Secret Society – Tom Dolby


Author: Tom Dolby

Rating: 3/5


“Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .”

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York’s wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn’t ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything–even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they’re forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they’re part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It’s all perfect–until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.


Tom Dolby makes his YA debut with this novel about a dangerous, elite society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out.

You’re in it. For life.

I recently became very antiquated with Books A Millions aisle of everything on sale, and picked this up for a meager three buckeroos.

Secret Society follows four students from the elite Chadwick Prep –  Lauren, Phoebe, Nick, and Patch. Phoebe, Lauren, and Nick are all invited to join the Society, a secret society in New York City that picks the worthiest teens in the city for a chance of opening doors and guaranteeing their success in life. At first the Society seems like some prestigious honor, but as the three delve into the underground of the society, things become remarkably sinister.

If you are a member, any one of your dreams will come true. That is, as long as you live by their rules.

But the thing is, there’s not enough info to make me want to read on to the next in the series. The story begins with a body, then rewinds back to Nick’s party and the group each receiving a text to come alone to a disclosed location.

As I combed this light book in the span of a few hours, I kept being brought back to reminders of reading the Blue Bloods series years ago, in which the secret society opens doors to your hearts desire. However, while the appeal would generally have me diving in, Dolby doesn’t have the same je ne se qua as de la Cruz. Character development was minimal. Why is Patch so interested in something that could get him killed, even going on when his grandmother was threatened. Why is Phoebe this artist… just because her mom is? etc.

I suppose this work was trying to achieve the same fame of Gossip Girl and Blue Bloods with a sinister, New Yaaaawk twist, but fell off. Personally, I might’ve been more appealed to read the sequel if the two-good-to-be-true society was actually thus.

I’d recommend this if you’re into something light with some mild-suspense.

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1 Comment

  1. This book sounded a lot like Gossip Girl, but with a huge twist of suspense 😀 It sounds really exciting 😀 Great review 😀


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