I want to start this review by saying thank you to my friend Bethanee Diamond who encouraged me to read this book and let me borrow her copy. As someone who gets nervous letting her books out of sight, I always appreciate the brave souls who allow friends to borrow books. I also appreciate people who recommend great books, and Bethanee definitely nailed it.
The Circle is two things: horrifying and amazing. It has been a while since I genuinely couldn't put a book down. I had a hard time focusing on anything else while I was reading this book. It was problematic given my busy school and work schedule, so I knew I had to read it quickly to minimize the anticipation.
The Circle is a 2013 book by Dave Eggers, an American author who is known for his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. His style is beautiful. I hate to call someone's work "effortless" because I know that a great deal of work went into writing this book, but Egger's story feels so complete and well-planned that at times "effortless" was the word that came to mind to describe it.
I also want to say that this books' impressiveness isn't a secret. It was an international bestseller and was made into a movie starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega. I am definitely not the first person to give this book a stellar review.
The Circle is about technology, social media, and a world where nothing is private anymore. Twenty-four year-old Mae Holland gets a job at an extremely powerful tech company called The Circle and is absorbed into a world where everything she does is monitored and every small action has repercussions. She becomes enmeshed in the frightening mentality of The Circle, and starts to make decisions that negatively effect her friends and family.
What I loved so much about this book was the constant confusion I felt towards Mae's character. There were moments when I sympathized with her. She was relatable in many instances, especially when she was dealing with the confusion of starting a new job and the hardships she was facing with her family. But at other times she seemed quite evil. She didn't listen to her loved one's advice, and she purposefully did things that bordered on insane.
This book is very thematic. It touches on the themes of greed, over-consumption, and human psychology. It is reminiscent of Jurassic Park in a way. It is about people taking technology and invention so far that it becomes harmful and dangerous. But it is also a frighteningly accurate depiction of the way that humanity is progressing. We're on the verge of having our roads taken over by self-driving cars and having people fly to Mars.
This story feels like a warning to social media users. We are so obsessed with our online presence that we fail to be present in our real lives. I say this, ironically, as I write an online blog. It's scary how absorbing the online world is, and I can honestly say that this book has made me question the choices I've made on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Circle's ending is chilling. The twists and turns that lead to the culminating moment are enthralling and absorbing. Science fiction lovers will like this just as much as reader's who love thrillers. There is something for everyone in this book. Romance, friendship, horror, mystery. It's an all-around success.
I would recommend reading this book when you have some time off or over a weekend. It will take over your life.
If you liked this you might also like:
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton