The Circle [book review]

Mae Holland is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she is hired to work for the Circle.  The Circle, based on a campus that even the most prestigious colleges are jealous of, links up users’ emails, social media, banking, and just about any online account they have within a universal operating system.  Mae is looking forward to working with the brilliant minds behind the operation and who are working to continue to enhance the Circle to make the world a safer place for all.

As the weeks go by, Mae becomes more involved with trying to prove to herself  and to her colleagues that she deserves to be there, and she soon becomes a public figure at the Circle.  Soon she will be the face of a new era – one where everything is transparent and secrets are no more.

The idea of a dystopian novel in which the Internet (or one specific social media site) is essentially the cause of the downfall of society was intriguing to me.  After all, it could happen if our culture keeps up with its dependency on social media and having to keep track of every single thing we do with a network of people online.  If anything, it’s that idea that kept me reading the book and nothing else, but I was still disappointed.

The plot was great, the execution… not so much.

At first it seemed like the employees at the Circle were just concerned that Mae wasn’t very social online like her peers, which had me thinking that this company was essentially a cult.  I figured that as time went on Mae would come to her senses and see that life is more than just posting things and getting attention online, especially since her ex, Mercer, tried to make her see things that way.  But no, she wanted the approval of her peers at the Circle so bad that she just went along with what they were saying, and even added in her own ideas to eventually take away all human privacy.

Reading the book itself was tedious, even when things finally took off once Mae went ‘transparent’ and started adding her ideas to the company.  Eggers was overly descriptive and used so many run-on sentences that I had to read some paragraphs twice to understand what I just read.  Seriously, the book could have been cut in half if it wasn’t as descriptive as it was.

Then there’s the ‘romance’ between Mae and two employees at the Circle… hardly.  It was pure lust with them.  By no means were the instances graphic (otherwise I wouldn’t even have bothered finishing the book), so I’m thankful for that.  What I’m wondering is what the heck did any of the scenes or even the idea of a romance between Mae and Francis, and later Kalden, even have to do with the plot?  The book literally would’ve been fine without this whole attempt of ‘romance’ (which, let’s be honest, wasn’t romance at all).

I tried to give this only one star out of five on Goodreads, and I even tried throwing this book into my Abandoned Books List, but I couldn’t.  I didn’t hate the book entirely, so in my eyes it gets 2/5 stars.  I kept hoping there’d be something completely redeeming to bring to at least a 3.5 rating, but there wasn’t in my eyes.  I’m still going to see the movie, mainly for Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, and I can honestly say that I think the movie will be better than the book.

Well… I hope it will at least.

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3 thoughts on “The Circle [book review]

  1. booksareallyouneed says:

    This one has been on my radar for a while, its a shame you didn’t enjoy it. I think the premise sounds interesting, so I will probably give it a go and see what I think of it. I hope when I eventually read it it will go better for me!

    • Tabby says:

      It is a shame I didn’t. But I won’t discourage anyone else from reading it. We all have our own opinion of books. Maybe it’s just because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I hope it’ll go better for you as well! I look forward to seeing your thoughts of it when you get around to reading it! :)

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