24 October 2015

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

Reviewer: Kayla
Author: Erin Morganstern
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 8.5/10

Summary (Goodreads. Da real MVP):

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.

My Thoughts:

"The circus arrives without warning."

This book was absolutely NOTHING like I expected it to be. Yes, I expected mystery. Yes, I expected an element of magic. But never could I have prepared for the intricacies, the fascinations, and the wonder that was The Night Circus. I absolutely loved this book. The writing was beautiful and unique and it was nothing I could have ever dreamed of. The idea of a circus being open only at night is an aspect of the novel that merely skims the circus. I had so many questions and thoughts and theories about the novel's conclusion that it almost seemed dreamlike. The writing style fit the story's content so well, I don't think many other writers would have been able to pull this off. The characters were intriguing and mysterious in their own way, which added to the air of the overall feeling and tone of the book. They added so much dimension, and twist after twist kept appearing. Little things that seem meaningless end up being crucial, each character being essentially important to the story as well.

With the characters, I could honestly never tell who was good and who was bad, with three exceptions (Poppet, Widget, and Bailey). Everyone else had so much to them and so many little things they did that I couldn't exactly figure them out. Marco, Tsukiko, and Isobel especially. I still can't decide whether they were good or bad, "the man in the grey suit" and Hector as well. Speaking of them, one of the reasons I couldn't give this book a complete 5 star is because I still don't understand the point of the challenge? Where did it originate from? Why does it happen? What is it meant to prove? I just didn't understand. There were a lot of little aspects of the story I still don't understand, and I suppose I wish they would have been elaborated upon. Though I suppose that adds to the mystery of the story. Still, though... Another thing I wasn't crazy about were the location and date subtitles to each chapter heading. It threw me off greatly. Though I understood why it worked for the story, I'm not used to reading a story not in chronological order. I had to keep going back and try to piece together the timeline through the dates. It was just a bit annoying, though I understand why it worked so well with the story.

I did absolutely love Poppet and Widget, they were probably my favourite characters of the story. I immensely enjoyed reading about them, and their dynamic was adorable. They balanced each other out perfectly, as twins, and they brought such innocence and life to the story, it was so refreshing. I initially wasn't sure what I thought of Bailey, but it turns out I like him. He was a comic relief to the story, and I honestly laughed a few times out loud at his remarks. I think his decisions at the end were a bit strange (no spoiler don't worry), but I suppose it's easily forgiven. Celia I found to be quite bland, her romance with Marco seemed fake, I don't really have any other way to describe it lol. Even so, I liked them together at the end.

Final Thoughts: 
This story was fantastical and magical and dreamlike, and the mystery and suspense of it had me not wanting to put it down, I had genuinely so much fun reading it. It is unlike anything I have ever read or heard of before, and I definitely recommend it to honestly anyone. Anyone can pick up this book and find something to marvel about. So do it.

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