Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Club - The Night Circus

Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

“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, 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.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.”

I have to say….this wasn’t my favorite book. I actually purchased it before the list of books came out for the club this year. The description intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read it. Once I got into it though, I just kept waiting and waiting for it to draw me in, but it never really did.  I did get more into it when I was about 85% done, but I’m not sure if that was because the story intrigued me or if I was just excited to be so close to finishing it!

I guess to me, even though the story “sounded” really interesting, the author didn’t really do anything to make it feel exciting.  Yes, I guess they fell in love, but I didn’t FEEL it.  Nor did it feel forbidden or magical, other than the literal moments described above that says their love “makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.”

The game did not make any sense to me.  The author never really let us in on the “moves” the players were making and not a single part of it felt exciting. I can’t decide if I wish I would have read the description above more carefully or not, because it spoils the way a player wins the game.  I guess it is probably better to not know until the characters did.  Even though I understood the way to “win” the game, I have no clue how the characters ended up “beating” it. Just way too much confusion over that. 

The writing style was clearly not for me.  I just had a hard time really connecting to the entire story line.  I think some of the minor plot points might have also gone over my head.   Thinking back to the book, there are clear moments where I think “What ever happened to that character” or “Why did the author write about that moment?” 

There were several characters in the book that though I loved them, (I mean, how fun is the name Poppet?) felt hardly integral to the story. I was wondering what the heck half of the characters had to do with the entire story until the last chapter or two.  Some of them I am still not sure had anything to do with the story, they were just extra fluff.

Also, because I felt like some of the characters weren’t necessary, I had a hard time keeping track of them, like “The man in the grey suit” for example. He popped up several times and I had to think for a second to figure out who he was. 

After all of the negatives, the only thing I really loved was the idea and the imagery of the circus.  I loved reading about all of the different tents and sights to see. I could picture myself standing in line for chocolate rats or standing in the ice garden. The room with the jars was probably my favorite tent. I could stand there all day opening memory jars and imagining myself somewhere else!

Overall I just really didn’t like the book.  I had such high hopes for it based on the story line and I finished it feeling so disappointed. I know so many people have liked this book, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. 

Next up for Bon’s Book Club is the The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.  I have only read the first chapter or two and I have to say, if it doesn’t pick up the pace soon it will be the first book I ever put down without finishing. Seriously. It already seems that boring. Ugh. I am really hoping that changes!

Have you read the Night Circus? What are your thoughts?

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  1. I loved the Night Circus - I thought it was great. The Light Between Oceans on the other hand was interesting because of the historical accuracy and how people actually lived that life but the story was so sad!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  2. Booo - imagery is great but it's sad when a book doesn't live up to its potential.

  3. I've heard a lot about good things about this book...I might have to add this to my reading list :)

  4. going through the old link up, how are you finding the light between the oceans? i just started it last week, and i am actually loving it so far! well, not love loving it, but thoroughly enjoying it. but i am australian, so its so nice to read about home. i disliked the night circus something severe, lol.



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