Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Day: September 13, 2011

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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.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I have never been to a circus in my entire life; I know...sad, but after reading The Night Circus I feel like I fell right in the middle of the greatest circus on Earth. I think any circus I might attend would be an utter disappointment in comparison to the magic that unfolds in The Night Circus. The only way to describe Erin Morgenstern's world building is simply magical. Her descriptions are breathtaking and her characters are enigmatic and mysterious. Every piece of the circus comes alive: characters, food, exhibits, clothing, props, even the tents that house the circus. Ms. Morgenstern engages every sense in her prose, transporting you deep into another world.

"The circus arrives without warning." - opening line.

These five words describe le Cirque des Reves better than any other grouping of words I can imagine. From that single sentence, you literally feel the mystery, danger, and intrigue that surrounds a marvel so odd that it simply roles into town unnoticed and suddenly appears in a glory unknown to any other event of this magnitude. I could go on and on about the writing, but perhaps I should tell you a little about the story.

Marco and Celia have been pitted against each other since the age of six. Each of them go into this competition completely unaware of what is expected of them; only knowing that they are to use their "abilities" to best their opponent. Their creations are simply magnificent. The circus travels through the world during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Each year, the competition increases as does the romance. Every person, place, or thing is a machination of this unreal pairing. Winning this contest is not a simple as it would seem.

Gosh, this book is so hard to explain. I think I will tell you about 5 of my favorite descriptions...

*Midnight Dinners at la maison Lefevre - these dinner parties take place throughout the book, always including the most interesting characters and activities. Dinner is a series of courses, with the first being served precisely at midnight. Pre-dinner activities vary with every meeting; although, they always include some type of performance. Some of the dinners are more memorable than others.

*The bonfire is essentially the heart of the circus, or at least half of it. I could see the bonfire being lit in its most ceremonious state, every arrow that flew, sparking the fire...enabling and protecting this awe-inspiring festival. 

*The clock made by Herr Friedrick Thiessen is magnificent. Ms. Morgenstern's description of this masterpiece enraptured me. I want one...literally. From its "dreamlike" existence, to the monochromatic coloring, to each action that is precisely synchronized with the ticking of is magnanimous.

*The Ice Garden. I think I could live here. All the beauty of nature perfectly preserved in ice without losing any of its essence, ever-existing, never melting...never dying. Sparkling and white, crystallized for eternity.

*All Hallow's Eve at le Cirque des Reves. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and partake in the revelry in some semblance of anonymity, observing each of the attractions in an entire different atmosphere. As you might imagine...All Hallow's Eve has a lore revolving around death and tragedy, bringing with it unfortunate circumstances.

In all reality, I highly suggest you read this book. When you do...try to do it with as little outside stimulus as possible so you can fall head-over-heals into this mystical and dreamy book. My review does this book no here's one little teaser.
At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the juggler. Dressed in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern...After midnight the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and the clouds return. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself vanishes. - Page 69


  1. Another book that has such imaginative writing is Gabriel Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude . The language feels like a long, summer afternoon.

  2. I loved this book! I thought the writing was absolutely beautiful!

    However, I will say that this circus is way cooler and much less stinky than a really one :)

  3. I don't doubt that in the least. I'm not a big fan of a stinky zoo so I imagine that a circus would be something like that. LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I will have to add that one to my TBR list. I always appreciate book recommendations. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. I have this on my tbr and I cant wait to start with this book. great review!


    Series: Shatter Me #1

    Published: November 2011 by Allen & Unwin

    Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

    The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

    The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

    Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

    In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

    *Thank you Allen & Unwin for the review copy.*

    Sexy, dark, gritty, inspiring, emotionally intense. A must-read.

    SHATTER ME was just absolutely FASCINATING, Its impossible not to get lost in this book. I have to admit, I was kind of unsure what to expect when I started reading it.. But guess what? Not only did I enjoy it, it grew on me. And gosh, Im telling you, the cover is just one of the beautiful covers I've seen this year.

    The story was somehow believable I literally shudder at the mere thought of living in this cruel and terrifying world the author has created. I was captivated with the author's writing style. Plot was well thought out. It was also something familiar yet so unique. If that makes sense.The characters were just so intriguing. Juliette, Im so fond of her, I find her mesmeric thoughts compelling. From a vulnerable "freak" girl turned superhero? Just exhilarating. And ofcourse, how can I forget Adam? Ahhh, I've got 3 words for this guy. Hot as Hell. Period.

    What about Kenji?I laughed out loud with this guy, he lightens up the mood when he's in the scenes, and for that I adored him, his "spectacular face" did it too. :D Wonder whats going to happen next, It would have been a interesting love triangle if he gets involved.

    Overall, loved this book. Loved the plot, loved the characters, loved everything about it. Heres to Tahereh Mafi! This book is something you shouldn't miss. Loved it, dying to read the second installment. <3 Definitely recommended!


    I tried so hard to fix what I'd ruined. I tried every single day to be what they wanted. I tried all the time to be better but I never really knew how.

    I only know now that the scientist are wrong.

    The world is flat.

    I know because I was tossed right off the edge and Ive been trying to hold on for 17 years. Ive been trying to climb back up for 17 years but its nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.

    When no one wants to risk touching you.

  6. Omg I accidentally copied my review in my comment. so sorry I tried to delete it but I couldnt. ugh.

  7. Lalaine, I will remove your review when I get back on the computer. I'm on my phone right now and can't figure how to delete from it. I have accidentally copied and pasted some strange stuff before. no worries. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review.

  8. I'm so glad you reviewed this book! I ordered it from the library earlier this week. It sounds soooo good. Thanks so much for the recommendation :) Now just to find the time to actually read it :)

  9. Ooh I still have this unread on my shelf!! I'm really excited to read it I just have to find the time. Gaah!

    Xpresso Reads

  10. Wow. I think your review does the book justice, actually - at least, I'm really curious about it, and wanting to check it out, when before I wasn't! Perhaps it was because I've been to a circus once or twice and utterly disliked the experience that I was so reluctant to give this one a shot, but now I think I'm going to take my chances!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Ron,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It took me a minute to get into the writing style but then it took me to another planet. I hope you will enjoy it, if you do decide to read it.

  12. Awesome review. I loved reading Night Circus. The characters all so interesting and well developed.

  13. WOW! That's one amazing review Kristin! I loved it! I think you perfectly wrote it. I'm going to add this book in my ever-growing TBR pile! and I hope that I will love it as much as you did! Thank you for sharing! I love the words you used to describe the book!



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