Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teen Pick: Circle of Silence

Circle of Silence: The Story Turned Deadly
By Carol M. Tanzman
Harlequin Teen
2012
281 pages

Dangerous and dark, Circle of Silence is a teen read that could have been ripped from the headlines. It will leave you uncomfortable and a little sickened.

News girl Val and her news team produce the campus news show. They report the usual things: all the new clubs available for freshman to join, an interview with a new administrator hired on campus, the football team has their first game—just run of the mill typical high school news. When the letters “MP” start appearing tagged all over campus, no one gives it a second thought. Maybe it’s someone’s initials; maybe it’s Marshall Prep, another school nearby who is their upcoming football rival. Kids are starting to talk and wonder who’s behind the tagging.

The next week, a couple of funny pranks occur and the mysterious initials are left at the scene. The news team knows it can’t be Marshall Prep; the big football game has already taken place. Who is pulling the pranks and why?

A group of loners and misfits are secretly meeting and making plans to be the talk of the school. The tension between the members is palpable. When their leader dreams of bigger and meaner pranks, the sheep in the group follow him blindly along until someone ends up in the hospital. The pranks are becoming increasingly dangerous and deadly.

Can Val’s media team break the story before someone else gets hurt? Is Valerie herself a target? Will anyone in the secret group step up and away from the danger? How long can a group keep a secret before turning on each other? Could your biggest enemies be closer than you think?

The cover is bland and a real missed opportunity to attract teen readers who are likely to walk right by the tepid cover art.

Recommended grades 9-up. Mature situations. Language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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