I was a very bad book club member. I didn’t read the December 2012 selection for the Literary Junkies Book Club until January. Very naught of me and what is worse is that I haven’t read January’s and I’m falling behind in February’s selection. To make myself feel better I’m going to tell you guys all about the Literary Junkies Book Club before jumping into my review of The Night Circus.
Literary Junkies is a group of book readers (obviously) that was started by Taylor and Lesley. We have a private Facebook Group where we kind of just do preliminary chit-chats about the books. The main way that we discuss the books is that we meet at the end of the month on Twitter (at 1pm and 7pm cst.) There are usually about four questions to keep the discussion streamlined and we discuss our different responses to the questions. We keep up with the discussions by using a certain hashtag with our tweets. If you’re interested in joining or learning more about the book club please send Taylor and/or Lesley a quick e-mail with the subject line “More Info (or Want to Join) Literary Junkies.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcement precedes 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 de Reves, 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.
Where to start, where to start? Hmm, I guess I should start out by saying that this isn’t your typical romance story. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that Celia and Marco actually, in person, discuss their relationship until the last 1/4th of the book. That being said everything in this book leads to and then centers around their romance. While I love this, for me, it made me care less about their relationship than the others in the story.
The next thing I should say is that you if you do not like books that jump around you will not like this book. The book not only jumps years and not just in a straight line either, at one point you jump to 1902, back to 1880 something, 1890 something, back to 1880 something, back to 1902, then to some random timeline that you don’t really know where it’s at. On top of that though it also jumps from the perspective of the people as at one point you are with Celia, then with Bailey, then with the unknown character, etc. While I love this, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Speaking of Bailey, I would have to say that his relationship with Poppet is my favorite in the book and I wish that she had gone into more detail about what happened with them. You only meet Bailey twice really in the book, the first time being when he is young and sneaks into the circus meeting Poppet for the first time and the other being later when the circus goes back to his hometown and he goes back to try and find Poppet. His going back sets in motion a series of events that leads to the end of the book.
If I had any complaint about this book it would have to be the end of the book. It just seems like once certain events happen it’s WHAM, WHAM, WHAM, fizzle, fizzle, ending. Celia and Marco find out about each other and then fall in love, Celia starts to lose control of the circus, they find out that it’s a fight to the death, Celia finds out that the contortionist was a competitor in the previous game between the two instructors, Bailey and Poppet reunite, she begs him to join the circus but the circus leaves early, he chases it, he gets there to find out the contortionist betrayed Celia and Marco for selfish reasons and they are now corporeal trying to keep it together long enough for Bailey to agree to take the circus. The End. Really?! Do Bailey and Poppet get together? What happens to the people who created the circus, do they start aging again? Do Bailey, Poppet, and Widget stop aging? Do the instructors start another fight? Did either of them learn anything? There are so many questions that are left unanswered, especially when she goes into so much detail drawing you into the rest of the book.
To explain this, instead of stars I’m going to be using puppy paws. I don’t know why really I just thought it was cute. They will still work the same way that stars do with a 1-5 scale, 1 being the worst possible and 5 being the best possible. I chose 3 because of the ending, the book was great until the ending and it just fell flat to me.