curious whether anyone can really write this subject in a really satisfying way.

message 31: by Ginny (new)

Ginny LDG is a pretty quick read, all things considered. I thought it was beautifully written, but just subject wise so hard to read-especially if you're a visual reader!

Wendy Darling I've ordered it from the library. :) And I am definitely a visual reader.

message 33: by Michael (new)

Michael Well said. :)

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist good gawd, I agree. WTF.

Wendy Darling Did you finish this, Amelia? I read 3 additional books with similar subjects (and want to read one more) just so I felt I could write about this with a little more breadth of knowledge.

(And thanks Michael!)

message 36: by Amelia, the pragmatic idealist (last edited Jul 05, 2011 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I got about 2 chapters in, then a friend who HAD finished the book was like, "before you invest any more time in this, check out pgs. ______ and pg. ______" and I was like, truly disturbed. This is my problem with ARCs, cause I am the kind who likes to do what I can on my end to stay away. Pretty much, (view spoiler)

I don't know if I should write a review, considering that I didn't technically read all of it (though I did read the last chapter - *facepalm*), and I have a feeling that would make the trolls of goodreads mad.

Wendy Darling Yes, that's the part that irritated me to no end, too. The rest of it was not very convincing anyway, and you throw in something like that for the sake of entertainment and my tolerance goes right out the window. Especially since it's never really dealt with.

I have no comment about part two of your statement. *sigh*

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist haha I understand.
I do feel better though, because sometimes I feel like I'm expected to find things like that "entertaining" or "intriguing" or whatever, and it's more than a little unnerving. Like, am I just missing something? Am I just a martian for not being totally 5-and-4-star-review on board?

Wendy Darling I feel the same way when my review is the total opposite of all the other existing ones! Usually I don't mind going right out of the gate with it, but with the subject of this one being rather sensitive, I wanted to do a little bit of homework just to see if I was being unfair. I think it would have helped if the blurb was a little less vague about what this was actually about, too.

Anyway, I'd better crack down and read Stolen soon so I can write this review. Turns out I could only do about one kidnapping book per week.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I'll look forward to your full review!
Thanks for the chat.

message 41: by tonya. (new)

tonya. Uh oh. I've only read the first few pages of this and thought it seemed like it would be good. Am I going to be shocked at the direction it takes?

Wendy Darling Well, it just depends on what you expected when you read the description, I guess. Looks like we'll be comparing notes soon. :)

message 43: by tonya. (new)

tonya. Oh. I just read some other reviews. Yes, definitely NOT what I'd anticipated based on the blurb. And these types of storylines really do need to be transparent from the beginning for those who are sensitive to the topics. Seems a little exploitative otherwise.

Wendy Darling Absolutely agree. Even after I adjusted to what the story actually was about, however, in my opinion this is not a particularly gripping version of this type of story.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I, for one, had absolutely NO idea that my "spoiler" was in this book (the person at BEA told me it was a dystopian. Yeah, and Harry Potter is chick-lit), and I would have NEVER picked it up otherwise. I just looked on the back of my ARC, saw that Candlewick, in all their infinite wisdom, had marketed it 14+. I though, "oh, 14+. That's like 9th grade. That doesn't seem too bad."
I certainly don't agree with the target-audience age, that's for sure. But on the other hand, how many average-teen-readers will *actually* pick this up?
I don't think my students will even know this book exists.

Wendy Darling It's funny, I think Candlewick generally has a better track record than a lot of publishers--but the marketing for this is very misleading, and I think it will backfire. People going into this expecting a paranormal or dystopian book will be ticked off.

And I agree, the subject is much better suited for the upper end of the YA crowd. We were just discussing the worrisome age ranges on certain YA books the other day *cough* in relation to Marbury Lens.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I saw that! Geesh, the arguments some folks come up with. But it seemed like all but 1 person agreed with you. I certainly do.

Seriously, I'm still not sure what this was, in terms of genre. I really wish I could un-read certain scenes from this thing. It left me really disturbed.

Wendy Darling I would have called this realistic fiction and been done with it. This isn't as disturbing as Living Dead Girl, but that one had much more to offer in the way of writing, story, and character development. And it's up front about what it is.

message 49: by Desiree (new)

Desiree ironically enough you make me wanna read it! Self torture?

message 50: by Kritika (new)

Kritika I was going to read this, but then I saw your review. I promptly deleted it from my to-read shelf :)

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