Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: September 13, 2011 (Tomorrow!)
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher! (This did not affect my review)

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You like lots of description.
  • You want a book that you can really get lost in.
  • You appreciate gorgeous prose.
What's the Story?:

From "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 RĂªves, 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."

My Two Cents:

I was very, very happy that an ARC of this book was sent to me. There has been a ton of buzz about this book over the summer and it's safe to say that there are probably going to be a lot of people adding this to their Fall Must Read lists and in my opinion, the buzz is fully understandable and warranted. This book will sweep you away. I love when descriptions are so deep and so vivid that you have absolutely no trouble imagining the surroundings in the book.

The summary makes this seem like it is a love story. The love story between Celia and Marco is certainly part of the book but it's also the story of Poppet and Widget growing up in the circus and Bailey not being afraid to follow his dream. The love story is almost like a side dish. We, the readers, can see why Celia and Marco are drawn to each other but their love almost seems pre-determined in a way and therefore, we aren't drawn into it as much as we would be if there were more of an element of surprise.

This book definitely has a lot of elements of magical realism, an element that I absolutely love. Morgenstern does a really wonderful job of making sure that the magic feels real and is accessible to us mere mortals, something that can be really difficult to do. The descriptions and the writing itself serve to draw the reader in and it totally works.

There was only one flaw; I had to keep looking back through the book to keep the dates straight. The chapters move back and forth through time and they're a little hard to keep track of. It's not a deal breaker, it just takes a little work to keep everything straight.

Bottom line: This is definitely a book to get excited for this fall!


  1. Great review, can't wait to read this one! :)

  2. So glad you liked it! Just further proof that I absolutely must read this book :)

  3. I was surprised that this one is being pitched as a romance so heavily, but I loved the overall story. The magic/setting was truly spectacular.

    Wonderful review, Meg. I completely agree with everything you said :)

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  5. @YA Book Queen Yeah, the romance is most definitely not the center of the book, which I was so surprised about. All of the things that I had read on the book made it seem like a love story between Celia and Marco.

  6. Glad to see you enjoyed this book, as I'll be reading it soon. I read a couple of pages when I received it, and the writing seems fantastic.

  7. Ah, I picked this up in Waterstones today. Even the cover looks beautiful.

    I wasn't sure about it before, but now I've had a quick flick through, I'll definitely be buying it on payday.

    It's a great review by the way - none of the others I've read gave quite as nice a summary :)

  8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculier Children, and Wonderstruck--that being said, The Night Circus blew them all out of the water. Truly, a book with just enough romance (oh how tired I have grown of those predictable books about naughty dukes with images of girls clutching their extravagant gowns as a know), just enough history, just enough magic, and just enough something else to make it more than a lovely, refreshing read- it is important, significant, somehow.


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