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The Initiation

(The Secret Circle #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  16,085 ratings  ·  718 reviews
Cassie is initiated into her hometown's coven of witches but her love for the coven leader's boyfriend could prove deadly. ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 1992 by HarperPrism
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  16,085 ratings  ·  718 reviews

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Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read this trilogy so many times as a teen that I had to buy a whole new set of books since they were so worn out. And then I pretty much wore those out too. I think the novels definitely qualify as guilty pleasures. I hadn't touched the books in years but when I was moving, I happened to come across my tattered copy and decided to open it up again. To my surprise, I tore through them in about a day and a half! At the age of 25, after having read these books about a dozen times, I found myself ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Initiation (The Secret Circle #1), L.J. Smith
The Initiation (Originally published: 1992), the first part in a series of works entitled The Secret Circle, is a young adult novel by author Lisa Jane Smith. Smith is famous for her other works such as The Vampire Diaries and the Night World series. The novel follows a young girl, Cassie Blake, who moves to New Salem. She befriends a mysterious group of teenagers who run the high school. She finds out that she's part of a coven of witches, and on
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Is this a masterpiece? No, it’s not, but it was interesting. I’m glad I went in not expecting much because if I did I would’ve been very disappointed. The writing is simple so you just fly through the pages, the characters… don’t expect anything complex. One thing that did annoy me was how the main character was “in love” after only seeing the dude one time, but “it’s fate” so okay.

I primarily picked it up for an O.W.L.s task, but maybe I’ll continue it to find out what happens since the TV seri
Allison ☾
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Back home, her friends would probably describe her as "nice, but shy" or "fun, but kind of quiet." But no one here knew that. Maybe this year she'd be Cassie the Extrovert or even Cassie the Party Girl. Maybe she'd even be good enough for the girl with the shining hair."

I started reading this series because I got into the show a few years back, only to find out it was cancelled after one season. I need to know what happens! The book is very different from the show. Both follow Cassie
Noralil  Fores
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of YA Novels
As a young teen, L.J. Smith was an idol. From Dark Visions to The Vampire Diaries, she crafted dark genre pieces that were both intelligent and gripping. To this day, I reread my well worn copies with childlike glee, running over in my mind the influences her writing had on my imagination: the fact that for years I wanted to be a parapsychologist, that I love overblown fantasy stories with a love twist, that even now I'm wearing a hemitite bracelet.

The first part of the The Secret Circle triolo
Oct 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA Dark Readers
Shelves: ya
Ok, confession: I just ADORE books that have anything to do with witches, vampires, werewolves, etc. This series is such a great read! You will enjoy them if you are into YA.
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
I read the series a few years back and now realise just how much I ate it up. I decided to re - read them after watching the first ep of the TV show and deciding that it looked promising. Plus I remember really enjoying the series so thought refreshing my memory might do some good

Unfortunately with reading something years later, you notice a whole lot more.

Cassie' mother has decided that they are to move to Salem Falls after she hears that her estranged mother is ill. But that couldn't be furthe
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Girl considering herself different + lonely mom + beach + new home + grandma + new school + witches + secrets + best friend becoming 'older' sister + prohibited love + drama = good way to spend a hot day.
Someday I might look back at this series and finish it.
Tracy Banghart
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been doing some serious comfort reading this week, blowing through this series for probably the 25th time. I LOVE it. In my opinion, the original books were so much better than the TV show (whereas I like TVD show better than the books...go figure!). These books take me immediately back to high school, when I read them for the first time. I really needed that...there are a few books that fill that craving for me, and this series is one of them.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
you know what?
nothing happens in over 3/4 of the book. nothing.
Kadidja May
I only read this because I started watching the CW series which really drew me into the storyline. However, the TV show is completely different, as the book only seems to function as a basic set-up for it.

My thoughts on the first part of the book series: It's a fast read, quite a page-turner. But its writing style - oh my. Some parts are just repetitive and there's a clear overuse of adjectives. Its tone isn't much better either. I mean some parts were really great, but others - way too over-dra
My opinion on this book is biased. Very, very biased. Disgustingly so.
First I'll give a very short review on the book then I'll move on to the show.
This book is so flawed but it's impossible for me to give it less than 4 stars.

The Book
“Will you swear to be loyal to the circle? Never to harm anyone who stands inside it? Will you protect and defend those who do, even if it costs you your life?” -pg. 185

Cassie Blake and her mother have moved to New Salem to live with Grandma Howard. She's not too e
Charissa Sophia de la Rosa
This first book is amazing! No wonder it was made into a TV show! I really love it! Though I must admit, the book is better than the TV adaptation! They changed a lot of things from the number of characters, plots, names and even their appearances! JEEZ! :(
I can't wait to read the other books in this series!
I really feel sympathy towards Cassie! Poor Cassie! Why is it Adam and Diana needs to be together? :'( I always wonder if Cassie's mom never left New Salem, is there a possibility Adam and
rin ( ̄ヘ ̄)	 read/watch mo dao zu shi
am i going to kill all my fond memories about this series? maybe

anyway, im going to reread this soon, also full offense, the show was bad and books after #3 don't exist
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Total Cliche for a magic book to take place in New Salem….Ironic. Cassie is an interesting character. She doesn’t want to be there. She feels out of place and really just wants to go home. Nobody wants to be her friend and it is making her very upset, she really doesn’t want to be there. Through the beginning of the book there are subtle hints of magic that Cassie keeps seeing but she doesn’t think that it is even possible so she ignores it, that is until the Club approaches her. Then she knows ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Well, considering how much my book club members hated this book, I think I rather enjoyed it.

The story is definitely a guilty pleasure reading, but read in context (a YA book written in the early 1990s), it seems pretty typical. Yes, there were some cringe-worthy moments, but they reminded me of being a stupid teenager. So often the characters' actions or reactions in YA books today are too adult. The insta-love feels inauthentic. In this book, however, it felt exactly the way I remember. Excep
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it

this read like a CW show and it made me want to watch the CW show that it in fact was made into. delicious trash.
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, ya, bought-copy
Cassie Blake is distraught when her mother decides to uproot to the small town of New Salem, in order to take care of a grandmother that Cassie had never even met before. But that is only the start of her problems. Starting a new school, trying to make new friends - and discovering that some of the people she would most like to befriend are all part of some secret Club that Cassie is not permitted to join. Then a girl dies, and Cassie is finally initiated into the Secret Circle, learning that ma ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: para-witches
I decided to read L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle series when heard it was being produced as a TV series this year. I read her Vampire Diaries series before watching the show and found I enjoyed her writing much more than I did the television version of the story. After having read the first book in The Secret Circle series, The Initiation, I found myself less than impressed and hoping the producers take some liberties with the story line in this book.

The Initiation doesn't do much to endear the
Alexander Stormborn
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, 2013, to-review
Perhaps, I was at a bit of a disadvantage going into this book due to having watched the TV series on the CW, prior to reading the first three books of this series.

The book is much more different than the TV series is, with a larger cast of characters to fit the coven. This book is decent for a young adult paranormal book, but I suppose it felt more like a shallow telling of a young teenage girl with equal shallow ideals of popularity and belonging. A main character with a strong desire of belon
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The reason I read this book was because I remember seeing an episode or two of the show and really enjoying it. That and the fact that L.J. Smith wrote The Vampire Dairies and I'm obsessed with the show. I wasn't sure if I was going to like The Secret Circle as I had already given The Vampire Dairies book a chance and it was more a miss than a hit for me. However, I was pleasantly surprised by The Secret Circle.

In the beginning I wasn't too fond of the book but as I read on I grew to like it, o
I loved the show and wish it never got cancelled.. and yet I never knew this was an actual book series?
I feel so ashamed.
Don't look at me.

The Initiation was an okay introduction to this series. However, I liked Cassie in the show.. hated her in this book. She was just so annoying and I wanted to punch her in the face. Then when she makes her first friend, Diana, ugh.. I just wanted to carve out my eyes guys! I didn't think I could get even more annoyed.. but I did. It's like she
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depending On Your Personal Preferences: There is a large cast and I might even say that the novel is character-driven. The characters are easy to attach to if you watched the TV show. It seems like the story is setting us up for an antagonist with a redemption arc (which is a trope that I personally love).

Why You Might Bump This Down On Your TBR: The characters all seem to be white and straight? The trope of girl-hate is glaringly present. The plot is basic YA paranormal from the time it was wri
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too bad, but not great. I hoped it got better, but it didn't. Another series I'm never going to finish. ...more
Melissa Griffith
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Probably 2.5. there is a bit of campy enjoyment to be had, but really, pretty awful.
Yup, basically what I expected.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
It's nice, but I guess it's more for teenagers.
One time read. I guess it'll get better as I read the series.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2011
This was a fairly short read. After reading LJ Smith’s The Vampire Diaries series in preparation for viewing The CW TV series, I was a little hesitant to pick up this series after being left very disappointed with The Vampire Diaries. However, I do not like watching a new book-to-series TV show without being familiar with the characters, their backgrounds and situations beforehand, so I felt the need to pick up this series before watching The CW show based on this book. I’m sorry to say that thi ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
While i was watching the pilot of the tv series based upon these book series, I felt like I was a kid again and was watching an afternoon show for kids. Well, like Sabrina. It just had the 90s feeling in it and I love(d) that. And decided I wanted to know more and to my surprise I realized that The Secret Circle was first pulished in 92. I wanted to give a chance to The Initiation. I was not expecting much since I barely could start reading the Vampire Diaries and quit right after a couple of ch ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Young adult PNR or Fantasy from the 70s or 80's with a coven of high school witches. [s] 7 149 Apr 09, 2018 03:26PM  
Shut Up & Read: The Secret Circle 3 65 Jan 28, 2012 01:21AM  
should be a movie 4 41 Jan 27, 2012 10:27PM  
Young Adult Book ...: The Secret Circle 43 311 Nov 21, 2011 03:33PM  

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L.J. SMITH, Lisa Jane Smith, is the New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, Wildworld and Night World series. She has written over two dozen books for children and young adults, and has enjoyed writing every one of them. She lives in th

Other books in the series

The Secret Circle (6 books)
  • The Captive (The Secret Circle, #2)
  • The Power (The Secret Circle, #3)
  • The Divide (The Secret Circle, #4)
  • The Hunt (The Secret Circle, #5)
  • The Temptation (The Secret Circle, #6)

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