What the back cover has to say:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, 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. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
What LiLa has to say:
There are a few reasons I decided to read/listen to this book.
1. The Regulator and my dad RAVED about it which means one of us had to read it or else we'd never hear the end of it.
2. The Regulator had a copy of the book on CD that I could load onto my iPod with the understanding that I could "exercise" to it while at the gym.
3. I loved Water For Elephants way back when and craved another circus story.
The book is good. Like really, really good. Like stop pedaling on a stationary bike at the gym without regard to stares good. It's not particularly sad, but I teared up. I teared up at an extremely descriptive part of the story because I was literally transported into the crowd waiting to get into a circus and I was overwhelmed by the scene in front of me. I also cried at the beginning of The Lion King on broadway and the opening of Disney on Ice, but that's beside the point. The point is, Erin Morgenstern is a genius. This is her debut novel. DEBUT. It's almost hard for me to type that because it's so completely unfair that she was able to dream up all of the words in this book on her first try. (I honestly have no idea if she has any failed manuscripts out there, but it doesn't matter.)
What matters is the book is magic. The plot and characters and setting are so intricately woven, are so expertly intertwined, Erin seriously creates a bit of a symphony (as cheesy as that sounds). There is a lot going on and I was never confused. There are a lot of players and yet they are all unique and essential and vivid. There are twins born on opening night who don't sleep until the circus closes, a bonfire that glows every color of the rainbow, an illusionist whose dress transforms in front of your eyes, an exclusive dinner party with incredible food you can practically taste, a boat made of books on a sea of ink. It all honestly feels like the most bizarre, magical, colorful, surreal dream you've ever had. And I never wanted to wake up, never wanted the book to end because I knew the dream would stop and I couldn't ever get back into that world. So I have to say, I'm a bit depressed. And bitter. My alarm went off and it's back to reality. Sadly, my reality is discussing the state of the real estate market with my big sister until well past midnight and popping in a pacifier multiple times a night for a certain 3 month old.
So do yourself a favor and read this one. Trust me. It's a blah time of year. This book will give your world some color, even if it is only black and white.
If you still aren't convinced, check out the thousands of other, much more eloquent reviews. Unbelievable.
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