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Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel

Circle NineWhen she wakes up, Abby can’t remember anything. She doesn’t know where she is, why there’s a fire, or even what her name is. She doesn’t know who Sam is, but she thinks she can trust him. After all, he was the only other person around when she woke, and he says he’ll take care of her. Abby starts a new life with Sam, one filled with only nice and happy things—but one that is devoid of a past. Abby can’t live in ignorance forever. She can’t overlook the holes in her memory where she must have had a life before Sam. And when she begins to remember, her entire new world starts to unravel. Now Abby knows that there is something seriously wrong, with herself, with Sam, and with the entire situation she’s been living in. The question becomes not whether Abby will able to break free—but whether she’ll have the strength to live on her own.

Circle Nine is one of the more unusual psychological thrillers that I have read, and I mean this in a complimentary way. Heltzel writes from the perspective of protagonist Abby primarily in first person stream of consciousness with sporadic flashbacks. This gives incredible insight into Abby’s fragile mind and allows the reader to plainly see all her thoughts, wants, and, most of all, confusion. I just loved how I was just as much in the dark as to the realities of Abby’s situation as she was; this made the revelation of each new truth so savory to read about. What made Circle Nine really stand out to me from the other psychological thrillers that I’ve read is that the tone was slightly more contemplative rather than edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. There was much less urgency and action in the plot because the focus was more on Abby’s inner struggles. As a result, Heltzel’s crafting of Abby’s character really shined in this novel, leading to a thoughtful and subtly thrilling read.

Circle Nine will be enjoyed by fans of Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. I greatly look forward to what debut author Heltzel will produce next.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from BEA

1 munch(es) :

Danna (Bananas For Books) said...

I love psychological thrillers so I'm excited to read this one. I haven't read Imaginary Girls, but I heard that one was good also. Thanks for the review!

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