My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved every page of this book. I normally read Young Adult (YA) and YA Fantasy, but this book has more of an early adulthood audience (like 20-30 yrs old) and a Historical Fiction feel to it. I read this book over a two year span just because life happened, and I didn’t have time to just sit down and read. I feel like this book was wonderful anyway though! I didn’t want it to end because the aesthetics and writing are just wonderful. The experience was enjoyable for me, and I can guarantee that I will be revisiting this book again in the future. I would go as far to call this a piece of classic literature.
The story is a wonderful execution of third person omniscient, and the plot never deviates. Everything is about the circus and, even deeper, the competition. I didn’t feel like Morgenstern’s implementation of magic in the real world was cheesy in any way, in fact, I would say they are tasteful. She executed the believable factor of the fantasy element really well.
The characters were realistic and just pleasant overall. I found myself a bit lost at first when it came to the timeline, because Morgenstern does not tell this story in a linear manner. If you mentally note the dates and pay attention, the timeline will not bother you. I even found it a bit refreshing to have to pay such close attention to the timeline.
The circus is a dream come true for anyone that can appreciate a gothic/lolita aesthetic (which is honestly my favorite part of this book). I would be thrilled to see a sequel *wink wink Erin Morgenstern *.
Parents Guide: This book only has one “scandalous” scene that is merely implied. I do not recall any choice language to worry about, except for the use of the words “wh*re” and “sl*t” that occur in one scene in particular. There is a scene where a woman is hit by a train, but again, the situation is implied and the so caller “camera” pans away. I would also head to the subject manner of the book, it is a bit adult in language and may be boring to children younger than 13 or 14 (the appropriateness of anything really depends on the individual). I would say a person of at least 13 years of age could enjoy this book in all its glory.
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