Hello and welcome to the latest mission in our Book Avengers crusade! Today, we are featuring The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern…the book that YOU chose to avenge and voted for us to read in January. Be sure to read our intro post to learn all about this feature that Kristina and I debuted last year!
with more than 60% of the vote, The Night Circus was the obvious winner in our january poll! Clearly, you guys wanted us to read this book! Now the important part…did we love it as much as you did? Read on to find out!
THE NIght Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, 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.
As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.
But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.
Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.
Did it live up to the hype?
I’ve been randomly hearing about The Night Circus for a few years now. Every once in while someone will mention it in my Twitter feed or I’ll see a gorgeous and moody Instagram photo like this one or this one. It’s always piqued my interest and has been on my TBR for a VERY long time. I was pretty thrilled when it was selected as our January read, and I’m happy to report that it definitely lived up to the hype for me. It was everything I expected it to be and more. It was moody, mysterious and totally enchanting. The ending left me wanting a little more and sometimes the timeline messed with my head, but overall I really loved this book.
From the very first pages, I knew that The Night Circus was the book for me. So, thanks to Kristina for gifting me with a gorgeous UK copy for Christmas and to you guys for voting it as our January read. I don’t when I would have picked this one up had it not been for you guys.
The Night Circus is sometimes dark, much of the time mysterious and always enchanting. I couldn’t put this book down and ended up reading three-quarters of it in one sitting. There was something about Morgenstern’s writing that totally captivated me, everything just felt…magical. To be honest, I’m normally not one for long, drawn out descriptions, but in this book I absolutely loved it. It only added to the magic of the story and made me feel as though I was part of it. Every so often there were dreamlike interludes between chapters that made it feel as though the reader is part of the story and those ended up being some of my favorite passages. They felt like riddles sprinkled throughout the book that set up the next phase of the story.
I read this quote from ReadwithMikee’s review on Goodreads and could not agree more…
“…every chapter and page is a puzzle piece that connects the whole storyline together.”
There were several characters in this book, and at first I had a hard time keeping track of some of them and I had a hard time staying invested in their stories. BUT…the way in which these characters lives are intertwined and the way in which those commonalities are revealed, I quickly found myself completely wrapped up in the lives of these fictional people. Not only was the dynamic between Celia and Marco such perfection, but the complex relationships between so many of the characters was totally intriguing.
Sarah’s Rating: FOUR Stars
DID IT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
The Night Circus has been what I call a “quiet hype” book for me. For a couple of years now people have been telling me to read it but I seemed to easily continue to keep skip over it. I cannot truly say what it was about it that made it passable to me but a few recent events in which a select few of my blogger friends talked about their love of it and the STUNNING UK edition I was able to find made me much more open to finally tackling this one. In fact, I even bought the same book (albeit a crap used copy-though not on purpose) of the UK edition for Sarah in hopes to add it to our Book Avengers picks. She was in and so here we are! So. . . .long story short – was it worth the hype? Eh, yes and no and that opinion for me is divided only by on the ending of the book. Do not fear, if you haven’t read it I will not be revealing anything, you are safe to proceed!
When I started this one I had a feeling. I just KNEW I would love it and want all the copies like so many of my fellow book lovers. I would say that feeling remained for about 90% of the book. But the ending? The ending removed some of the magic for me. I by no means hated the book or even would talk badly of it, it was a great reading experience. The story was so wonderful and vividly told that I could picture so much and continuously thought that I would love to watch this as a movie. The intertwining stories and how things come to be were also very entertaining and kept me guessing till much further into the story that I would normally start to figure out the plot secrets. . .
Kristina’S RATING: THREE STARS
Want to be a part of selecting our next book? Below are our three February picks that we’ve narrowed down from our current TBR list and we know are well-loved by the bookish community! For your vote to count, please comment below with your pick or head on over to our Twitter hashtag #bookavengers and vote using our Twitter poll. Feel free to retweet and help promote your pick! Voting closes January 23 and we will be announcing both our next pick via Twitter that day.
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.
Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.
As if she were his enemy.
When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .
In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won’t soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
We hope you guys enjoyed our post to help promote amazing back list books! Please remember to vote for your favorite and join us January 23 when we announce our February pick. As always, if it is new to you as well please join us in reading, we’d love to chat with others about the February selection. See you soon!