BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

the_night_circusBook: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Literary, Romance

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.

(description from goodreads)

Go get this book!  Right now!  Buy it, rent it from the library, find the kindle version, borrow it… I don’t care how you get it, I just want you to know right from the get-go that you need to read this book.  Okay.  Now that we’ve established that, I’ll attempt to give you an actual coherent review of the book, though I warn you in advance that there will probably be a lot of overly excited gushing because seriously, you guys, I loved this book.

To begin with, I had no idea what this story was about.  My library had a ‘Blind Date With A Book’ event for Valentines Day.  Basically, they wrapped a bunch of books in paper, wrote the basic genre down, and you could take your pick.  I picked one that said something about fantasy and magic, because I have no luck finding magical books on my own.  I’m serious.  Every fantasy-type book that I’ve loved has been recommended by somebody else.  Most of the magicky books I pick out myself are steady 2 or 3 stars, if they rate anything at all.  Anyways, when I unwrapped the book I was both curious and skeptical but figured I’d give it a try.

It was such a fun read.  Beautiful writing style, elegant descriptions and dialogue, and a really complex premise.  There are so many strange little details in the beginning that seem irrelevant at best, but you remember them because of how bizarre and out of place they seem.  Then, when the plot starts getting really fired up and the pieces of the puzzle start clicking, since you remember all those weird little tidbits, everything makes perfect sense.  The magic in this book is unique too–kind of a strange combination of the fanciful and intellectual.  The romance is sweet, and unusually conflicted because of the premises of ‘the game’.

If I were to make a complaint about this book, it would probably be that in the beginning, the book feels a little fragmented and confusing.  You really have to concentrate on the dates at the beginnings of chapters to make any sense of the timeline at all.  If you read it through to the end, though, I don’t think any of that will matter to you. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to read it over again–and believe me, that is a rare emotion these days.  I have so little time to read anyways, between keeping up with writing and housework and chasing my toddler around–all while becoming increasingly pregnant–that I always want to just move on to the next book, regardless of how deserving the book is of a second read-through.

So there you have it.  If you like fairy tales, light romance, the circus, and/or books that make you smile just because they’re ‘fun’ you need to read this one.  You won’t regret it.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars