Circle 9 by Anne Heltzel


“Having no history, I decide, is a blessing. I wouldn’t want to be cursed with the memory of a lifetime of mistakes.”

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publish Date: September 13, 2011

Received: ARC from publisher in exchange of a fair review.

Purchase a copy: Amazon

Goodreads Blurb:

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 that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cave-palace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante’s deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby’s, change will come. Sam falls ill. A new girl comes to stay, and Abby begins to question Sam’s devotion. With doubt comes emotional turmoil, changes in perception, and glimpses of her past identity. In this courageous psychological thriller, Abby tells the story of living her new life and discovering her old one, while grappling with an ever-changing reality.

My Review:

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 conversation was said out loud, just in each others heads.

Although the writing style was different for me, it did not deter me from reading the book. I HAD to get to the end to find out about Abby’s story and what exactly happened to her. The storyline was intriguing and kept my interest until the very end.

I enjoyed the character of Abby and felt her sadness many times throughout the book. She just kept searching for the truth no matter what the cost and in the end found out that the truth may have been better hidden. I was not a big fan of Sam throughout most of the book until the end and found out how he saved Abby, but, he still was not that great of a person due to the fact that he really messed with her mind.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then you would enjoy this book. Do not let the writing style sway you, the storyline is enough to keep you reading. Although this book is classed as YA, there are sexual and drug references and I would recommend it for a mature young adult.

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