Book to Screen: The Secret Circle by L. J. Smith

Book Reviews, On Screen

The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith

4 Stars

The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I by L.J. Smith
Published by HarperTeen
Pub Date: July 22nd 2008
Pages: 396
Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Genres: ParanormalRomanceYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads


Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witched that’s controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she’s drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that’s both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants – even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.

When I learned the creators of the CW show, The Vampire Diaries, would be developing another L. J. Smith series into a tv show, I had to get my hands on it. That is how I came to purchase the first book in The Secret Circle trilogy. Now, I call it a trilogy because it’s what it originally was. Since then, it’s been split into two books, part one and two.

I’ve had part one on my shelf for a while now, and when I realized the show was premiering Thursday, September 15, I hurriedly sat down to read it. I figured I wouldn’t need to read part two right away, all I needed was to read part one to see how close to the story the show would stick and it would be a good introduction to these characters. Well…rewind to Thursday night, when I only had about 100 pages left to read of part one…there was no way I was going to be able to not read the next book! I was all in at that point. So, the next day, I went to my local library and picked up part two. Read most of it that day and finished it the next morning. I am BEYOND ready for the tv show now!

The only other L. J. Smith books I’d read were The Vampire Diaries. I liked the first original four books. The newer ones? Not so much. And if you’re wondering if the books are better than the tv show? They’re not. This gives me hope that the tv show version of The Secret Circle will only enhance this story.

And The Secret Circle is a great story. It was full of discovery. Discovering magic, love, friendship, loyalty…yourself. Cassie never felt more out of place than when she came to New Salem and met the other teen residents of Crowhaven Road. She thought she would never be one of them. First, some of them tormented her, then the others embraced and took care of her. By the end, there was no other person they trusted more than her. While there is a love story/triangle of sorts in this book, it was not overly prominent. And while I do think the way everything played out was a little uncharacteristic of teen girls (or real life, for that matter), I guess it was still a nice idea to think it could be handled so maturely.

What I’ve seen from the preview of the show, the coven has been cut in half. In the book, there are twelve members, and in the show, there’s six. From what I can tell, the ones who are in are Cassie, Adam, Nick, Diana, and Faye. I can’t tell who the sixth one is from the clip. It’s obviously one of the girls, and I’m guessing it’s Deborah or Suzan, seeing how close they were to Faye. Also, the parents seem to have something up their sleeves in the show, wherein the book they’re basically non-existent.

All in all, it’s looking like it’s going to be awesome regardless, so bring on September 15, CW!!

Check out the series preview!

Jess @ Gone with the Words

15 Responses to “Book to Screen: The Secret Circle by L. J. Smith”

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    Great review. I am currently re-reading these books. I love them. Even more than TVD. I do agree with you with the TVD books, the first 4. Anything after that is useless.

    I can’t watch for the TSC show. Not long now! <3  And The 6th witch,  is a made up character, but I think she is meant to be a mixture between Deb/Suzan.

  2. Avatar


    When I first seen the promo for it on the CW it didn’t really draw me or catch my attention like TVD did. But I guess I’ll try it b/c you’ll never know if you’ll something if you don’t try it. 

  3. Avatar

    Jan von Harz

    Have not read the books, but the promo looks interesting enough to at least give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.

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    I haven’t read any of them. But I’ve been DVR-ing book/tv series my daughter to watch. I’ll be looking for it Thursday.

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    Jacinda @ Reading Housewives

    AHHH! I’m so excited for this show! I’m happy it’s on after TVD because I’m having a couple of people over that night! 

  6. Avatar

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    When it comes to TV shows, I have nothing to lose.  I can go all in.  September 15 you say?  I won’t have time to read the books but I’ll look to you to find out which is better and how closely it follows.

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    Savy @Books With Bite

    I am so excited to watch this show! I remeber reading these books back in high school! I am glad to see them dfinally making it to a tv show!

  8. Avatar

    J.J. Bonds

    Anxiously awaiting the premier! I read the books ages ago and loved them! Like TVD, it’s interesting to see these older books rising up again!

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    I can’t wait for this to start either!! I am a huge Vampire Diaries fan so I’m hoping this delivers on the same (if not better) level.

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    Sashana Jeffery

    I had no idea that this was a book. I’ll read it, but not before the premier day. 

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    Jess M.

    It’s kinda weird, I’ve never really had that much desire to read the Vampire Diaries, but the Secret Circle actually sounds really good. I might have to go out and read it and watch the show!

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    Jen D.

    Count me in.  This series was my favorite L.J. Smith series growing up.  I’m interested to see what the CW does with it.

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    jeannette bruce

    I didn’t like the VD books, but the show is awesome.  I didn’t even try to read TCC before the show cause I wanted to go into it knowing nothing.  I really liked it, too!  L.J. Smith has great story ideas, but I don’t think the writing is very good.  I’ll stick to the shows based on the books.  :)

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