Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

So apparently, November is read-an-amazing-book month. I had just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone (I give it a bajillion stars, if you were asking) and I was perfectly astonished to have the next book I read be just as amazing (in an altogether different way).
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
I know The Night Circus has been hyped unbelievably but I have to say that I loved, really loved this book. Everything about it appealed to me: the magic, the romance, the whimsy and fantasy, and the utter bizarreness of it. It's definitely not a plot-driven story; I knew how the contest would end (in a general sense, although the specifics were fun) and it's not really character-driven either. It's the prose and imagery that really impel the whole thing. The imagery is seriously incredible (an aside: I am terrible at actually imagining imagery, right? But I felt like I was seeing everything. Or like I was remembering a place I had visited. This is a pretty cool thing for me because it happens so rarely). 

I usually enjoy when a story is told in a nonlinear fashion but here I felt like the timeline jumped around too much? Because even though each event is happening years apart, the way the story flowed just
felt linear. Having to keep in mind that this one thing happened four years before this other thing but only two years after this new thing was a little jarring. I kept having to refer to the chronology at the beginning of each chapter and it broke up the experience for me. But really, this was my only complaint. 

Final Reckoning

Should you read this? Yes, go buy it now. This is another book that you should 
own physically  because it's just really beautiful.

Buy It . Borrow It . Skip It

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Series: n/a
P.O.V.: Alternating 2nd person, present/3rd person, present
Language: Mostly clean with a couple of dingers

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