The Secret Circle: The Initiation by L.J. Smith

So, if you follow me on Instagram you would have noticed that book quote I posted earlier this week was another L.J Smith series.

I had to post this series. I read the Secret Circle around the same time as I read the Smith’s Vampire Diaries and Night World series, that my last blog was about.

So, without further ado, I give you my thought thoughts on the first book in one of my favorite trilogies: The Secret Circle: The Initiation by L.J. Smith.

Cassie Blake is the textbook, quiet girl. Smart, shy, prettier than she believes and until now, has completely ordinary…or so she thinks.

Yet, while holidaying on the coast, a chance run-in with a mysterious boy named Adam sets Cassie’s world spiraling in a new direction, one that will change her fate forever.

Not one for believing in love-at-first-sight, Cassie dismisses the feeling, scolding herself for being foolish and knowing she will never see the stranger again (insert the applicable amount of teenage angst). Instead, she tries to enjoy the rest of her holiday.

But as summer draws to a close, Cassie finds a new worry consuming the forefront of her mind—moving. After believing she has no family but her mother, she is shocked to learn her grandmother is still alive and well, and living in New Salem. The same town her mother left and never looked back from, and at the same town, she plans to return too—with Cassie in tow.

Crushed at leaving her old life behind, Cassie tries to make the most of it. After all, she has a new grandmother to meet, a new school to attend, one where she hopes to be someone other than the shy bookworm her childhood peers labelled her as. Hell, Cassie might even make friends with the popular kids!

(You can see the hope rising right?)

Alas, like her chance meeting with Adam, Cassie’s hopes for change are crushed when she finds that despite being a small town, all high schools are the same no matter where they are, New Salem included. There are always the popular kids…and everybody else and like a beehive, every school is run a queen bee. New Salem’s queen bee is named Faye Chamberlain. Faye’s personal brand takes the form of intimidation tactics that make even her teachers nervous.

So, of course, when Cassie starts school, the queen bee senses a rival in her midst and seeks her out.

(Watch out, Cass!)

And of course, that encounter goes exactly as you would expect. With Cassie fleeing from the altercation, tears in her eyes, too soft and nice for her own good to stand up to the evil queen bee.

This carries on for a while, yadda, yadda, yadda, turning Cassie’s world just the right amount of bleak needed before the hero can come riding in on his shinning stead.

Only this hero isn’t a him, is a her, and this her goes by the name of Diana.

Diana is ethereally beautiful, kind, and loved by pretty everyone (so in fact, the polar opposite of Faye). She rescues Cassie, taking her under her wing and showing Cassie not all hope is lost.

(Can you sense the “but” coming?)

Cassie’s newfound hope is dashed when she discovers two things:

One, Diana and Faye are cousins! (Not great, but not terrible either).

Two, that Adam (yes, that’s right, Adam from the beginning of the book) attends New Salem High too, and is Diana’s boyfriend!

(Oh, the shock, the tragedy! How can fate introduce Cassie to the perfect guy and the perfect best friend…and put them together?)

Obviously, our young protagonist chooses the path of righteousness (after all, it is, only act 1. Plenty of time for a turnabout in book 2 ;) and swears a solemn vow to herself that she will stand by Diana’s side and make sure she does everything in her power to keep Adam in the friend zone.

(Yeah, I can hear your eye roll from here. But hey, Cass is a good girl, of course, she’s gonna have good intentions.)

Anyway, there is so much more that happens in this book, I was just sharing some subplot drama to reel you in. The real plot is that this new group Cassie finds herself apart of are witches (did the title and the fact that they live in New Salem not give it away?) Cassie too, is from a family line of witches and it’s this small supernatural fact, that really sets the true story into motion.

I won’t give anything more of that part of the series away, instead, I’ll let you enjoy that for yourself. Seriously though, all joking aside, this was probably one of the best witch books I have read. Smith obviously did her research. Not only that, it doesn’t date! I read this series in the nineties (I’m well aware I’m showing my age) and then again, a decade later. Still, just as good.

As I touched on in my last blog post, Smith has a knack for hitting just the right amount of teenage angst. She takes a simple scenario, dunks it in some supernatural flavoring and sets the characters free to weave a tasty tale that has you coming back for more (like that analogy? I just came up with it then ;)

Anyway, I’m blabbering.

If you like the sound of the book, check it out!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Odin Gray.

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