Book reviews

Book review: The Night Circus

Whoo! This review is one I’m actually so excited about (don’t get me wrong, I love telling you my thoughts at all times, but trying to find words can be.. very difficult sometimes). I read this book for the February readalong on Instagram (hosted by halflostbutterflyreadalong  -link), which was my first one. I always wanted to join a readalong, but I’m shy (yes, I really am even if it doesn’t seem like it), and most of the time they were reading books I didn’t have. Now, I came across this one, and I recently bought the Night Circus, and I thought “what better opportunity to start reading than this one?”. So, here I am!

Title: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

4.5 / 5 stars

Goodreads link/ Book Depository


Summary: The circus arrives without warning. It’s open only at night, when the sun sets, and closes at dawn. While the black-and-white striped tents seem enchanting enough already, the main point of the circus is that it’s a venue. There’s a duel between Celia Bowen and Marco, two magicians. They;re raised separate from each other, Celia by her father, Prospero the Enchanter, and Marco by the man in the grey suit, Alexander. They don’t know who their opponent is, they don’t know the rules.. and their instructors won’t say anything, except that they’ll have to duel till the game is played out. And there’s Bailey, who, at first sight seems to be just a huge fan of the circus, but is so much more than that. While Marco and Celia play the game, the whole circus and everyone in it is involved, whether they realize it or not.

Ooohhhhh I know I say this with every book but I so loved reading this one! I heard about it a while ago and it sounded nice,but I’ll honestly say, I don’t precisely have a thing for circuses (and I’ll also admit that I do have Caraval on my shelves too 😉 ), but so many people were excited about it that I put it on my to-read list to try someday. Now, I’m so glad that “someday” has come so soon!

I loved the setting of the book, that’s for sure. Give me alllll the magical descriptions of beautiful tents, and the people performing, and everything. It made me want to step out of bed, right into Le Cirque des Rêves. Sadly, that wasn’t possible so I just stayed inside, reading on and on and on.

Marco and Celia were definitely interesting, from the way they were raised, how they played their turns, all the way till how they connected with each other and the other people in the circus. I’m a bit disappointed in how little there is about their instructors, but it did keep the magic alive. The only thing I didn’t exactly like was the instalove. Because, somehow, it’s different to find a book without it these days ._. I understand that it’s part of the story, specifically with the way the game should be played, but I didn’t exactly… get it. They haven’t been around each other that much, as far as I could read, and that makes it a little less enjoyable.

Isobel is someone I liked really much, she wasn’t mentioned a lot in the story, but she played her role nonetheless. I did feel sorry for her when Marco went to tell her about Celia, even though she could’ve seen it coming. Same goes for the original group of people who created the circus, like Chandresh, Lainie and Tara Burgress, Tante Pavda, Tsukiko.. I’d have loved to read more about them, the things they did, but the book is already 500 pages long and I can’t have everything I want huh 😉

Herr Thiessen is also quite the character. He seems.. unimportant at first, but becomes so much more during the story. I loved reading about his experiences with the circus, and the many people that felt the same way he did.

Bailey was so sweet to read about. A character that seemed not too important in the beginning, but as soon as he meets the twins Poppet and Widget, his life changes from the boy who lives on a farm and watches the sheep to the one of a regular circus visitor. The way he experiences the circus is amazing, and I always loved to read about his thoughts on the performers and the tents he kept discovering.

Herr Thiessen is also a regular circus visitor, another one that seemed unimportant at the start, but his story becomes so much more. He starts the Reveurs, a group of people who follow the circus as far as they can, traveling from place to place.

Poppet and Widget are part of the circus in a way no one else is. They’re born during the first opening night, which makes them quite special. They’re raised in the circus, and later become part of the performers too with their own act.

Of course there’s a lot more characters, plot lines, and everything (one Goodreads reviewer even counted them, there are 15 characters whose storylines you’ll want to follow!), but that’ll all get way too spoilery. The thing I really loved about this book is how, at the beginning you’d thing all those characters who you’ve read about once or twice, then disappeared, you’d forget about them. Maybe you’d think “hey what about those, why did they get mentioned?” and then forget them, because the story mainly focuses on Marco and Celia. But then, later on, those characters come back, and they bring an entire storyline with them. And all those storylines come together, and I found myself thinking oh wait are those connected? and most of the time, I was right. Unknowingly, I had passed another hundred pages, and more things were explaining themselves, and I just had to read on, I had to follow the story.

This is one of the few books where I almost didn’t care about how it’d end, I just wanted to read, read about all the characters with their own story, about the circus with the black-and-white striped tents, about all the performers and the acts, and I never wanted the story to end. I am quite a fast reader, and luckily also quite a big fan of books with lots of pages, so this was amazing for me. I started reading only around the 6th of February, at which point the readalong had been going on for a week already. I felt bad, and thought I’d have a hard time catching up since I am pretty busy right now (when am I not though ^^; ), but I read this book within 5 days, something that hasn’t happened to me for a looonngg time. And boy, did I love it. I even found a way to sneakily read at work, which could probably get me in trouble, but I’m way too happy with finally having time to read 🙂

I did rate this book with stars (something I actually never do) but only 4.5 because I want to say it’s perfect, but it’s… almost perfect. The only thing I disliked was actually how.. unreal the love between Marco and Celia seemed to be because they didn’t see each other for months at a time, or at least, not that we’ve read about.

Everything else, was amazing, I loved the story as a whole, I loved how everything was coming together, and I so loved how well everything was described. I have said it before, but to me, this was truly enchanting. I will most definitely recommend it to a lot of people, and read it again more often 🙂

Well, that’s about the longest review I’ve written so far haha. Excuse my fangirling, I tried to tone it down a little but I’m honestly just really enthusiastic about The Night Circus. Have you read it? Did you like it, or not at all? please tell me!

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