Book Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

Doubleday

400 pages

I am probably one of the last bloggers to read this one, so feel free to skip the synopsis as most of you probably know what this one is about!

Le Cirque des Reves arrives without warning.  Suddenly you’ll notice the enchanting tents one morning upon waking, and after a few short weeks of magical experiences, they’ll be gone just as quickly as they arrived.

The circus is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.  Every sense is awakened by the unbelievable.  Magic such as you’ve never seen it is performed every night!

The Night Circus is centered around Marco and Celia.  They don’t realize it at first, but the circus was created around them as they are pitted against one another in a challenge that they’ve been preparing for since they were young children.  Neither of them knows the terms of the challenge or even who or what is involved. This isn’t immediately revealed to the reader either, so we’re as in the dark as they seem to be.

The Night Circus also involves the obligatory love story, which could even be called a love triangle. I know a lot of readers get caught up in this fanciful affair, but I wasn’t as drawn in by it.  Maybe the realism of the circus was too overshadowing for me, because that was what really intrigued me.  As a result, the love aspect didn’t do much for me and I ended up not really caring what happened with it. Because of that, I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as I could have.

Personally, I was happy to read something “different” for a change.  I have never read anything like The Night Circus before and I loved reading about the different tents and the atmosphere.  But I didn’t like this one as much as I expected to.  Maybe it was the hype, but once as much as I loved the descriptions, it wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with the story.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good. But it wasn’t great.

I would encourage people to read this one for the atmosphere if nothing else, but try not to go into it with such high expectations like I did!

Other Reviews:

Leeswames’ Blog

Reading on a Rainy Day

1330v

The House of the Seven Tails

Care’s Online Book Club

nomad reader

Farm Lane Books Blog

Estella’s Revenge

Fizzy Thoughts

Linus’s Blanket

I purchased this book for my own collection.

26 Responses

  1. It’s understandable that you didn’t love it as much as you thought you would. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the circus as a character itself.

  2. Looks like you didn’t love it as much as I did. I don’t know, even the way my book looked was beautiful and I loved the story. I didn’t care too much about the love story either, but the circus itself was wonderful.

  3. The descriptions of the circus were just amazing, and I had a lot of fun daydreaming about what it must have been like going from tent to tent. That being said, there were some aspects of the book that were less than perfect, and you aren’t the only one to feel that way! Great review today. I appreciated reading your take on it!

  4. I would’ve been happy just reading about all of the tents and the wonders inside!

  5. I haven’t read this one yet, so maybe I’ll be the last person too. A lot of people have loved it but I’m a little nervous about it since I don’t read much fantasy.

  6. I am right there with Kathy…I have the book but haven’t read it. Too much hype, ten million reviews, you know. Figured I’d give it a year or two! So it is no wonder that expectations fall a little flat. Think I’m going to let a little more smoke clear first.

  7. I loved reading about the different tents, but the rest of the story was just “eh” to me. Maybe it was the hype that made me not love it as much as so many others.

  8. I’ve spent the past few months trying to curb my expectations for this one – I do think I’ll enjoy it, but yeah, best not to expect the best thing since sliced bread :P

  9. I haven’t read this either! I have it but am sort of afraid I think because my expectations are too high. And then I’ve also heard there are parts that are boring and drag out. But maybe with lower expectations I’ll enjoy it! The circus-y part of it does sound interesting!

  10. I kind of felt the same way you did about this. The circus part was the most interesting part for me … and I didn’t really get all that into the love story. And I didn’t fall in raptorous love with the book like so many others did. Still, I appreciate what she did with this book and I like how she took chances and didn’t write “the same old thing.” Your review reminds me that I still haven’t published my review of this book yet … even though it is written.

  11. I’m sorry it fell short for you. I went in with very low expectations, fully thinking I’d abandon it, and it became my favorite book of the year last year. The writing was just AMAZING.

  12. I liked this as well, even though it was outside of my comfort zone…LOL

  13. I got this for Chrismas and STILL haven’t gotten around to reading it. I promised myself to read all Christmas presents this year though so I’ll get there!

  14. This sounds really good to me – I just love the thought of it. I have heard some very mixed reviews though, so I guess I’ll have to see for myself. Thanks for your review!

    New to your blog!
    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page
    P.S. Don’t forget to enter my latest giveaway!

  15. You’re not the last blogger, I still haven’t read this one! Mainly because I’ve heard such mixed reviews of it, the last few though including yours have said the book isn’t as good as its hype. For that fact I probably won’t rush out and buy this one, instead will wait till the hype calms down and then get it out from the library.

  16. I read it during the beginning of all the hype and didn’t love it either. That might have been why. Also I didn’t love the audio.

  17. I liked The Night Circus but I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. It didn’t seem like anything really special.

  18. Interesting! I can’t bring myself to read this one because of all the hype. But I’m glad to read your thoughts on it!

  19. I already have a feeling I’ll have the same experience. When you read too many posoitive review you set the bar so high…
    But at least it’s different and has a nice atmosphere.

  20. I really loved this book, but you’re right that the whole magical circus atmosphere outshines the other aspects of the story. I was fine with that, though.

  21. I haven’t read this one yet and, to tell the truth, have actually been avoiding it. I don’t read much fantasy and don’t want to be the on blogger that hates it.

  22. I’m reading this one now so I skimmed through this post but your bottom line about lowering expectations is kind of what I’ve been hearing lately. Seems the first wave of bloggers LOVED this one but the complaint I’ve been hearing a lot is lack of character development. I’m only 65 pages in and interested but am hoping that my expectation bar is LOW. Sad, huh?

    Agreed about the atmosphere, though!

  23. I liked the story for it’s originality and beauty but I thought it could have been better than the hype led me to believe.

    The description of the circus and the writing itself was wonderful, but I’m in the group that thought character development was lacking. And the random jumping around in time made me a little crazy.

  24. Sorry this one wasn’t a superhuge hit for you, but glad it was good and something different. :)

  25. You aren’t the last blogger to read this one – I won’t be reading it until this fall when my book club does. Thanks for the honest review. I always appreciate going into a book with more realistic expectations.

  26. I’ve heard, that this is a lot like Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and I love that one! Your review really makes me want to read this. I love that you’ve posted links to other reviews, too. :)

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