Saturday, June 2, 2012

May Book Club: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

A little girl sent by her mother to live with her father - a stage magician with more than an illusion up his sleeve. A young boy plucked from an orphanage and given piles of books to study. Two rivals perpetuating a history of mysterious challenges. A circus that magically appears overnight, opens at sundown and closes at sunrise. A young man so enthralled with the circus that he leaves his home to chase it. A pair of twins born into circus life.

Each character is woven into the story piece by piece until it becomes clear that they all have an important part to play in the unfolding drama. Can Celia and Marco discover the truth about their mentors and the challenge they are faced with before it is too late?  And will Bailey and the twins figure out how to save the circus before everything falls apart?

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What we thought:

Eileen: I found The Night Circus to be the book version of James Cameron's Avatar movie. It was very descriptive and visually entertaining, but at the end I felt like the story was lacking. In spite of that I am interested in what happens next - and before - so hopefully there will be more books.

NaomiRuth: I just can't make up my mind about this book. I like aspects of it: the descriptions were fantastic, I loved the background characters. But the main characters fell a little flat for me and sometimes having it written in present tense was obvious, and therefore annoying. I enjoyed it overall and am glad I read it, but I can't decide how much I liked it. I have mixed feelings.

Jenn N: I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked it up, but I was immediately sucked in during the first few pages. While this is a novel, it was told in a series of vignettes that moved back and forth through the 1890's and early 1900's. While that may seem confusing, I felt it really helped the novel maintain its mystery. Just as Celia and Marco didn't understand the complexities of their challenge and the circus, you the reader didn't either. You discovered and tried to decipher it along with them. It was magical, mysterious, and fun.

Rebecca T: I too have rather mixed feelings about this book. The visual aspects were stunning. The different circus tent descriptions were just gorgeous and I wanted to visit the Night Circus so badly! I liked the way the two time lines slowly began to intersect, but it took me a while to figure out what was going on. I found that a little bit confusing and I almost wanted to start a time line to keep track of what was happening to whom and when. The forays into second person were a bit jarring at times. Like Naomi I found the secondary characters a lot more interesting than the main characters, but I think there was a design to that as the main characters end up being completely defined by the challenge itself. Overall it was an intriguing read.

What's up for next month?

We decided to read Veronica Roth's Insurgent. Divergent was our first book club book - back before we even had this blog - so we thought it would be nice to see what happened in the sequel!

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