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.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
Synopsis from Goodreads
This book completely surprised me, in the best possible way. I've seen The Night Circus talked about a lot on Instagram, but I first heard if it right after reading Caravel by Stephanie Garber and I mistakenly assumed that this would be another YA fantasy novel. THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER ASSUME!! I couldn't have been more wrong and now I'm kicking myself for taking so long to pick up this book.
Love the Nonlinear Storytelling
Nonlinear storytelling is quickly becoming one of my favourite literary devices, and Morgenstern completely knocked it out of the park with this book. It took me a second to catch on to it, especially because the perspective shifts with the time jump and I wasn't paying enough attention to the dates (note to self: if there's a date at the beginning of a chapter, study it carefully). I really enjoyed the slow build to when the timelines merge and we make it to the climax of the story; I really didn't know where it was going and enjoyed the journey getting there.
A Breathtaking Fairy Tale
Magic is both astounding and commonplace in this book, which is a pretty interesting mix. I enjoyed seeing how Celia and Marco use their magic differently depending on the situation, often bending reality and mind to suit their needs. The best moments were definitely how they basically turn the circus into a massive love letter; every new tent, exhibit, and addition to it are essentially a gift to each other. Morganstern beautifully describes the graceful way Celia and Marco use their magic. It makes me wish the circus would come to town!
Beautiful Love Story
At its core, this is a love story and one that is beautifully told. Celia and Marco's story is a slow build (at times it can feel very slow) but the tension and passion between them is literally electrifying. They don'y even touch until halfway through the novel and I felt like I was holding my breath throughout their entire conversation. And that ballroom kiss?! Completely stopped my heart! The ending completely surprised me, and while it's not what I would have wished for, I still loved how the story came to a close.
I heard that The Night Circus was picked up to be a movie or tv show a few years ago, but since nothing has come from it, I don't think we'll get to see this on screen any time soon. I would also say that that's probably not the worst thing, because I feel like unless it was a mini-series, we would lose a lot of the magic that Morganstern gave us. Have a little patience with the beginning of this book, because I think you'll find that the story builds to a beautiful point. I thought that The Night Circus was a wonderful magical journey and I hope that others decide to experience it too.
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
Follow Me on Instagram