Circle Nine is a dark tale that will capture your attention from the very beginning. Abby's life is a mystery, and she clings to the things Sam tells her. Her journey is both mental and emotional as she struggles to unbury the truth in her memories and disassociate her feelings for Sam with those of safety and comfort. Sam isn't ever a character that readers can trust, but he does have his moments where he is almost likable. Abby's feelings for him also complicate his role in the story, making for some dramatic scenes. Abby's search for answers is gradual and interspersed with memories of her family, which make her eventual discovery of the truth of what happened the night of the fire tragic and emotional. Though the reader will be able to deduce what Abby struggles to learn a bit quicker than the protagonist, Heltzel's writing is measured and intense, and she has a few little twists at the very end that will keep readers hooked. Circle Nine is a heart-rending and perfectly paced novel with darker tones that provides an interesting view on some very important social issues. While the ending isn't neat and perfect, it feels right and the conclusion will haunt you.
Cover Comments: I just love this cover so much! The way the brightness of the forest stands out against the black background is very striking, and it makes you want to lean in for a closer look.
Review copy provided by author.
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