Each month on my blog, This Is My Truth Now, followers choose a novel from my Book Bucket List that I have to read. For July, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was selected as the winner, and although it was in a genre I don’t often read (fantasy), I really enjoyed it. There were many parts I would give all five stars to, but there were also several where I thought it was just ‘good’ and received three stars; in the end, it’s earned a combined 4 stars from this bookworm… and now I’ll explain why!
One of the reasons I struggle with fantasy is the lack of understanding all the rules in a fictional setting that seemingly has no bounds. In a realistic book, I know that someone who truly dies won’t come back to life, people can’t just suddenly appear through magic, and spells can’t confuse me as to what is real and what isn’t. I’ve come to love those things in more lighthearted stories, but when I am entrapped n a very somber / serious / beautiful piece of fiction, not knowing the rules can sometimes induce a difficulty to fully connect with the story or characters… and in The Night Circus, there were moments where I found myself asking the questions “Why couldn’t you just cast this spell?” or “Why didn’t you change the game?” or “Wait, how exactly can you do X but you can’t do Y?”
When I do this, I’m pulled from the story and suddenly less interested or focused on the outcome. So… for fantasy to truly pull me in, there need to be ground rules established from the beginning so I have structure. I can’t help it, I’m a boundaries-type kinda guy for the most part. Since this happened a bit too often in The Night Circus, I found myself thinking the book was just average. The book also jumps time frames in no particular order, which I am usually fine with, but when I have to keep track of time lines and what magic is happening in which person’s life, I am either not smart enough or just not well read enough in this genre! HOWEVER… on the flip side, these not-so-amazing parts for me were more than counter-balanced with tons of POSITIVE and THRILLING aspects.
Wow, was this an ethereal and beautiful story. I lost track of all the similes, metaphors and analogies between the words on the page. It was lyrical and enchanting… from the circus itself to the competition to the love/romance and the death. I tore through the pages in certain sections because I just kept digesting its absolute brilliance and didn’t want to stop and think about it – just wanted to breathe it all in at once. I might be in love with Celia Bowen, the main character for most of the novel. What she goes through and how she turns everything into gold is just stunning. I’d forgotten what she even looked like as it was more just this concept of magic I attributed to her… she was a weaver, a spellbinding enchantress… and when she was pushed back down again, or lost Marco from time to time, I was devastated.
Morgenstern’s creation of a fantastic world is utterly gorgeous beyond words. From how the circus looks and appears to the creation of the clock that holds it all together. I found myself unable to put the book down several times — only if I truly had to stop for something important. I would read another Morgenstern again, and I can’t wait to see what else she has to offer. So thrilled with this choice, thank you everyone!
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.