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The Circle

(Engelsfors #1)

by
3.84  ·  Rating details ·  13,366 ratings  ·  1,019 reviews
On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates—Vanessa, Linnéa, Anna-Karin, Rebecka, and Ida—arrive, compelled by the same force. A mys ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published January 16th 2014 by Harry N. Abrams (first published April 15th 2011)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  13,366 ratings  ·  1,019 reviews


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Heidi The Reader
The Circle was an excellent and gritty urban fantasy. It was dark enough that I would hesitate to classify it as young adult. It is about a group of close friends and magic.

It reminded me of that 1996 film, The Craft, which, as you will recall, is about a group of angst-y high school friends who find out that they're witches and have to deal with all of the issues that go along with that. There's drama, danger and magic... oh my!

For such a large cast of characters, Strandberg does an amazing job
...more
Mari - loves to read
Do you like reading novels that keeps you up into the wee hours of night? If you do then make sure to read The Circle, it is a true page turner! The Circle is a young adult fantasy that pulls off something that very few fantasy novels manages to do, it manages to somehow be a kind of a contemporary novel at the same time.


Sky high expectations
In the Nordic countries The Circle has been receiving so much praise that I was actually scared to read it. My expectations where sky high and needless to
...more
Lisa
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This novel kept what it promised, and in the world of youth fiction, that is a quality in itself!

It was a fantasy adventure with magic and witches.

It was a coming-of-age story with a school at its centre.

It was a recognisable to Swedish students as a familiar cultural and social setting, with all the typical problems of a Swedish smalltown.

It had well-crafted and diverse characters.

It was full of suspense.

Minoo and her friends are, along with Harry and Katniss, the kind of book characters that
...more
Sarah
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

This book was truly a surprise to me. The beginning seemed to make things very simple and basic BUT THEN THINGS GET CRAZY.

We have a ragtag group of teenagers in a small town called Engelsfors in Sweden and this gritty and poignant novel is a YA urban witch fantasy with a serious punch. It deals with topics like drugs, sex, inappropriate adult/child relationships, absent parents, bullying and the list could really go on.

I adored this story and how the themes of friendship intertwined wit
...more
Sarah Mac
Eh, it's alright. [/Wodehouse]

This was a mixed bag, so let's be nice & start with the things I liked. (Sorry, but caffeine is failing me today. This will be a bullet review.)


-Grittiness. I appreciated that these teenagers swore like normal people. I also liked (though perhaps it's the wrong word? :P) that they were open about drug use & sex. It felt realistic.

-Elemental magic. The Book of Patterns & its magical process was quite interesting, though both were continually pushed aside in favor of
...more
Lukas Anthony
This book is like a bad afternoon special.

I really wanted to like this book. I'd been looking for a witchy read lately and I thought this might do the trick, sadly it was not to be. Note to self; Never, EVER trust a blurb from now on. You see the blurb to this book makes it sound like some epic, saving the world supernatural story. On the back, it's compared to Buffy, The Secret Circle and even The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. How is it then, that this is NOTHING like any of those? GWTDT especi
...more
Monique
Real Rating: 4.5 stars

I have been sitting here and staring at my computer for exactly 47 minutes trying to figure out how to start this review; so since I can not think of anything, this is what I shall give you


It took me a while to actually pick up the book and read it, but I did and I am very glad I did. And it is not because I have anything against Swedish authors(I love Sweden It's just that most of the time, whenever a book this size is published, it often gets patches of booorrriinngg and
...more
Amber J
I really enjoyed this one. I can see why it's being compared to stories like Buffy and The Craft. There is definitely that same spark and familiarity there without being a copycat of either. The book had some really shocking moments too and the characters felt real in their flaws. None of them perfect and each of them growing and changing in one way or another by the end of the book. I've already put in my order for the next two books in the series. ...more
Thomas Strömquist
I don't usually read YA, partly because I'm OA myself and partly because I find the often "simplified" language and more disturbingly simplified characters to be distracting. I did, however, take this on since my wife asked me to - she wanted another opinion about it, since she has her students adding it to their reading list.

I was partly pleasantly surprised - there are quite a few plot turns and character traits that you probably wouldn't expect - but partly my prejudice showed far too true.
...more
Rebecca
Where do I even beginning talking about this book? Do I start with the amazing characters? Or maybe the intriguing plot? Or maybe the insane need to know more it creates. I carried this book with me the entire day and I read it faster than I’ve read a book in …. I can’t even remember how long.

After the apparent (and graphic) suicide of young Elias in the school bathrooms, six girls come to realise that there is more to this world than it seems. Deemed “the Chosen Ones”, these girls learn of a pr
...more
Jonas
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish witches are my new favorite thing
Emm (Readsprite)
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, signed
March 2020:
I can’t believe it’s been five years since I last visited this world. This trilogy continues to be my favorite, EVER, and I’m sure part of that is nostalgia (after all - it’s been almost ten years since it came out, WHAT??) but it truly is such a well crafted story. I don’t really have anything to add about the story that I didn’t say five years ago so let me just say that getting sucked into this would was the best reading cure slump ever. I’m gonna jump straight into Eld now!

Februar
...more
fleur ☆
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this at a second hand book sale. Originally I only went to the second hand sale because a warehouse clearance proved to be extremely disappointing - barely anything that fitted my niche. The only reason I picked this up was because it has the same name as another book I my shelf. I just thought I was a different cover.

The reviews were mostly favourable, in fact I recall one of them calling this book the Scandinavian version of 'the craft'. *sigh* I loved that movie. This books was more
...more
Mary Robinette Kowal
I was totally sucked in from the first page. The characterization of the girls in the Circle is so clear and vivid. I was trying to describe it as being sort of like Buffy the Vampire slayer, but more realistic, without vampires, and set in Sweden. But that undersells the book.
kath ♡
May 14, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i actually really wanna read this. there were like 10 copies of all 3 books each in hardcover WITH matching covers and they were so cheap i wish i bought it now :’))
niri
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
!!!! w.i.t.c.h. vibes tbh. bit hard to read a translated version but i LOOOVE this
Wealhtheow
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
In the little town of Engelsfors, powers awaken in seven high school students. But even as they explore their new abilities, a malevolent force hunts them, one by one.

Lev Grossman wrote a blurb describing this as "The Circle is Twilight by way of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which is the best proof anyone could need that he's a hack who doesn't actually read the books he references. The only resemblance between Twilight and the Circle is that they're both written for a YA audience, and the
...more
Aggie
I loved this book, so I can't wait till I will have time off from work to write a review for this amazing story. ...more
Caroline
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
May contain slight spoilers.
COVER: I was immediately drawn to the cover. It's different from any other cover I've seen in a while. It's beautiful and interesting and it got me very excited to dive into the book.
5/5
PLOT: I think the premise of the novel is great. I love the witchy feel, especially considering it's a little darker than most of the supernatural novels circulating around. In a way, it's really gritty and dirty and sloppy but it still remains tasteful and realistic. I really liked th
...more
Stephanie
My Summary: In a little town surrounded by trees, six teenaged girls begin to experience strange phenomena. Terrified and confused after the death of a fellow classmate, the six are drawn to an abandoned fairground on the night of a red moon. There they are told that they are witches - members of a "circle". Each has their own unique power, and it is their job to utilize their power and stop whatever is killing their friends.

But the girls don't take this warning seriously, choosing instead to ig
...more
Jay-Dee Davis
If I had of read this when I was 14 my star rating would have been 5 stars. Unfortunately I’m a little bit* older than that, which means that some of the themes missed the mark for me personally. I really would recommend it to younger readers, as I feel like it would speak to them on a different level.

Almost every single stereotypical teenage problem is covered in this book. Drug use, drinking, suicide, self harm, sex, anorexia, low self esteem, bullying, being “different”, relationships with mu
...more
Helen
The Circle is a Swedish Young Adult novel. Set in the small town of Engelsfor in Sweden, The Circle follows six teenagers at the local high school that find out they have magic powers.

For the first few chapters I was a little confused by all the different characters as the viewpoint jumps between the girls, but by the middle of the book I had them sorted. They are all very different and there is enough character development to start getting to know each of them.

Not all of the girls were very lik
...more
Marie the Librarian
There are parts I really love and I also love the mix of characters!!
Nikki
May 17, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-translated
Trigger Warnings for depictions of suicide, cutting, eating disorders, pedophilia.

1.5 stars

I'm going to be completely honest, the only reason I didn't DNF this was because I DNFed the last book I 'read' and didn't feel like DNFing two books in a row. That being said, I skimmed the hell out of the last half of the book to the point where I missed the LGBT rep that's apparently in here somewhere? No idea where. Didn't see it.

The pacing of this story is awful, and the plot is so thin to the point
...more
Therese
This has been on my shelf for over four years now. And to be honest, I didn't think I would ever read it. But late last year I made a decision to stop buying so many books and just read the ones already on my shelves, so last week it was this book's turn to be read.

And you now what? This book is really good. I did not think I would like it as much as I did, but here we are.

The book just deliveries exactly what it promises. If you want a book about teen girls discovering that they're witches with
...more
Sarah
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely an interesting read, I like all of the characters, however I was a little disappointed that we only got Minnoo's, Vanessa's, and Anna-Karin's POV. Also, there was a mysterious person at the beginning of the novel who was mentioned briefly twice and the issue never got resolved? Maybe I didn't realize what actually happened? But back to POV's, I know Ida has a soul, and I think I like her the most because she's the most difficult to understand. Overall, I got a Buffy the vampire slayer ...more
Paz Daniela Ortiz Santa Maria
"[...] when Engelsfors was a town full of promise." p. 577. ...more
Esther (Chapter Adventures)
You can also see the review on my blog.

The Circle is an enjoyable easy read with a group of distinct main characters that happen to be Swedish teenage witches! Sadly, there isn’t much action or magic, but the little there is, I really liked. We spend a lot of time getting to know the lives of the girls and their growing relationship, which was very well done. I want to continue with the trilogy because I think there’s a lot of potential and the characters ended up captivating me.

I recently rea
...more
Joshua
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! What an amazing book this was. And it’s all the more amazing because it really shouldn’t have been amazing. Considering its massive length, the sheer number of POV characters, and all the angst said POV characters go through, the chances of this being a good book were slim. And yet it was not just a good book, but a superlatively good book. With an exciting plotline, three-dimensional characters, intriguing balance between contemporary and fantasy YA, and sheer quality, The Circle captivate ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
REVIEW COURTESY OF ALL THINGS URBAN FANTASY

When I was first asked if I wanted to review THE CIRCLE my first thought was whether or not is a based on the TV show THE SECRET CIRCLE. Thanks to Google I found out that it was most definitely not based on the TV show – which was apparently based on a different series of books. Oops. THE CIRCLE sure shares a lot in common with THE SECRET CIRCLE (or at least with the few episodes of the show I’ve seen), but it stands well enough on its own.

THE CIRCLE re
...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA by Finnish(?) author about teen witches [s] 17 420 Apr 11, 2020 07:37PM  
Mcgregor vs Mayweather Live News Date Time 1 2 Aug 13, 2017 10:19AM  
MAX!?!?! 2 49 Apr 03, 2015 01:21AM  
Character growth through out the book 1 32 Feb 19, 2014 03:37AM  
Goodreads Sweden: * Diskussion av Cirkeln, del 1 (SPOILERVARNING!) 13 303 May 21, 2012 05:47PM  

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Sara Bergmark Elfgren started her career in the film industry as a screenwriter. As a script doctor, she has been involved in several Swedish film and television productions. She has a degree in Film Studies. THE CIRCLE is her debut novel.

Other books in the series

Engelsfors (3 books)
  • Eld (Engelsfors, #2)
  • Nyckeln (Engelsfors, #3)

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