The Circle: The Engelsfors Trilogy--Book 1

The Circle (The Engelsfors Trilogy, #1) - Sara Bergmark Elfgren, Mats Strandberg I'm not sure what i expected out of The Circle y'all but it definitely wasn't what I got. First of all, this book is way too freaking long. That could be the translation because the original is only 516 pages, so this one is almost another hundred, but honestly, for this book, even 500 pages is too long. It's not a bad book, mind you, it's just that the pacing is all over the place and there is no excuse for that. It felt like there were entire chapters where nothing happened, and my god the exposition. Oh LORD. It went on forever! Okay, so first thing you should know is that there are a LOT of characters in The Circle. There are 6 main girls and a whole lot of teachers, principals, parents, and friends to keep track of. It's a lot. As you can imagine, with that many characters, the characterizations were either going to be make it or break it. And I am sad to say that it was mostly break it. By the end of the book I cared enough about them, but once again, this book is 600 pages. That should have happened sooner. This book is so bloated with different POVs and characters that were in the book for all of 5 pages, that there was never any time to get to know them. That, and there is the fact that you can pretty much define each girl by a couple of character traits and that is it. There is the chubby, dorky one (Anna Karin), the popular girl who bullies the dorky girl (Ida), the brainy loner (Minoo), the goth, weird one that has no friends (Linnea) etc. They are walking stereotypes for teen girls and the more I read on, the more that became apparent they really had no depth and were not going to have any.But. Now that I have gotten the negative out of the way, there ARE good things. The story is incredibly engaging. When the book is not being slow, it's really exciting. It take a while for things to get going, but once it does, I liked it. The problem is that this book needed tightening up. Like a lot. It's a great story, the writing is good, I liked the translation (for the most part--there were a few awkward structural issues toward the beginning), and I think it will make a great film (though it will be foreign, I might see it), but it was easy to walk away from because of the pacing issues. And that's kinda bad because how many people put a book down out of boredom and never pick it back up again? A lot, I would say. I do like books about witches and witchcraft though, and there were some interesting ideas here that I have not seen in other witchcraft books. But it's not wholly original, no, but I did think that the relationship dynamics worked well in the novel. Yeah, there are come common tropes, but I thought the way they conversed and interacted with each other was well done for the most part. It's a little angsty, but I know some of you like that so that's good to know, right?So will I read the next one? Perhaps. I have not decided yet. It depends on the length because if it is as long as this one, I can see it having similar pacing issues. But at the same time, now that a lot of exposition is out of the way, it might be a whole lot better. I'd like to see the PLOT take a main focus in the next book, because it was there in this one, but a little hard to find at times. And I know it seems like I didn't like this one, but that is really not the case. It's just the length that keeps it from rating higher. But you would have to find that out for yourself! If you like books about witches, I say give it a go.Oh, and I loved the Swedish setting. I really did.