Author: Tom Dolby
Published: September 29, 2009 by HarperTeen
Hardcover: 352 pages
Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .
An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.
They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.
I can't say I didn't like this book, but I didn't love it. It was an okay book, with an interesting plot, intriguing ritual details, but it just didn't flow like I had hoped. This was Dolby's first YA novel and I didn't realize that until after I had read it. But what was funny, was that the whole time I read the story, I felt like the characters should have been in their early 20's instead of 16 or 17 like the "story" said they were. It was almost as if he had written the novel first, then the editors said, "Let's make it a YA novel instead" and poof!, a few changes of high school prep school vs college, 17 years old vs 22 years old, and...well that's pretty much it....and bam, you have a YA novel? It just didn't work for me.
Given that, Patch is my favorite character. He's the underdog and you completely root for him throughout the book. Nick is kind of stuck in a family tradition with no where to go. Phoebe should have been this rebellious, artistic character but she got lost in the writing process and fell flat at the end. Lauren was my second favorite character; charming, quizzitive enough to know something wasn't quite right, and just dumb enough not to be able to figure it out.
Okay, re-reading this, it sounds as if I hated it. But I've read far worse books. It was an interesting book, just felt it would have been much better had it been written with characters in their early 20's. I can understand the YA market is hot right now, but this wasn't right for it in my opinion.
If you like gossip girl with endless chatter about fashion and/or the movie Skulls (2000) with Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker, then you'll like this book. 3 out of 5 stars.