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The Tenth Circle

5 stars
24,099 (18%)
4 stars
40,757 (31%)
3 stars
44,347 (34%)
2 stars
14,602 (11%)
1 star
3,722 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,048 reviews
200 reviews
January 3, 2008
Jodi, Jodi, Jodi. We need to talk. I like you, I really really do. I think you are a fun girl to fly with, and I like hanging out with you when no one else is around to make fun of me when they see us together. But I feel as though our relationship is going the way of Beatrice Sparks. I mean, we really hit it off with My Sister's Keeper. And that first meeting was soooooo gooooood. But this relationship has taken a serious nose dive. 10th Circle, wha? Are you on drugs? Did you have a lobotomy? Whatever it is, Jodi, you can tell me. Help me help you. I don't want to lose you the way I lost Bea.

P.S. I'm having a party this weekend, and we will be playing Rainbow. Let me know if you want to go. The boys still think you are a hottie, and most of them only care about one thing (and it's not your writing, thankfully!)
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
January 20, 2018
You can see this review and many others@

Jodi Picoult has been a favorite author of mine since I was in high school. The very first book I read by her was Picture Perfect and I couldn’t wait to read more of her novels. Very few of Jodi Picoult’s stories haven’t captured me in some way. The Tenth Circle is probably one of the most poignant that I’ve read. As a parent, the book really made me question my morals and how far I’d be willing to go to protect my own children.

*May contain mild spoilers*

Trixie is the fourteen-year-old daughter of Daniel and Laura Stone. Laura is a college professor and Daniel writes comics for a living. He’s basically a stay-at-home dad and has a strong bond with Trixie. Daniel’s dealing with the fact that she’s getting older and pulling away from him more and more and he yearns for the bond they once had. This is something many parents fear, including me, as our children get older. Trixie’s boyfriend Jason has just broken up with her and she’s not taking it so well. Already, she’s cut herself and attempted suicide while her parents deal with their own issues and they don’t see it happening. Her friend Zephyr is having a party with a lot of other students invited, including Jason, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make him jealous to get him to pay attention to her. She wants him back and because of this, she lies to her father, telling him it’s just a sleepover, and puts herself into a dangerous situation. This isn’t a typical party, it’s basically a sex game party and Trixie is extremely vulnerable. This part of the book made me really cringe because she acted like an idiot and did things no fourteen-year-old should be doing. At this point you can really tell how mixed up she is. She heads home in the wee hours of the night and Daniel finds her in the bathroom. She’s on the floor, disheveled with makeup all over her face, and tells Daniel, “Daddy, he raped me.”

While Trixie is dealing with the social repercussions at school after accusing Jason of raping her, Daniel and Laura have their own problems to deal with. What took Laura so long to get to the hospital that night? Why didn’t she answer the phone at the office? Daniel is beside himself with what’s happened to Trixie and has his own secrets from the past. Not only that, many questions arise. Is Trixie telling the truth and was she really raped that night? Is Jason really the evil kid everyone is making him out to be? As with most of Jodi Picoult’s books, there are twists and turns throughout the narrative that leave you guessing the truth until the end.

A few of the aspects I loved in this book was that Dante’s Inferno is referenced throughout and the comics add a nice touch because all the characters go through hell in this story until the final end. I did enjoy this one as much as the first time I read it, but I believe I overlooked a few things when I read this over a decade ago. While Daniel and Trixie’s characters are very well developed, especially with visiting back to Daniel’s childhood including the Alaskan culture he was raised in, Laura and Seth’s characters aren’t very developed and the ending was so abrupt and sort of left uncertain. A few parts of the narrative are a little far fetched as well, but for the most part, it’s believable. Regardless, I’m so glad that I reread this because I couldn’t remember a lot of what happened and it felt really fresh to me. Up until now, I haven’t reread a lot of my books, but leave it to Jodi Picoult to inspire me to do just that!

Profile Image for Nichole (DirrtyH).
823 reviews118 followers
July 19, 2007
So if one were to compare popular fiction with dining, you could probably say writers like Danielle Steele, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, etc are the McDonald's of writers. I would probably equate Jodi Picoult with Applebee's. Reading a Jodi Picoult novel is like casual dining. You pretty much know what you're going to get, and you don't expect anything life altering. But it's entertaining, it's atmospheric, and it certainly feels at least a bit more upscale.
This novel is about a family: a mom, a dad, a daughter, and how they react to the daughter's rape. And also the dad's past in Alaska. And also the mom's affair. And also the towns' reaction to the rape. And also a sled dog race in Alaska. And there's also a graphic novel, and you learn a little about Dante... Basically, there is a LOT going on in this novel. I felt like the author tried to cram a few too many things into this novel, and in the end was unable to tie up everything nicely. A lot of things just got sort of thrown in there; there are themes and characters and locations running amok!
But overall, I enjoyed this book. You'll get caught up in the story, and it is well written other than the overkill of plot lines. This is a decent read and I would recommend it. Maybe you should take it with you and read it while waiting for drinks at Applebee's.
May 6, 2015
Although I had read quite a number of Jodi Picoult books, I was doubtful about this one because it included a lot of the material in comic-strip format and I do not like comics or graphic novels at all. I needn't have worried though, because the story reads just as well just sticking to the text. In fact, especially after the tedious writing and despicable characters of Mercy, I was really surprised by some good storytelling and quite well-rounded characterisations. The research Picoult had put into modern adolescent sexual behaviour and into the lives of native Alaskans really enlivened the book. The only point that was a bit of a downer for me was that the ending was guessable and dealt with in matter of a few lines when I would have liked it to go on a bit more. Perhaps that is the mark of a good read - when you want it to go on a bit more!
Profile Image for Suzzie.
908 reviews164 followers
December 25, 2017
This one really fascinated me. I loved the aspect that brings to question does no really have to be said for it to be rape. Then you had the whole messed up family aspect as an undertone. Overall, the characters were mostly likeable but it is the debate of the themes of the book that really keep you grasping for the next page.

On to my next Jodi Picoult book in my marathon: Harvesting the Heart
77 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2007
We can't keep Jodi Picoult on the shelves in the bookstore where I work. I picked this one up just to see what all the fuss is about and before I knew what was happening I was a hundred pages into it.

Picoult's great strength seems to lie in creating a suspenseful build-up as the reader waits for Devastating Tragedy to descend on her characters. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to know what to do after that and covers up by adding one big 'dramatic' plot twist after another.

It could have been saved if the characters had more than one dimension. Apparently, that was too much to hope for.

Eventually I did managed to drag myself to the end of this book at which point I was left feeling resentful over the time I wasted reading it.
Profile Image for Ashley.
37 reviews
May 24, 2008
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult is based on a fourteen-year-old girl, Trixie Stone, who is madly in love for the first time with an upper classman named Jason Underhill, who happens to be the star hockey player of the town and well known by everyone. Sadly though, Jason doesn’t love Trixie; he merely only likes her. Because of this fact, after he broke off their relationship, he was the only one to move on. Trixie became depressed, desperate, and determined. To relieve her emotional pain, she began cutting, which is a sign of deep depression. Also, she created a barrier between her and her dad, just as Jason had done with her.

But after Trixie was convinced by her best friend Zephyr that she should make Jason jealous by hitting on other guys and appearing to be easy, she lies to her dad by telling him that she is staying the night with Zephyr and that Zephyr’s mom will be there. When in reality, Zephyr’s mom is out of town and they are having a party full of guys, including Jason.

That night after giving oral sex to countless guys and playing strip poker, she finds herself alone with Jason. After realizing he doesn’t really want her back, but instead just wants to be friends with benefits, she tries to get away from him. Failing to do so, he rapes her.

Making the right decision, she chooses not to stay the night with Zephyr. Instead, she goes home in the middle of the night and places herself in the bathroom floor, where her father finds her crying and shaking violently. Then, she tells him. “Daddy, he raped me.”

After that night, Trixie’s life turns upside down.

They press charges and await a trial... but how can there be a trial if the suspect winds up dead?

What happens next? I can’t say, but you can find out. But I do have to say, things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to.

*** Sadly though, The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult has been challenged from a few highschools across the world because because it includes suicide and also sexual content, such as date rape and adultery. But in my opinion, it shouldnt be challenged nor banned because Picoult is not encouraging teens to do negative things but instead to send out a message: Do we really ever know anyone as well as we think we do?
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,354 reviews124 followers
July 14, 2021
This wasn’t one of my favourites for Picoult but I do hold her to exceptional standards so while this is a 3 star review – its still mighty good and I really enjoyed the Dante links.
Profile Image for Sarah Watts.
24 reviews16 followers
March 18, 2009
WHY do I read these books?

They are poorly written. REALLY poorly written. Past the point of believability and, more importantly, enjoyability. The characters are completely one-dimensional and interchangable (I could have sworn I read this book before...and then I remembered I very nearly had when I read Nineteen Minutes), and they do nothing but spew these incredibly cliched lines about love and loss and watching your children grow up, or some bullshit. Maybe it wouldn't be bullshit if a) I actually believed in the integrity of the characters enough to care if they lived or died, or b) it weren't written in such overly dramatic, maudlin prose. If Dean Koontz and Sue Monk Kidd had a baby, and that baby had some sort of developmental delay, they would have given birth to Jodi Picoult.

But for some reason I stayed up until four AM trying to finish this book. Mostly I skimmed through the last third because yeah, Jodi, I get it. The snow is a metaphor. Alaska is a metaphor. Everything is a metaphor. You've beat me to death with it. I just want to find out what happened to Trixie's attacker. KTHX.

I suppose the fact that she kept me reading until four AM is a testament to her storytelling talent, but considering the fact that I watched two episodes of 20/20, both about serial killers, I wasn't going to sleep until dawn broke anyway. Let's just say I like finding out how her stories will be resolved, but I HATE the literary hajj I have to trek before I finally, FINALLY get there.
Profile Image for David.
Author 18 books337 followers
June 8, 2015
"Women's fiction" and "chick-lit" are not my cup of tea, they are not interesting to me, but no reason why such books shouldn't be given the same consideration as any other genre. I try to avoid genre snobbery (though sometimes it bubbles up with regard to YA fiction and Paranormal Romances) and considering my own tastes range from the highbrow to the very lowbrow, I am not one to cast stones.

Or if I am going to cast stones, I want to know what I am throwing them at. I mean, a lot of people think Jane Austen is "chick-lit" (she totally isn't!), and I loved Austen once I gave her a try.

Jodi Picoult is a fairly big name, and she and Jennifer Weiner (another writer of "women's fiction") were involved in brouhaha concerning the media's adoration of Jonathan Franzen. (To summarize: they didn't claim that they are as good as Jonathan Franzen and should get just as much attention; they claimed that Franzen and other dude-lit authors get big spotlighted reviews and flattering Time Magazine articles while women who write as well and tell the same types of stories get shoved into this little box called "women's fiction."

It's probably a fair point, but I haven't read Jonathan Franzen. On the other hand, none of Picoult or Weiner's books really look interesting to me. And while, again, they were careful not to claim that they thought they personally deserved to have the same status as Jonathan Franzen, it's pretty easy to see the unspoken word "necessarily" inserted into that disclaimer.

The Tenth Circle happened to be on sale at, so I decided to check it out and see just what Ms. Picoult's literary chops are like.

In two words: nothing special. Not terrible, not great, palatable but bland writing with pretensions of being deep and allegorical.

The story was very much a movie-of-the-week sort of story. Daniel and Laura Stone are comfortable suburbanites living in a snuggly affluent neighborhood and they have a teenage daughter named Trixie (no, I could never get past that name, nor why she thought "Trixie" was so much less embarrassing than her real name, Beatrice) who is basically your standard issue American high school freshman. Daniel is a comic book artist, a fairly big name one, like the sort who would be recognized at conventions, and Laura is a college professor.

Into this tranquil pond of domesticity, Picoult drops two stones to ripple the waters. The first is that Laura is banging one of her grad students. The second is that Trixie has a boyfriend, and she's been reading too much Twilight, therefore she doesn't understand why the universe does not end since all life and meaning is erased when he breaks up with her.

(Actually, the book makes no mention of Trixie reading anything.)

So, Trixie is really, really angsty. She will do anything to get Jason back, even go to a rainbow party.


Okay, seriously, Jodi Picoult? I know "rainbow parties" were all the rage when you wrote this back in 2006, which is to say Oprah & co. were freaking out about it all over daytime TV, but... were these ever really a thing? Yes, teenagers have sex and sometimes they have really stupid sex. But when I read about how the author researched teen sexual behavior for this book by talking to actual real live teenagers, all I could think was, "Don't you know that the other thing teenagers do is lie and make shit up? Especially when talking to grown-ups about sex?"

I'm not saying that every teenager who told Picoult about their sex life was lying, or that "rainbow parties" have never, ever happened (though I suspect they're more likely to have happened in a private Manhattan club frequented by Wall Street investment bankers than a suburban basement packed with teenagers). I see what Picoult's intention was (and I'd see it even if I weren't able to infer what an author is saying from context because Picoult spells it out, repeatedly, because she assumes her readers are kind of dim): she's concerned that we are raising a generation of extremely selfish and sexually entitled young men and girls who obligingly cater to their expectations. Which is a valid concern and a worthy message, but Picoult is riding a trendy wave here that was largely based on urban legends and she teeters on the edge of sex-hysteria and "It's 9 p.m. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR DAUGHTER IS?!?!?"

So anyway, at this party, Trixie tries to hook up with Jason, winds up getting drunk and playing strip poker and hitting on his best friend to make him jealous and... yeah. So next thing we know, she comes home and says Jason raped her.

Now, by this point in the story, I could see what Picoult's perspective was and what messages she was trying to convey, so I figured there was approximately a 0% chance that she was going to make Trixie a liar. But, she wants to keep the reader guessing. So Jason gets arrested, and claims it was consensual. We even get a few chapters written from his POV and learn that he actually does believe it was consensual. There's also a subplot about the arresting officer whose own daughter died a few years ago, which serves no purpose other than to slightly flesh out a secondary character who has a minor role in the book and give him some shared man-pain bonding with Trixie's father.

Eventually we learn (surprise) that there are a few secrets Trixie has been hiding, even though much of the book is written from her POV and therefore Picoult is deliberately hiding them from the reader as well. The purpose of which is not to make her not-raped but to drag up a bit more angst about consent issues and teen sexuality and also Trixie starts cutting, and she attempts suicide, and pretty much the whole town (including her best friend) turns against her in a textbook case of victim-blaming.

In other words, Jodi Picoult uses didactic angst the way Chinese restaurants use MSG, and she's manipulative as hell about the way she tries to jerk the reader's emotions around.

We like the bad boys, but only a little bad, and only after they're properly leashed

The other major thread in the book involves Trixie's parents, but really, it's about her father, Daniel. I mentioned that as the book begins, Professor Stone is having an affair with a 20-year-old grad student. Picoult is all totally subversive and role-reversing and shit because it's the young guy who becomes clingy and needy and whiny and begs the older woman not to leave him when she decides she'd rather keep her family after all. It becomes immediately apparent that basically Daniel Stone was once a "bad boy" whose domestication into stable wage-earner, house-husband and driver of mini-vans is what caused his wife to decide she needed a little sexin' from someone half her age to remember what it was like to be young and hot. You know, like middle-aged guys do when they're having mid-life crises, and are promptly and rightfully condemned as being shallow, selfish jerkwads. In fairness, Picoult doesn't exactly let Laura off the hook for this (in fact, she actually punishes Laura to a degree that rivals Jane Austen at her most judgmental), but it still read an awful lot like Laura Stone is a bit of a stand-in/wish-fulfillment figure for Picoult and her similarly-aged female readers: professionally successful, respected, relatively affluent, with a former Bad Boy as a tamed husband, and some action on the side from a young hottie.

Getting back to Daniel -- okay, it's really hard for me to take a comic book artist seriously as a "bad boy," but that's his story. (Picoult did a stint writing Wonder Woman, so she asserts her geek-cred by littering the book with name-dropping about Ultimate X-Men and Image Comics and Stan Lee and so on.) Actually, his story is that he grew up the only white boy in a Yup'ik village in Alaska. (Picoult also went to a Yup'ik village in Alaska to do research for this book. I'll give her credit for this: at least she doesn't just rely on the Internet for her research.) And he got bullied and picked on and he never fit in so he got in lots of fights, and also they didn't have flush toilets and it was fucking Alaska, so woe, woe, his childhood was really hard and he left as soon as he turned eighteen.

When Laura met him, he was this edgy caricature artist. (Yeah, seriously. Try to say "edgy caricature artist" with a straight face.) He's a bad boy because he was smoking a cigarette when she met him. And he flirted with her right in front of her boyfriend! And then he invited her to meet him at a bar! Swoon, ladies!

Then he knocks her up, she leaves him because she thinks he won't be a good father, so he goes and puts on a tie and gets a steady gig as a comic book artist to prove he can be a Good Provider, and fast forward to fifteen years later when Laura is kind of missing that Bad Boy who used to smoke and occasionally go to bars.

All of this is backstory so that when Trixie is raped, we're supposed to see Daniel as a seething mass of conflicted manhood. Naturally, like any father whose daughter has been raped, his first reaction is "Hulk smash!" so we get to watch him struggle with what he knows he should do -- stay calm and be supportive of his daughter and not go acting like a crazy person. But the whole thing is so overwrought, Picoult lets him get a little angry and a little rageful and go acting like a little bit of a crazy person, but just enough to reassure the reader that he's not 100% tame, only about 92%.

Metaphor for Dummies

Laura Stone knew exactly how to go to Hell.

She could map out its geography on napkins at departmental cocktail parties; she was able to recite all of the passageways and rivers and folds by heart; she was on a first-name basis with its sinners. As one of the top Dante scholars in the country, she taught a course in this very subject; and had done so every year since being tenured at Monroe College. English 364 was also listed in the course handbook as Burn Baby Burn (or: What the Devil is the Inferno?), and was one of the most popular courses on campus in the second trimester even though Dante’s epic poem – the Divine Comedy – wasn’t funny at all.

Like her husband Daniel’s artwork, which was neither comic nor a book, the Inferno covered every genre of pop culture: romance, horror, mystery, crime. And like all of the best stories, it had at its center an ordinary, everyday hero who simply didn’t know how he’d ever become one.

The "Tenth Circle" is the literary conceit threaded through the entire book. Everything is cast as a Dantean allegory. After an introduction to Lucifer and his frozen lake in hell, the frozen/winter imagery runs rampant. Everything takes place in the winter time. Daniel came from a village in Alaska that he thought was hellish before he escaped. Trixie runs away to Alaska to escape from her own hell.

I think Jodi Picoult knows how symbolism is supposed to work, but she uses it the way a middle school student discovering metaphors for the first time uses them in an English paper. Laura Stone teaches Dante's Inferno in college, and Daniel Stone draws a comic book about a superhero who rescues his daughter from hell. As everyone's sins and self-doubts get unearthed, there are of course frequent references to the various circles of hell in which they belong, ending in a climax that brings Daniel, Laura, and Trixie to Alaska.

It is effective, in its way, but it's effective in the way that snapping your fingers in front of someone's face is an effective way to get their attention.

I wanted to be fair-minded in my foray into "women's fiction," and I was really hoping I'd find hidden depths here, but no, The Tenth Circle is just utterly average and overwrought melodrama, suitable for exactly the use to which it was put, a cable TV movie of the week. It's not even a bad book that I can properly pan -- Picoult's writing is okay and the story was structured well and had enough twists that it should have been more interesting. If it was in a genre I liked, I'd probably rate it 3 or 3.5 stars and call it entertaining if unexceptional. But literary it is not, the tinge of moral panic worked against its well-intentioned introductory-level feminism, and I resent any author who tries to lead the reader by the nose. Jodi Picoult did not impress me as someone being unfairly denied Serious Author status because of her sex, but I've certainly read worse, from both sexes.
Profile Image for Lain.
Author 13 books120 followers
December 1, 2007
I'm always up for a good psychological thriller, and Picoult certainly knows how to pick her topics. Memory regression, teen mass murder sprees, suicide pacts - you name it, and she's right there.

Though this book approaches the topic from an oblique angle, The Tenth Circle is, at its core, a story about family and the strength of those familial bonds. By tracing what happens to the Stone family after their daughter, Trixie, claims she has been raped by her ex-boyfriend, we investigate what love can drive us to do, and what it can - and cannot - save us from.

My main criticism about Picoult's body of work is that her books seem to be too quickly executed with loose ends and unfinished edges left flapping. This novel was largely an exception to that complaint. I was pleasantly surprised to see how neatly everything tied together and circled back on itself (no pun intended). From Daniel's Alaskan upbringing, to his comic book art, to his wife's classes - it all wove together into a complete whole.

Because I've never read Dante, I can't comment on how well Picoult manages to replicate the ten circles of Hell, but enough was explained in the text that even those readers with gaping holes in their education (like myself!) are able to keep up.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
23 reviews2 followers
January 11, 2008
So I think I'm missing something in Jodi Picoult's writing. This is the third book I've ready by her (Pact, Sister's Keeper) and I must say that I've felt the same way about all three. I don't really like the characters. I find it hard to feel sympathetic or compassionate towards anyone in the stories. Not that this is a requirement, but I think liking someone or feeling sympathy or empathy for them, makes for good reading. I will give Picoult credit in that she keeps me hanging on. I haven't not finished anything I've started by her. I am always disappointed in the end though. Her formula is to have a missing detail to the "mystery" that the main character knows, but we're waiting for her to tell us. I'm always expecting it to be something really unexpected that totally changes the story or the way I respond to it, but in the end, it is usually something predictable or typical.

About this book in particular, I'd probably rate it the worst of the three I've read. There's this whole comic book storyline of the father that I found annoying, as well as the so-called 180 turnaround in his character that is talked about, but never really explained. Too many loose ends, like Seth's involvement in the situation - kind of a stretch. It just didn't all jive for me. And then the conclusion in Alaska - loved the change of scenery, but seemed way too contrived to me. If you're looking to start reading Picoult, start somewhere else.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2009
I borrowed "The Tenth Circle" from a friend, and I wanted to like it. Really, I did. And despite the fact that the plot had way too much going on, it might have been okay. But the protaginist-Trixie-ruined even that for me.

*spoilers ahead*
As a fourteen year old girl-the same age as Trixie-I think I'm being fair in saying she was one of the most unrealistic characters i've ever read. In fact, all the teenagers in the book seemed unrealistic. I've never heard of anybody playing "rainbow" or "daisy chain" or whatever the games were called. I don't know, maybe I just don't go to the cool-kid parties where they do that kind of stuff, but it's not really an idea of a fun night for most of the people I know. And her excuse of not wearing underwear because of her low-rise jeans? Hello! It's called a thong, sweetie! Not to mention the fact that she totally lied to everyone around her multiple times and then expected them to beleive her. Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?
Trixie was also extremely melodramatic. She was super pretty, super popular and had a great personality, yet she find's a reason to angst away all because her boyfriend broke up with her. Cry me a river! I'm not saying you shouldn't be sad, but I think starting to cut is taking it a little far, and is kind of insulting to people who've struggled with cutting for legit reasons, not just breaking up with their silly sixteen year old boyfriend. And, oh, by the way, the glass just happend to be "the perfect shape of a tear" was so laughably over dramatic I actually had to wonder what came over Jodi Piccoult and possesed her to write that.
So, all in all, this book was ruined for me by the silly, angsty teenage protaginist. Better luck next time, Jodi.
Profile Image for Daniel Clausen.
Author 11 books458 followers
July 8, 2018
3.7 stars

What I was hoping for was a very entertaining book. Something that would hold my interest...and also, something that was light enough to read on the bus to work. This book delivered that, and a bit more. I've always been a fan of comic books. And I enjoyed the comic book art immensely.

The book wasn't without its problems. The characters weren't very sympathetic. Of all the characters, I related most to Daniel (perhaps because we share the same name), the comic book artist with the tragic past. In fact, I liked his character so much that I wish the book had focused more on him. I especially wished they had spent more time in Alaska. All the scenes in Alaska were great. Trixie and Daniel's wife come off as the least sympathetic. From the start, their choices are dubious. You can still relate to them, but it's hard to cheer for them whole-heartedly. I'm not sure if that's what the author wanted or not. Jason's predicament is even worse...and the detective of the novel is an especially under-developed character.

The book borders on melodrama in many moments. I think this is just the drawback to a book targeted at young women readers. There is nothing wrong with this, I think, if it is handled tastefully. The "Moonstone" -- which is still one of my favorite books -- is written in a Victorian style and still mesmerizes me! DH Lawrence has pulled it off from time to time (but too much of Lawrence gives me headaches). Still, I think that in this book, less internal dialogue and more scene building would have made a vast improvement in the book.

After reading this book, I'm excited to read some of Picoult's more acclaimed books!
Profile Image for Aoibhínn.
158 reviews208 followers
April 29, 2012
While this book may not be one of Jodi Picoult's best novels, it is nonetheless a very enthralling read. The novel gives you both the point of view from the victim and the accused. It really keeps you guessing as to exactly who is telling the truth! The tale has many completely unexpected twists in the plot that will keep you captivated.

Empathetic characters, with a gripping plot, full of twists and turns, that will keep you guessing right up until the end.

Fours stars!
Profile Image for Lidia.
317 reviews94 followers
January 28, 2018
Sorprendida, así me he quedado. Porque la novela se inicia de una manera y de pronto da un giro y parece que hablamos de otra cosa, aunque todo queda perfectamente ensamblado al final.
Me gusta mucho cómo construye sus protagonistas, las emociones a su alrededor y que se arriesgue a tocar temas delicados.
Quizá la protagonista debiera ser Trixie, pero para mí la estrella es su padre, Daniel. Me ha fascinado el personaje.
No quiero contar nada más, porque creo que hay que leerla con los menores datos posibles, pero la recomiendo sin dudarlo.
Profile Image for Rose Ann.
292 reviews3 followers
January 11, 2010
First, the storyline is not what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be more about the rape case (judicially), and the family making it through that.
Second, I found this a tough topic, being that I have a daughter entering 9th grade.
The first 2/3 of this book, I couldnt put down.
I thought for sure that Jason commited suicide. It made sense that he would commmit suicide, being that she tested positive for the drug. Then I what? How can the story continue?...he's dead. That's when they realize he was murdered. I questioned early on that Trixie was the one to do it.
I was disappointed in the last couple chapters of the book. That the story ends in Alaska...I found alot of the end was unnecessary rambling about Alaska. I was surprised with the encounter Trixie has with Willie, especially after recently being raped....seemed unrealistic to me. But also showed that she was going to be "okay".
I'm not a big fan of comic strips either, so that kind of bored me.
I felt it ended abruptly, with questions unanswered.
Overall, it kept my interest and I couldnt put it down...I wanted the answers...unfortunately, I didnt like the way some of them were delivered.
I cant decide between 3 or 4 stars. If you asked me during the first 2/3's of the book, I would give it 4 or 5 stars.
After getting to the end of the book (3/3.5stars)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah Swann.
729 reviews990 followers
April 19, 2017
Really good! Jodi always takes a tough topic, in this case it is rape, a case of he-said-she-said, and turns it to keep you guessing of what is actually happening. The whole time, twists and turns kept me second guessing everything. The only thing I didn't enjoy was a section about Alaska. It was strange and didn't make much sense to the story. That's why I knocked off a star. But I always enjoy Jodi and this was no different!
Profile Image for BigTreesAndBigBooks.
100 reviews53 followers
February 27, 2014
Honestly i hated this one. I hated the whole family who were the main characters. I hated them from the first time they appeared until the end of the book. A lot of the stuff that happened didn't make much sense to me, like how did the father just know that his daughter would run off to alaska? anyway, that's just my opinion but, i hated it.
Profile Image for Samantha.
28 reviews5 followers
September 10, 2007
This book is pure popcorn; the sort of thing you read not for the writing or the social impact, but because the story is like a soap opera you can't quite quit. Granted, I thought her vignettes about family life were compelling and well-written, and touched upon the feelings a family unit generates; and her descriptions of the father-daughter, mother-daughter, mother-father dynamic were really nice... but the over all book wasn't really literature. A good weekend read. The interspersion of comic book pages was really interesting also (but I think only interesting to me because I'm an illustrator), if a little kitsch. The plot was just not unified, nor was the tone of the book. It was like she had several different ideas/books that she tried to meld into one… so it wasn’t cohesive and thus her message/moral was a little blurry.

I give it two stars because it wasn't totally devoid of value - I was moderately entertained, but this was cancelled out by the book’s indecisiveness. I wanted to scream, “What am I reading? A crime-mystery-thriller? A magical-realism piece? A family drama?” In the end, the book rode the fence on all these genres, and suffered for it.
Profile Image for Beth Anne.
924 reviews19 followers
November 4, 2008
joy is my new book supplier, so i'm not-so-slowly working my way through her jodi picoult collection.

so far this was my favorite of the three picoult books i've read. firstly, i really liked the comic book theme and the references to Dante's Inferno throughout the book. starting every chapter with a snippit of the Daniel's comic book was a great way to move the story along, through his eyes and mind.

though i have to admit, i figured out the ending about half way through the novel...picoult's books are a bit formulaic. i didn't much care. she's a great author who really knows how to get you inside the mind of a modern family, and experience it's struggles from all sides.

i particularly liked the character of Daniel in this novel. i found him to be extremely real, hiding the darker secrets from his past in Alaska (violence, rage, death) in order to keep his family together as a unit. how that backfired!

anyway...i thought this book was very well written, great story, great characters.
Profile Image for Ana.
496 reviews83 followers
September 19, 2021
Este livro pouco ou nada me cativou. Não consegui sentir empatia pelas personagens, a BD pelo meio dá-lhe uns pontos extra pela originalidade, mas não vejo a sua relevância ou interesse para a história principal.
Vale pelo dilema moral que apresenta, como já é característico nas suas histórias.
Foi para mim, o mais fraco que li da autora, até ao momento.
Profile Image for Joana.
221 reviews
January 3, 2021
Este livro aborda temas sensíveis como o suicídio, violação e o impacto que tem num adolescente e nos pais desse adolescente. Poderia ter sido um livro muito bom, mas infelizmente ficou abaixo das expectativas.
This book addresses topics such as suicide and rape and how it impacts a teenager's life and her parents. It could have been a really good book but it wasn't.
9 reviews
May 28, 2008
I recently read The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. On the surface the Stone family seems normal and perfect, but as the story continues their relationship falls apart. Daniel works at home as a comic book artist to be a stay at home dad for Trixie, while his wife Laura is a full time college professor. Daniel and Laura seem to put their daughter Trixie before everything else in life until the one time she actually needs her parents they aren’t by her side like she needs them to be.
When the worst happens to their daughter the truth comes out about each family member and the relationship they have with each other, Daniel who sees Trixie growing up too fast right in front of him, by the way she dresses, her older boyfriend, and the crowd she’s now friends with just go on to prove his assumptions are right. Trixie realizes her mother isn’t the woman she once saw her as, she’s not as close to her as she once was because her mom becomes engulfed in her career among other things besides not staying truthful to her own husband. And all things are revealed when Laura finally cracks and tells Daniel what she’s really been doing when she says she’s working late. Just when you thought that the book was going to have a total focus on Trixie and the hardships she goes through, the book turns and all focus is turned to the rest of the family too.
After reading this book it really helped in the realization that no one is perfect. Just when you thought that there might be a so called “perfect” family there is no such thing. Everyone makes mistakes and its something that you learn from, but how you handle the situation and what you become afterwards is what’s going to help you as a person in the end.
Profile Image for Tempo de Ler.
729 reviews95 followers
September 12, 2018

Para ser breve: O Décimo Círculo não é nada de especial.

Pouco original e bastante previsível, o livro aborda diversos temas difíceis e de consequências profundas mas fá-lo de forma tão superficial que acaba por nos soar tudo a falso e pouco coerente... e algumas partes não chegam sequer a ser desenvolvidas. A única originalidade no livro são as tiras de banda desenhada que, embora interessantes, não adicionam nada à história. Como se não bastasse, dificilmente daremos por nós a simpatizar com estes personagens, o que, para o tipo de história que Picoult nos está a tentar contar, é muito importante.

Depois de ler Lobo Solitário, do qual gostei bastante, fiquei consideravelmente desiludida com este livro de Jodi Picoult.

Frases Preferidas:
“Porque se ficasse zangada, não teria espaço dentro de si para ficar assustada” - 84

“Nos cruzamentos da vida, metade de nós está destinada a virar na direção errada” - 266
1 review
November 5, 2009
I wasn't overly fond of this book, and am surpised at all of the raving reviews. I am wondering if I missed something along the way? I found that she overworked Dante's Inferno and the little bits of graphic novel merely restated what the reader already knew. I know that the author was trying to show how the lines could bnlur on the typically black-and-white issue of rape, but i felt that she was more biased towards Trixie. In the end we find out that Trixie did nothing to stop Jason, and that from his perspective he thought that she had consented the whole ordeal, but no one seems to care that an innocent boy died. and the author writes as if the mother was justified in killing Jason. This actually made me so mad. Yes, Trixie didn't want to have sex with Jason but she did not tell him so and therefore it is her own fault. I don't know if anyone felt the same way as me?
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
274 reviews722 followers
December 5, 2018
This is my first Jodi Picoult book and WOW am I sorry it had to be The Tenth Circle.

Rape, cutting, an overbearing father, infidelity, murder, suicide... any ONE of these plot points is a recipe for melodramatic literary disaster if not executed properly. And trust me when I say that none of them were executed properly.

Trixie is your average silly, intolerable pre-teen trying to work her way up and around the social spectrum that is high school. She gets dumped by her first love and then goes to a party to win him back/make him jealous/give blowjobs/act like a total trash bag idiot.

Meanwhile her father sits at home mourning the loss of his daughter's innocence, taking her transcendence into adolescence rather hard. Like almost weirdly so. He wakes up to find her crumpled on the bathroom floor claiming rape by ex-boyfriend.

What follows is a painfully long-winded girl-who-cried-wolf scenario. The whole idea that Trixie has been raped is ambiguous right from the beginning, but the reader is made to believe that she's a young virgin who was date raped by her ex-boyfriend. Then we find out that Trixie is not actually a virgin and has in fact had sex with Jason dozens of times already. But I still held on to the idea that okay, for some reason Trixie didn't want to have sex with Jason at this party and he held her down and took advantage of her, and maybe even drugged her. WHICH HAPPENS A LOT AND WOULD HAVE BEEN AN IMPORTANT ISSUE TO EXPLORE.

By the end of the book Trixie admits to her father that she never actually said no, told Jason to stop, or did anything that would deem the act "not consensual." In which case, hello, Jason can't just READ YOUR MIND TRIXIE. Especially after you've played strip poker, taken your top off, cried, and thrown yourself at him (she did all these things)! Oh, and like, you dated and had sex a hundred times already!

Yet Jodi still throws in this weird line about how Trixie shouldn't feel guilty because "she WAS raped by her standards" (I'm paraphrasing) and it's so weird because it's like Jodi is coming through the story and letting the reader know they better not be having other opinions or else!

It's strange, and this watered down idea of rape made me feel very uncomfortable and a little bit angry. It totally perpetuated the stereotype of the stupid high school jock in the wrong place at the wrong time with a crazy girl. So many real life rape-cases aren't taken seriously, why would I want to read about a stupid girl who actually faked a rape??? This isn't the type of story that needs to be told.
Profile Image for Lisa.
96 reviews3 followers
April 21, 2008
First, what I like about The Tenth Circle: Like the only other Jodi Picoult book I've read (My Sister's Keeper), I think the author does a really good job of picking interesting subject matter, and presents it in a compelling way. (As the mother of both a son and two daughters, I found the subject of this particular book to be thought-provoking. Was the 14-year-old protagonist raped, or not?) Picoult does an outstanding job of showing the flaws of her characters, and I think it's the highest compliment to her to say that you are not always going to like her main characters. I also like the unique way she presents her book, with the story interspersed with the graphic was a fun way to link everything together. Now what I don't like: I thought there were a number of threads that were dropped--the outcome of the situation with Laura and Seth, the introduction of the Willie Moses character, and also the circumstances regarding Cane's death. And I felt that the situation at the end was presented as a "well, that's that" kind of ending, when it was way more complicated than that. Overall, a good but not GREAT, book.
Profile Image for Larry Bassett.
1,413 reviews300 followers
January 9, 2013
When you read the Acknowledgements at the front of the book, you know The Tenth Circle covers a lot of territory: rape, teenagers, Dante, comic book superheroes, Alaska. Don’t say she didn’t say to you right off, “This was a massive undertaking…” No kidding, Jodi! She doesn’t do easy topics.

Who has ever had a boyfriend who played hockey? I mean, I grew up near Detroit so I knew about Gordy Howe, the star. But there was no hockey as a high school sport. The story is in Maine so things are evidently different there. So, with the hockey, this story seems unusual to me right from the faceoff. A boyfriend who plays hockey and is a star? And then there are the several pages of dark graphics that precede each chapter. How does that belong in a novel? I have read a lot of books but it has been a very long time since I have read illustrated reading material. Sure, there was Mad Magazine when I was a pre-teen but before that it was illustrated picture books when I was in elementary school. That is a long time ago. So I am not sure, Jodi Picoult, that I am ready for this. I picked this book because I wanted an easy read and figured it was time to read a Picoult book again. I had gotten this book on GR swap site so you know that it has been on my shelf for a while. The last one I read was in May, 2012. That is plenty of time between chick lit selections! Besides, I like Jodi Picoult and her collection of social issues.

The Tenth Circle has a modest GR rating of 3.39 with just under 60,000 opinions. Looks like people don’t think this is one of her better books based on the ratings. Most of her other books rate higher, many quite a bit higher. It was the middle of the third page of reviews before I came to a male reviewer. That was both surprising and not surprising to me. It is labeled as chick lit which is kind of like saying, “Men keep away!” But this is my fourth Picoult book and I have enjoyed them so far. Like I said, one every six or eight months is about right.
It was that she truly believed that you could be fourteen when you learned how love could change the speed your blood ran through you, how it made your dreams in kaleidoscope color. It was that Trixie knew she couldn’t have loved Jason this hard if he hadn’t loved her that way too.

OK, it’s a little corny at times. And Trixie does sound like a chick lit name, I guess. In fact, Picoult does seem to have a thing about names: Alpha, Aine, Naryan. Makes Seth almost seem normal.

I notice that this page with all the unusual names has had the corner turned down to save the place. Well, that makes sense. You might be thinking (maybe Jodi would say dreaming) about what to name your first child. I love it when you are reading a used book that gives you evidence of prior use like having the corners of pages turned down. That is the best thing about a library book. You know that a few people (or more) have read the book before you. You are not alone! I bought a used ex-library book that still had the card in the pocket at the back of the book with the names of people who had checked the book out. What could be better than that?

The juxtaposition of the words in the story with the story in the graphics is a like-but-not-quite new experience for me. It has been a long time since I have read comics, even the ones in the newspapers. I read the local paper online but there are still the comics in color. I ignore them. When I was a kid The Detroit Free Press went on strike for several months. When they came back they printed three months of cartoons. It was overload. As I recall my favorite comic was Dondi, a World War II orphan. It ran in more than 100 newspapers for three decades (September 25, 1955 to June 8, 1986). I don’t remember why I stopped reading Dondi. Probably I just grew up. It happens.

There are many paragraphs in this book that I would like to quote:
Parents didn't take their baby trolling the streets after midnight. They didn't live out of the back of a car. They couldn't buy formula and cereal and clothes with happenstance cash that dribbled in from sketches done here and there. Although Daniel could currently pull Laura like a tide to the moon, she couldn't imagine them together ten years from now. She was forced to consider the startling fact that the love of her life might not actually be someone with whom she could spend a lifetime.

Before starting the book I read a few GR reviews, especially some one and two star reviews. As a result I am almost embarrassed to say that I generally enjoyed reading this book and found the writing occasionally to have some impressive aspects. It is not as ‘brainy’ as many books I read but maybe it is just at a comprehension and reading level that works better for me. I don’t have to work so hard to understand what is going on and my brain thanks me for that by letting me have an enjoyable experience. Ironically, although this book has a lot of tension, I felt comfortable reading it. I thought the Alaska adventure towards the end was pretty lame and couldn’t buy this being a fourteen year old adventure.

Is it true that if two people (even teenagers apparently) fear they are freezing to death, they should take off all their clothes and snuggle together? I’m serious. See page 322 in the trade paperback edition! The following is what Google found for me:
At 85 degrees [body temperature], those freezing to death, in a strange, anguished paroxysm, often rip off their clothes. This phenomenon, known as paradoxical undressing, is common enough that urban hypothermia victims are sometimes initially diagnosed as victims of sexual assault. Though researchers are uncertain of the cause, the most logical explanation is that shortly before loss of consciousness, the constricted blood vessels near the body's surface suddenly dilate and produce a sensation of extreme heat against the skin.

If you ever wanted to read about “the cold, hard facts about freezing to death,” this is one place to go. Now, where were we? Sorry for the diversion. I just don’t see a fourteen year old in this picture.

Jodi has hidden a message in the graphics. She says at the end of the book that “the letters spell out a quotation that sums theme” of the book. You could try to find the letters in the graphics like she suggests or you could look up the answer on her web site or you can simply click the “spoiler” and it will all become clear. The decision is yours.

The Tenth Circle has some pretty good paragraphs and even some pretty good pages. But I am thinking that this will be my last Jodi Picoult book because it just wasn’t that good from beginning to end. I think there were some good hints at what it is like to be a teenager in love or just a teenager period and that was interesting for a geezer like me. But I can only go to three stars in good conscience. I want to be able to go to sleep tonight.
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