Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle

Fourteen, in love, and just beginning to assert her independence, Trixie Stone’s normally safe world is about to crash at her feet.  In her desperation to win back her boyfriend, she lies to her father and attends a party at her best friend’s house, where things go horribly wrong.

Daniel works from home as a comic book illustrator. His latest project, The Tenth Circle, mirrors Laura’s own work at the local college, where she teaches Dante’s inferno. The connection between Trixie’s parents ends there, however, until that fateful evening when their commitment to the family, and to one another, is put to the test.

The Tenth Circle offers a fast-paced, roller coaster ride that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. I found myself stealing away to devour page after page. As an added bonus, Daniel’s illustrations are included at the end of each chapter:  a book within a book. This allows readers a deeper understanding of his character.

While Picoult’s mastery of character development is to be commended, I found it implausible that Daniel, having fallen in love with Laura, could have just flicked off the switch that controlled his dark side and kept it hidden for the next fifteen years. Having said that, though, it does not detract from an expertly woven tale.

Due to subject matter and a minimal use of vulgarity, I would recommend The Tenth Circle for those thirteen and older.

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