Tuesday, 14 August 2012

REVIEW: Circle of Silence (WiHi #2) by Carol M. Tanzman

Circle of Silence (WiHi, #2) 
Author: Carol M. Tanzman
Series: WiHi
Publisher/Source: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Synopsis. (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.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Circle of Silence is the second book in the WiHi series by Carol M. Tanzman and was kindly provided to me by Harlequin Teen; it was an entertaining, thrilling and suspense filled read which kept me turning the pages.

Valerie ‘ValGal’ Gaines is trying to prove herself worthy of running Campus News at Washington Irving High School by getting the most newsworthy stories and being the best reporter. When a few pranks are pulled by a secret group calling themselves MP which start off minor but escalate to something more sinister, Val chases the story along with her trusty news crew.

For some reason, Circle of Silence reminded me a little of the Deadly Cool series by Gemma Halliday which I loved – it has a mystery solving plot which revolved around the secret society within WiHi and Val and her team trying to work out who was behind the pranks. It is a tad predictable and I was able to guess one of the people involved early on in the book but I was unable to work out the groups motives which was a good thing because I always enjoy the element of surprise.

There is a small amount of romance although it isn’t at the forefront of the story; Jagger who is new to Campus News is Val’s ex whom she still has feelings for despite his cheating (kissing) and although I found his reasoning weak; I enjoyed the way he tried to earn back her respect and trust, I would have made him grovel a tad more but she was weak-willed when it did come to him.

I especially enjoyed the POV written by the MP's leader which were more sinister and intriguing; he had a lot of angst and it really came across in his actions. The mystery, drama and small plot twists and turns certainly made for an entertaining read.

The only thing I didn’t like was the recklessness at times of Val, I wish she could have advised a teacher, parent or the authorities sooner rather than letting things escalate to the point they did. Other than this it was a great read.

There were a few secondary characters I liked – best friend Marci, Raul, Omar and Henry were great crew team members and it was nice to see Val had a solid family unit and despite my dislike of her sister Bethany who had a huge chip on her shoulder, the parental presence was a welcomed relief to what I have read more recently in YA novels.

This book is the second in the WiHi series and I don’t feel I was missing anything by not reading the first book - dancergirl; it could certainly be read as a stand-alone.

Circle of Silence is well paced and engaging and I was immersed in Ms. Tanzman’s writing and storytelling. I will definitely be picking up the first book in this series as well as future books written by this author.


  1. I did not like the romance aspect of this-I would have made Jagger grovel a lot more as well.

  2. Wow..i didn't realize this was book two in a series but I am delighted to hear it works as a standalone. Awesome review!


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