Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review/Secret Society by Tom Dolby

Thursday, March 11, 2010
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. ( from Powell's Books)

Tom Dolby's Secret Society is a debut novel in teen lit, and while I found the book interesting it did not live up to my expectations. When I picked up the book at the library the title intrigued me. The action revovles around four different characters: Lauren, a self-centered rich girl, who wants to change her image; Nick, a guy who wants to make his mark in the clubbing scene and whose family is old money; Phoebe, a recent transplant from L.A. and a budding artist, and Patch, who lives with his grandmother and dreams of becoming the next Michael Moore.

Lauren, Nick and Phoebe are recruited for Isis, a secret society that after their initiations begins opening door for them. Patch, on the outside is working on a film that will expose the society. The plot's action follows all four of these characters. Unfortunately, it offers little in the way of suspense. There are a few tense moments, a dead body found in the park with the ankh tattoo, some stolen pictures from Phoebe's art show, and the disappearance of Lauren boyfriend. Also Patch's obsession to get footage of the society at any cost. The only real surprise throughout the book was at the very end, other wise the plot dragged along and even became tedious.

I also found all the characters too pat and stereotypical. Their motivations seemed  forced, and their friendships questionable. I did like Patch's character. He seemed the most real of the foursome. He also had the most background, which is probably why the ending was a surprise for me because I felt, based on Patche's background, that it did not ring true.

 If you like mysteries, then you might enjoy this book, but for me it did not deliver the suspense or excitement I enjoy in a well thought out mystery.


Birdy said...

sounds like a nice light read!

Deborah said...

This sounds like it could have been a really good book - it's a shame it didn't live up to expectations!
Love your blog too!

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