Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book Review: Secret Society by Tom Dolby

Secret Society (Secret Society Novel) 
Secret Society by Tom Dolby
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 29, 2009
Hardcover, 352 pages
Young Adult

My Review:
Why I read this:  I love private school books and secret society books so I was intrigued.  Plus the second book will be coming out soon and I was getting it from a tour.

How is the novel driven:  Character and action, there is quite a bit going on in this one so I will say more action, but there is character development as we get to know Phoebe, Lauren, Nick and Patch.

My thoughts: An interesting book.  This is not fine literature but it's a fun young adult book.  I enjoyed the secret society aspect and the intrigue of The Society.  Nick, Phoebe, Patch and Lauren are in the middle of things and constantly trying to figure out just what is going on.  While Patch isn't offically in The Society, he did see things he wasn't supposed to and that puts him in the middle of the game where the higher ups in The Society use tantalizing jobs and opportunities to manipulate the new Society members into their debts.

The characters are all different, Phoebe, the girl who has just moved to the city and is neither rich or poor, not really a typical member of The Society.  Nick who is the perfect member of the society, rich, handsome and perfect in every way, yet he is a very likable character, not stuck-up or haughty, he's very down-to-earth.  Lauren another perfect member of the society, though her interior decorator mom's business is going downhill due to her alcohol problem.  Lauren also has her own insecurities to deal with.  Patch's family was once rich, but now Patch and his grandmother live in Nick's building due to the closeness of Patch's family and Nick's family.   I think my favorite character by far is Nick's grandmother - she's made of tough stuff and is extremely likable and fun.

Intriguing and a quick read,  I found Secret Society to be hard to put down.  There's not a whole lot of meat to this one, but it's entertaining and the characters have potential.  I would recommend it to people who enjoy this type of book, it is a worthwhile read and I look forward to reading The Trust to see what happens to Phoebe, Lauren, Nick and Patch next.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .
An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

Tom Dolby makes his teen fiction debut with this riveting novel about a dangerous society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out.

About the Author:
Tom Dolby is the author of the novels The Sixth Form and The Trouble Boy. He was born in London, raised in San Francisco, and now divides his time between Manhattan's West Village and Wainscott, New York. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he received his BA in the history of art. This is his first book for young adults.

His Website
You Tube Channel

FTC Information: I bought this book for my Kindle to read, enjoy and review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Book Review: The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

The Ivy 
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Publisher:Greenwillow Books
Publish Date: August 31, 2010
Hardcover, 320 pages
Young Adult

My Review:
Why I read this:  I like prep school and college novels, Diana Peterfreund really turned me on to the college set novels with the Secret Society Girl series.  I was intrigued with the writeup and wanted to read it.

How is the novel driven:  Character - this is all about Callie, her roomates, and some other guys in her circle of friends, how they relate to each other and how things change for them.

My thoughts: The Ivy starts off as what I think of as a typical way to start college.  I remember my freshman year and it seems like very rarely does your roommate really match your personality.  And maybe there is good reason - the world is not full of people just like us.  Callie's roommate's are rather diverse in personality.  There is Dana, status-crazed East Coast Prep School Vanessa, Mimi who is a party girl through and through and Callie who is a typical California girl trying to fit in the more uptight world of the East Coast Ivy League school.  Across the hall you have the hottie, Gregory, OK, the foreign prince, Adam, the straight-laced equlvalent to Dana and Matt who is just an all-around good guy.

Then the parties start and the groups form and the elite organizations on campus start recruiting and things go crazy.  Callie and Vanessa become close friends even though they have a rocky start.  Callie also finds a boyfriend who is the dream boy of the school, but that causes ire with dream-boy's ex-girlfriend.  And then there is Matty who also seems to have fallen under her spell and Gregory whose spell she has fallen under.

The Ivy is like a soap opera from start to finish it's a who's dating who, who likes who, who hate who, etc.  But it's a lot of fun.  There was literally one scene in this book that had me laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face.  There are serious scenes and there are heartfelt scenes.  The book is an amazing roller coaster ride of the first months away at college and I enjoyed every minute.  I can't wait to read more of these roommates and what trouble they will find themselves in next and whether certain friendships will be restored or not.

Plenty of laughs, a lot of fun and the craziness of the first semester of college are all in this and make it a really fun read.  This isn't deep, but it's completely entertaining.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with—

the guy she loves to hate

the guy she'd love to forget

the guy she'd love to love

and Matt
the guy she really should love

—all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

About the Authors:
Lauren Kunze grew up in Piedmont, California, and is the author of The Ivy. She enjoys reading, running, theater, writing bad poetry, and making Rina read her writing. At Harvard, Lauren studied English and neurobiology, and she has indefinitely deferred graduate school to focus on creative writing.

Rina Onur grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and collaborated on developing the storyline for The Ivy. She enjoys traveling, new restaurants, the Mediterranean coast, and reading Lauren's writing. After majoring in Economics at Harvard, she has worked at investment banks and in private equity management, where she comes up with story ideas when the boss isn't looking.
The Ivy Website
The Ivy on Facebook
Lauren's Author Page
Lauren on Twitter
Rina on Twitter

FTC Information: I received this book through Good Golly Miss Holly's Book tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.