Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Reviewed by: Cassie
The Fairies Say: Timelessly beautiful

Summary (from BN.com)
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 Rêves, 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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

The Night Circus is a riveting novel beautifully depicted. Set mostly in the later 19th century, this is where it gets the timeless feel to it. Filled to the brim with breathtaking descriptions and an enthralling story. Spun with perfection, The Night Circus will leave you pondering about it for some time after you put it down.

It starts off with "The circus arrives without warning." This particular few pages is set as "You look around..." and then switches off to how the story began. This particular story begins with six-year-old Celia, arriving at her father's office. And then it continues to grow.

We don't get to know the characters very deeply, but that's because the connection is replaced with amazing descriptions. However, I did see Celia as a fellow introvert book-lover. Her dad is obsessed with her winning the competition and some of the ways he prepares her are disturbing. She deals with life as she can, and fits in well with the circus. Marco was a bit of a mystery. You learn that he, too, is a book-lover. He is a bit less introverted, however, and we learn he journals, draws a bit, and dreams magnificent things. His mind is fascinating, from the things he creates, and I wish we got more of his thoughts. Isobel... Oh my I felt so heartbroken with Isobel. Lovesick and betrayed, with the intent to do well but broken. Bailey, a younger character, is also quieter and a book-lover. He's a dreamer and sacrifices his life for something he believes in/loves.
There are other characters-quite a few others- but they're not quite described much.

My issues with the book were that I felt totally misled. I had thought I was going to get this epic romance with an awesome environment- a circus, what better? It could totally be romantic- and instead I get... well this. The Night Circus is definitely more focused on the details and surroundings than the feelings, relationships, and character development. You can't connect with any singular character at all really because of the way the book is written. It jumps around from year to year, perspective to perspective, and only briefly focuses on feelings. Very briefly, mind you. And for me, I just don't like that. However!! If you love proper etiquette and totally 19th century mannerism and relationships, you'll love this. And if you like your books as stories you can totally see as a movie (The Night Circus seems like a partially B&W, partially color movie- but all classic) then you'll really like this, too.

Overall it's a great book, just not my cup of tea. (and yes- there's TEA! in this book) I still really liked it, it's just I like relationships I can connect with and I rely on feelings the author can make me feel, other than perfect surroundings and a lovingly spun story.
By the way... I must say, Erin Morgenstern works some magic. I never knew one could get so seductive with 19th century wear... She makes it WORK! There is one scene where I just stopped, mouth open, thinking OH MY GOD I JUST DIED

Yup that was me.

All right I'm signing off, but don't forget to subscribe!! We have zero. And we promise we will follow you back. Pinky swear.

Cassie :)

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