CoffeeWithJorlaska: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Hi, I’ve decided to create a series called Coffee with Jorlaska (hence the title) in which we sit down with a hot cup of coffee, or any other beverage you prefer, and discuss the month’s book read.

Since this is the first episode, the book we shall be discussing has already been chosen, hopefully a couple of episodes in, the books can be voted (preferably on my twitter), ensuring that each participator has had a chance to get involved with the discussion in the comments below.

In simpler form, welcome to my first book club meeting. The first book we are reviewing is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Synopsis

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.

I actually went in to this novel with out having any clue about the plot. My friend who recommended me this book refused to give out any information while my copy of the book had no blurb but a simple quote “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.” Quite intriguing, don’t you think?

Erin’s writing is incredible. It is easy to read with enough description that makes the reader clearly picture each scenario. You can actually read this in one sitting if you don’t have other commitments. The text is written in third person view which helps the reader understand the plot easily as the point of view does change through out the chapters. There are so many plot twist that you are actually left on the edge of your seat, questioning your life choices.

One of the best parts of the novel is the love interest. It is a slow, tantalising love that makes you want to squeal or rip the books in to pieces because the feels are too much. Sparks start to fly when the two protagonists are together, literally, however unlike most novels the love interest doesn’t empower the plot. It just something that happens, like starting to get a crush on someone. The butterflies, the awkwardness, which truly brings the book to a whole new level.

I’m not going to give much away about the novel (despite that lengthy blurb) as I believe the novel would be better when you go in to it blindly. Like entering a dark isolated room.

Despite this being an amazing read, I felt like the ending was too abrupt. A little like the ending of Romeo and Juliet, both kill themselves. (Don’t worry, they don’t die). Hence why I give this a 4/5.

Rate: 4/5

(Follow me on twitter to participate in voting for July’s book read)

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