Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: The Initiation (The Secret Circle #1) by L.J. Smith

The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1)Title: The Initiation
Author: L.J. Smith
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320 pages

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Circle's Power has Lured Her Home...

Cassie must confront a shattering challenge: an ordeal that could cost her life or gain her more than she's ever imagined...

Charmed by the Secret Circle, she's initiated into the mysterious "in crowd," a coven of young witches whose power has controlled New Salem for three hundred years.

Hopelessly in love with the coven leader's boyfriend, Cassie risks falling prey to dark powers in order to have him. But if she does, her endless love could destroy the coven, New Salem, and her!

...And She Will Emerge the Leader or Perish!

This was a fairly short read. After reading LJ Smith’s The Vampire Diaries series in preparation for viewing The CW TV series, I was a little hesitant to pick up this series after being left very disappointed with The Vampire Diaries. However, I do not like watching a new book-to-series TV show without being familiar with the characters, their backgrounds and situations beforehand, so I felt the need to pick up this series before watching The CW show based on this book. I’m sorry to say that this book didn’t exactly impress me either. I didn’t want to have to read the whole series before watching the TV show, so I started my viewing as soon as I was done with this book and I have to say that (as with The Vampire Diaries) I much prefer The CW ‘s take on this series.

There were noticeable differences between this book and the TV show, like the absence of a few members of the circle. The TV show only has 6 members, while the book has 10. Characters such as Sean, Melanie, Deborah, Susan and Laurel were left out in the TV show, while Nick, Adam, Diana, Faye, Cassie (of course!) were retained with anew character being added in the form of Melissa. Cassie’s mum also dies in the very first episode, while she’s alive (if a little unwell) throughout the first book. Oh! And Cassie’s grandma doesn’t look like the warty, bent old hag she’s described as in the books. She’s a beautiful, warm, gracious and supportive character in the TV show. I’m glad they portrayed her in a much better light in the TV show.

Unlike the book, Cassie doesn’t mysteriously meet Adam at a beach in another beachside town while on holiday. She doesn’t have to save him from her obnoxious friend’s brothers by lying for him and she’s certainly not handed a piece of chalcedony for good luck and for summoning him in times of need. More importantly, he doesn’t mysteriously kiss her wrist and a lightning-like silver cord doesn’t connect their two hearts as in the book *rolls eye*. I found all of that a little too dramatic!

I also found it creepy the way Cassie seemed to be obsessed with golden-haired, angelic Diana who she trailed like a lost puppy and then betrayed by kissing her boyfriend- Adam! *gasp* Okay, you can see where I’m going with this. I can’t help but compare the book with the TV series, as the TV series just poses a much more relatable and realistic image of teenagers’ lives in a small town like that. Maybe it’s because this book was written a long time ago and teenagers were different then (or maybe I’m just making excuses and the author was way off the mark in portraying teenagers then). There were quite a few differences between this book and the TV show and I preferred the TV show’s portrayal of life in this quaint little town.

Note: Even the name of the town has been changed from New Salem *rolls eyes* to Chance Harbour. Okay, so my eyes are starting to spin out of control here, so I’m just going to say that this book didn’t really appeal to me and I don’t look forward to reading the next two books in this series (even though I know I most probably will- because I’m obsessive about finishing series and these are short reads and I can’t help but give these books another chance). So, you can expect two more eye-rolling reviews ahead.

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