Jun 26, 2013

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 4 stars

Overview from Goodreads: 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. 

This was a pick for my book club a couple months back and while it sounded good, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it. At first I found it easy to put down, but about halfway through I finished it in one sitting and it flew by for me! (That's also when all the different storylines started to intertwine which was pretty cool to see happen).

I was worried the competition was going to be similar to the competition in The Hunger Games and while I'm all for action, I wasn't crazy about those books. However, the competition aspect was completely different - it was about skill and talent, and creating beautiful magical elements and a story that played into the night circus itself.

When I finished the book I was like "yeah, I liked it," but the more time I spent away from it, the more the story sunk in, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.

The writing is wonderful - and it was so easy to get swept up in the magic of the story.

The past stays on you the way powdered sugar stays on your fingers. Some people can get rid of it but it's still there, the events and things that pushed you to where you are now. (263)

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 what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. (505)

I really enjoyed this book - I've been recommending it to everyone since I finished it - and it's even serving as the inspiration for some 30th birthday activities this fall! (More on that later!) 

I'll leave you with one last quote:

It is these aficionados, these reveurs, who see the details in the bigger picture of the circus...They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts. Something about the circus sitrs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent. (184) 

Have you read The Night Circus? Do you consider yourself a reveur? What was the last book where the story stayed with you after you finished reading it?


Nora said...

This book definitely stuck with me, as did "Those Who Save Us." I really enjoyed the Night Circus. One of my most favorite books out of the last few years!

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing on this review! I picked this up at the library last weekend and have been struggling to get into this week and was thinking about abandoning it after I have it the required 100 pages try. Your review has given me the faith to stick with it since I pretty much am a fan of any book you recommend!

Alli said...

I don't think I loved The Night Circus the way you did, but I did think it was a fun read and it makes for a great party theme!

Amber said...

I read the Night Circus when we were on vacation in Mexico earlier this year so I read it in the span of just a few days. I really really enjoyed the book and the story!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I read this book last year and it was one of my favorites. I loved the magical feel of the book. It sucked me right in and I just loved it!

Stephany said...

It took me 2 tries to read The Night Circus. The first time around, I gave up after 100 pages because it was just boring for me. The second time, I read it with my book club so I basically HAD to finish it and it was one of those books that I didn't know I loved until I finished it and took some time to process it.

I would love to reread it someday because some of it can get very confusing - especially dealing with all the different characters and plots and not knowing how they intermix! - and it's just one of those books that I think I would love to reread and feel the magic (literally!) again.

Great review! :)

S.I.F. said...

That totally sounds like my kind of book! I'm adding it to my list!

Marlene Detierro said...

You did a fantastic job of reviewing this one. I'm not even sure where to start! I loved what it did to me while I read it. It was as if I stepped into one of those tents and just became a part of that circus. Sigh.

Marlene Detierro (Alaska Fishing Lodges)

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