Book Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt


Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

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If you didn’t know yet, this book is actually one of my top 10 books last year! It just took me somewhere else! I have to admit though that I had a pretty hard time getting into it. It’s interesting yes, but it’s freaking complex! it’s a murder story – but definitely not the typical plots of finding out WHO killed who, but moreover WHY they killed who.

This is a story about 5 college students – Henry, Francis, Camilla, Charles and Bunny, who isolated themselves from the rest of the world along with their charismatic professor, Julian, until Richard, a troubled student who desperately wants to belong decided he wanted a way in in this eccentric group of people. Everything is going normal – as far as “normal” for them is concerned until one of the students died. That isn’t even a spoiler so don’t be mad at me, okay?

This book is freaking twisted, it pulls you into the story deep that you’ll have a hard time detaching yourself the moment the characters slipped into darkness. I don’t relate to the characters – that’s for sure, because that would be creepy if I do. But the way the story went and progressed, you’ve also developed an attachment to each and every one of them. Also, saying that the characters are peculiar would be underrated, NO – they’re something else. They’re the type that we don’t usually hear of or see, or talk to – and they’re creepy in a way that you don’t exactly know why. If I were to be asked though, I’d love a POV of Henry – Richard, the MC and narrator is a tiny bit lacking for me. In fact I was actually annoyed at him for quite some time. I just think there would be so much more interesting concepts if Henry was the one who narrates the story – OR an exchanging POV would be awesome. Either way though, the story telling is as good as what the author intended it to be.

Another factor that I love about this book is that it takes you right where the story happens and leaves you there. The vivid descriptions, the intellectually written passages that makes you feel smart after reading so. It’s an exceptional experience I haven’t had with any other book.

Lastly, I do appreciate the author giving us a sight of what happened to the students after everything had passed. I appreciate that it was somewhat a lesson that whatever you’ve done in the past will ALWAYS haunt your future. I have to say though that although I do find the ending a little NOT in league with the greatness of the rest of the story, thinking about it, I also do not know how would it have ended if it were me writing the book. After finishing the book, I just sat there, thinking about ways the story could’ve ended but they all just didn’t sum up.

So yeah, with everything that it made me see and feel, this book is undeniably one of the best I had last year and I’m glad I picked it up. Definitely not the last one from Tartt. Have you read it? Thoughts? Let me know!

Till next book! ❤




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