Finding Time to Go to the Circus

By Amy Adams Ι April 21, 2015

I have a confession.

I just marked off my first Reading Challenge categories two weeks ago.

I know. I know. It’s April! I should be half way done with my list by now.

In my defense, between work, running a household and taking care of two children, some days I only find five minutes of reading time. I’m sure that is a problem a lot of people out there can identify with. You know what? That’s OK. As long as I’m squeezing a little reading time in, it doesn’t matter that I’m not tearing through books like back in my college days. (Those were crazy times.)

On to the book!

I read “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. It was recommended to me by a friend The Night Circus book cover(check). It is also by a female author, has a love triangle, features magic, is by an author I’ve never read before and I owned it but hadn’t read it (check, check, check, check and check).

I thought the story of “The Night Circus” was innovated. It didn’t feel like a rehashing of a books I’d already read. Morgenstern created a unique, mystical setting. The story felt fresh.

It also felt like a grown-up novel. I want emphasize this because the bias going into a book about magic with young protagonists and a love triangle would be that it is juvenile. That is not the case. While there is a love triangle, it is very understated and not melodramatic a la Bella-Edward-Jacob. Instead there is an undertone of darkness to the novel that helps to elevate the story.

That being said, I didn’t find “The Night Circus” to be a perfect book. Morgenstern fiddles around with her narrative flow. She inserts second-person descriptions between chapters and the story isn’t completely chronological. I love a nontraditional narrative as much as the next English major, but I didn’t think this one really added to the storytelling. It sometimes even muddled the action.

My biggest hesitation with “The Night Circus” was that I felt really distant from the characters. Now, it could be because I read this book in five minute snippets over the course of nearly three months. However, I never felt like I knew the main characters and that made it hard to be truly invested in the story.

All that being said, I would still say “The Night Circus” is worth a read for its innovative setting and dark tone.

How is your Reading Challenge list going? What books have you read?