Review: The Night Circus

I felt like there were a lot of things I wanted to say before getting into this review. As I read this book, a lot of things went through my mind. By the end of the book, none of them mattered. I was completely transfixed by what occurred during this story. I hope this review does what it needs to do.

REVIEW: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Published: 2011
Length: 512

Plot: A strange, mysterious circus called Le Cirque des Reves is only open at night. You never know when it will arrive, nor when it will leave. Within its black and white tents are a series of miraculous feats. There is also a fierce battle between Celia and Marco, two young magicians put in a game neither quite understands. When they fall in love, they set off a series of events no one ever expected.

Most Memorable Line(s):”The circus arrives without warning.”
-One of the strongest opening lines ever. It immediately drew me in and made me want to read more.

“By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.”
-This is the last line of what I think is truly the most incredible description in the book. Almost a full page in length, Morgenstern discusses the clock that will stand outside the circus. It is incredible.

What I Liked: I found this book very enchanting. As Marco and Celia enchant the circus, opening up more tents as part of their strange competition, this book enchanted me. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a book like this before. As I finished it, I felt the way you feel when a blast of scents hit you in the face – a little unstable, slightly dizzy, but with a smile on my face. The whole magic of this book comes from the incredible way the circus is described, and how the characters’ reverence for this circus is showcased. The way the characters were intertwined was also extremely interesting. I loved, loved, loved Celia, though I wish overall I felt like I got to know all of the characters a little bit better. If I have to be honest, I really felt that Bailey was the main character of this story at times – not that I really have an issue with that being a possibility. It was really easy to get emotionally caught up in this story, which is why I enjoyed it as much as it did. The language used was grand, purposefully meant to be dripping in luxury. While it seemed to take a while to all come together, I was so glad when it did. Also, one particular thing: the way she described that clock. Oh, my, god. Erin Morgenstern is the magician here, and everyone needs to know it.

What I didn’t like: While I understood the way the book was laid out by the time it ended, at times it was extremely confusing to attempt to follow certain story lines due to the layout of the chapters and subsequently the years in which the book takes place. I also wish we’d gotten a little more of Marco and Celia really falling in love – their transition from strangers almost to lovers was a little too immediate for me. As I mentioned earlier, there were moments where it felt like Bailey was more fleshed out than Celia or Marco, and therefore was the main character. I don’t think that’s how the author meant it to be, which is why it’s on this list.

Grade: 8/10… unbelievably enchanting, but at points hard to follow between the time hopping.


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