Review: The Circle
Released by Penguin on 8 October 2013
The Circle runs everything - all your internet activity in one easy, safe and visible place. No wonder it is now the world's most powerful and influential company. So when Mae Holland lands a job at its glittering California campus, she knows she's made it. But the more her ideals and ambitions become aligned with those of the Circle, the closer she comes to discovering a sinister truth at the heart of an organisation, seeking to remake the world in its image...
I think I first heard about this book around the time the movie was announced. I was quite intrigued by the summary and decided to get myself a copy a while back. But then, I read a couple of pages and couldn’t really get into it. So I put it down again, hoping to pick it up before the movie came out. About a week before its release, I picked up The Circle again and had to force myself past those couple of pages – thinking it would probably all get more interesting later on… It didn’t.
This book, this chunk of a book. This 500-page book was 500 pages of boredom. God, I was so bored while reading this, and I think I put it down more often than I picked it up. I had hoped that once the mystery behind the company got revealed, all would be super thriller-y and exciting, but it was still so boring even after that happened. (Which didn’t even happen until Part 2, which was more than 300 pages in, if I remember correctly). In fact, I was so bored, that for the first time in my life I decided to google the ending. I had only ever done this once before, but that was a book I had actually already DNF-ed. After reading how this book ended, I considered DNF-ing it as well. I didn’t, but oh how I regret that now.
Mae Holland was possibly the blandest main character in the history of main characters. At first, I could kind of relate to her, as I believe she had some anxiety issues throughout the book, but damn the more I read, the blander she became. I told myself that the people working at The Circle were probably brainwashed and that they were doing their best to do the same to Mae; she just went along with everything, without question.
The other characters were unremarkable as well, I can’t really remember most of them to be honest, apart from their names. Annie was a workaholic, Francis was there only as a love interest, Kalden was there only to become the second love interest. Seriously most times Mae was around either of these characters, it was because they were having sex. View Spoiler »Also I knew Kalden was Ty right away already because it got ‘spoiled’ for me by IMDB and Pathé’s website. One of them had John Boyega credited as ‘Ty’, the other as ‘Kalden’. « Hide Spoiler Mercer was the only character that I could kind of relate to, to be honest View Spoiler »and of course, he got killed off « Hide Spoiler. Yeah, this book was full of bland and boring characters.
Let me get this straight, I love social media. I love posting on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. I’m not a huge user of Facebook, to be honest, except to like people’s cosplay pages and pictures. But the way social media is treated in this book is ridiculous. There was one character, I don’t even remember his name, who was literally shaking because Mae hadn’t told him she loved kayaking. SHAKING, because someone hadn’t shared a small detail of themselves on a stupid social media website. I am one of those people that love privacy, so the moment the whole ‘Privacy is Theft’ shit came around int his book, I was pissed. Going Transparent was a ridiculous thing, and I really truly hope no one in real life is ever dumb enough to come up with a plan.
Honestly, I have to admit, the writing wasn’t the worst in this book. Although it was often way too descriptive. I think if you cut half of the descriptions in this book, it would have still been the exact same story, only I wouldn’t have had to read 500 pages of it. I hadn’t even finished reading this book by the time I went to the movie, which I basically just wanted to see because of the actors. And after that, I didn’t even want to finish the book, but I had maybe ten-or-so pages left so I decided to just force myself. But oh god the movie was better. Still not great, still kind of cringe-worthy, but better.
My opinion in one gif: