Book Review: Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman

Title: Circle of Silence (WiHi #2)
Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: July 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 304
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
THE BIGGEST STORY OF MY LIFE COULD BE HOW IT ENDS It’s my turn to run a “Campus News” crew, and I’ve put together a team that can break stories wide open. And Washington Irving High has a truly great one to cover, if only we can find a lead.

A secret society has formed in our school. It announced its presence with pranks: underwear on the flagpole, a toilet in the hallway, cryptic notes. A circle of silence keeps the society a mystery. No one knows its members, agenda or initiation secrets-until a student lands in the hospital under “strange” circumstances.

I “will” blow this story wide open and stop others from being hurt…or worse. And while my ex, Jagger, might want to help, I don’t trust him yet. (And, no, not because of our past together. That is “not” important to this story.)

But whether you find me, Valerie Gaines, reporting in front of the camera, or a victim in the top story of the newscast…be sure to watch “Campus News” at 9:00 a.m. this Friday.

My Review:

I’ve always loved stories about strong female characters who can’t resist getting to the bottom of whatever problem faces them. Whilst Valerie “ValGal” Gaines may not be as overtly aggressive when solving the puzzle in this novel compared to my favourite female investigator, Veronica Mars, I did want her to solve the mystery before it was too late.

Valerie’s plans for her senior year of high school involve being producer of the campus news station, cracking a giant story and getting into the college of her dreams next year. Things are on track – until her ex-boyfriend finagles his way on her news team and back into her life after breaking her heart that summer.

Planning on focusing on her future career it seems like a gift when a mysterious pranker replaces the school flag with underwear and starts a series of anonymous antics. Val and her crew vow to get to the bottom of just who the prankers are but as she gets more involved and the prankers grow bolder the pranks become more and more dangerous.

With the prank team warning her off and her love life getting more complicated, Val can’t help but follow her investigatory nose but will she be the next victim?

I think what I liked most about this novel was the little touches that made Val seem like just another high school student – her family life, her best friend Marci and the problems that she had with Jagger and Raul. This is a character that I could relate to – although I’m not sure what her parents where thinking naming her twin brothers Jesse and James…

The little asides in between some of the chapters that focused on the mysterious MP added to the suspense and I loved that the mystery was still mostly a mystery to me right until the end when the author chose to reveal it.

It’s a great story full of suspense and drama with a little bit of romantic entanglement but not over the top. I enjoyed reading it and I’m really glad that it’s not compulsory to have read the first one in the series to properly understand and enjoy Circle of Silence. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


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