Friday, March 7, 2014

February Monthly Re-Read (The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith)

 Monthly Re-Read is something I'm going to be doing every month in 2014. I'm going to re-read one book a month (except for January, unless I get some extra time later in the year) and then blogging about it. To learn more and see the post where I introduced the idea, click HERE.

**I was originally going to play catch-up in February and do the re-read for January AND February in one month. Now, I've changed that plan to just skipping January. Maybe if I have time later in the year--probably the summer--I'll make up for the missed month. Nothing else has changed. I'm still reading the Secret Circle books. Eeeep!**

The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I (The Secret Circle, #1-2)The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith 
Release Date: July 22, 2008 (I know these were actually released in the '90s, but this is the date Goodreads is giving me for some reason)
Format: Paperback, 396 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Secret Circle #1-2
Source: Bought

Description from Goodreads


Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witched that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants - even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her. 

This was the second series by L.J. Smith I gave a shot. First I read The Vampire Diaries books--all that were out at the time, anyway--and then I remembered seeing these books on the list of L.J's other books and I wanted to reeeeeeeeeead theeeeeeeeem. So I borrowed this book from my friend and read it so fast, like whoa. I loved this book even more than The Vampire Diaries. This trilogy was actually my favorite for a while, and I still think it may be my favorite of L.J. Smith's trilogies. It's a close call with Dark Visions, though, so I'm not sure. 

So I read this book. I remember staying up so late into the night reading this. And then I'd wake up with it shoved (neatly) under my pillow. I thought Diana would be the best of all best friends, and thought Cassie was the most perfect heroine. And Adam...I thought he was so nice. And I could kind of see why Cassie was all thrown for a loop because of him. Honestly, I've been a fan of Nick since he snatched her backpack back on her first day at school, however.

I remember dying inside when this book was over. I had been borrowing it from a friend, so I had to wait to see her in school on Monday to tell her I'd finished, and then I had to wait another day for her to bring in the next book. I devoured that little teaser chapter (or two?) they give you of the next book in the back and was so excited to get on with everything. There's a big revelation at the end of The Captive Part I and I was also wanting so bad to see what would happen with Nick and that Halloween dance. Because I'm Team Nick, all the way. 

When I started babysitting, these books were the very first I bought with my own money. Even though I'd already read them. Because I loved them that much. And now that I've sat here and typed all this I am so flipping excited to go start re-reading this book right now. :)

I told y'all that  these were the first books I bought with my own money. Well, this is true. I also still have the receipt: 
I liked to use the receipts as my bookmarks back then, before I had more bookmarks than anyone will ever know what to do with. But if you click the picture and enlarge it, you'll see that the two volumes of Secret Circle books are on there. Along with As Long As We Both Shall Live by Lurlene McDaniel, because I don't know how to walk out of a bookstore with enough money leftover to buy another book. No, I buy all I can. Haaaaa. OH, and it's from Borders. I looooooooved Borders. The little stickers that they put on the back of the books always felt so comforting to me, which is odd, I know. But still.

So anyway, the book. That I re-read. Here's the thing about The Secret Circle: I love it. The whole trilogy rocks, big time. But the first book isn't precisely my favorite thing ever. Neither is the first half of the second book. Don't get me wrong, they are definitely on my list of favorites, but compared to the other half of book two and the third book, this one isn't as preferable.

I DID enjoy re-reading it, however. To refresh my memory of the events I'd loved so much when I read them the first time around. Especially since my mind had muddled them up somewhat. I remembered everything that happened, but I also had them mixed up, order-wise. It brought a nice feeling to be reading the story again when I found I was expecting something to happen way sooner than I'd thought it would--and when something I wasn't expecting for at least another two chapters popped up in two pages instead. 

It also amused me how much I know now, about witches. Back when I first read this trilogy, I didn't really know much of anything about witches. But now I know more--partly from other L.J. Smith books, and partly from other things I've read since then. There were even certain little things I recognized all by myself that I never caught before, like scrying and the reference to The Crucible. That's actually a big one for me--The Crucible reference. I read The Secret Circle in middle school and didn't read The Crucible until my second year of high school. There was absolutely no way for me to notice the reference before, but I caught it now, and I have to admit that I felt really happy about that catch.

Other than noticing things I'd never even considered before, it felt so good to be back with those characters I'd fallen in love with so long ago. I always enjoyed the idea of a big group of friends who were there for each other and helpful and protective and just TOGETHER the way the circle is. Re-visting the feeling of being part of that group through Cassie's eyes again was something I am so glad I did.

And then there's the romance. Adam or Nick. Ahhhhhh, goodness. The first time around, I was Team Nick, but I was also somewhat cool with her not being with Nick in the first volume of the trilogy. He was all cold and quiet then. But now that I'm reading back through, I am especially focusing on Nick whenever he's around. Not much attention was given to him early on. We noticed him whenever we were surveying all of the members of the circle, yes, but we kind of dismissed him when his expression gave nothing away. I wish so hard that Cassie had given him more thought. More time. Things may have turned out differently in the end if she'd started on Nick before Adam made it back to New Salem.

Speaking of Adam...SIGH. I like Adam well enough. I really do. He's nice, and he isn't as cardboard as I thought he was now that I'm diving back into the world of New Salem. He has his own little aspects that set him apart in ways that I really like. But he still gets on my nerves in a romantic sense. Because he has a girlfriend. But he gets into whatever they have in this half of the trilogy with Cassie. I know, I know. That have that silver-cord bond thing. I don't really care. Probably because I'm so partial to Nick, but hey. It still annoys me. 

I know that I'm going to dive more into the romantic elements of the books in the next re-read post, so I'll leave it there. I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to start the second half of this trilogy. Just as excited as I was when I finished this first half the first time--except now I actually own the book and can jump right in (once I go fill out the first part of the next re-read post, that is). 

So far, I am way, way, WAY happy with my decision to re-read some books this year. It's such a great feeling to pick up a book I've loved for years but haven't given much time and then fall in love with it all over again. And I'm so looking forward to what comes next in this series. BRING ON THE NICK. ;)

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