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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Release Date: September 13, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 387
Format: Audiobook
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Summary:  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. 

  My Favorite Line
"I find I think of myself not as a writer so much as someone who provides a gateway, a tangential route for readers to reach the circus. To visit the circus again, if only in their minds, when they are unable to attend it physically. I relay it through printed words on crumpled newsprint, words that they can read again and again, returning to the circus whenever they wish, regardless of time of day or physical location. Transporting them at will. When put that way, it sounds rather like magic, doesn't it?"

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” 

“Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.” 
What I Thought: Regardless of the fact that I really wanted to review this book, I've had a hard time deciding how I want to approach it. Oh well, let's just jump in, shall we? First off, I'm ashamed to say that it took me over a month to finish this book. In my defense, I had the book in audiobook format. There were just too many days that I needed music in my car instead of the fancy words of Erin Morgenstern.  I finally finished it though.

The hype surrounding this book did more to hurt it, in my opinion. I had so many people tell me that it was like The Hunger Games. Very false. The whole premise of the book rests on a delicate balance of love and beautiful imagery. The Hunger Games was non-stop action that pulled you in and kept you based on the storyline.  In retrospect, love was always a vital part of the plot, but love was not the main story.  I found that The Night Circus was not so much action-packed as it was deliciously appealing with the combination of the setting, whimsical descriptions, and strange and appealing characters. The constant see-sawing of the settings really messed with me since I was reading it through audiobook format. The extended time it took for me to read it made it hard to follow at times. That is not really Ms. Morgenstern's fault though.

If the book hadn't been compared to the Hunger Games, more people would have gotten into it on their own (perhaps) instead of expecting a fast-paced book. Though a treat for the senses, the book was not particularly fast-paced. As strange as it may be, the writing reminded me of L.M. Montgomery meets the 20th century. No judgement please *wink, wink*!

Why You Should Read It: The whole book was a treat for my imagination, full of delectable sentences that I loved to read, and I savored a great deal of the descriptions with just a hint of drool. Just a tiny bit though.


  1. I listened to this one as well, and like you, it took me awhile. There were a few times where I went back to listen to parts over again because it was just so beautifully done. I loved the narrator. He was perfect!

    Karis @YA Litwit

  2. The thought of LM Montgomery for the 21st century really appeals to me!


  3. I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was amazing and I def did not expect it to turn out the way it did. I was really happy I listened to my friends urges to buy this one.

  4. Interesting. I've been wanting to read this for awhile because 1) I've heard good things and 2) ohmigoshthatcover. Anyway, I think I'd maybe still like it, but I'm glad I read this review so that I can change my thoughts going into it.

  5. I've seen many varying reviews on this book. I'm glad to see you liked it even if it took you a while to get through.
    I really appreciate your thoughtful review - I think I'll be sure to get it in book form though, trying to listen to it would be too hard for me.
    ~Lynne of TwoReads


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