Book Review: The Night Circus


Kim the FanGirl’s Fortress of Solitude, October 2012
8:15 pm

She opens the book and begins to read. The cold, crisp pages are clean and unmarked by time. They tell her a story, one of adventure, of passion and consequence.

They call it the Circus of Dreams, for it is like nothing you have ever seen before or will see again. Here you will find the unimaginable, an extraordinary world filled with magic and mystique.
Step inside, see the wonders it holds, explore the lavish tents in vibrant hues of ivory and ink. Watch the acrobats soar through the air, liked winged birds in flight. Notice how the tattooed contortionist bends and distorts her body into unimaginable shapes. Discover the gardens of ice, with towers of frosted trees and cold crystal roses.
She is the Illusionist, the keeper of this ethereal city. The secrets of her past – her future – are tied with another’s. Her equal. Her rival. These star-crossed lovers know not of the wager they have been bound to. Love will their undoing. Love will be their salvation.
Kim the FanGirl’s Fortress of Solitude, October 2012
7:00 am, The Next Day

When the last page has been turned and the book set down for the night, she thinks quietly to herself, looking back thoughtfully and analytically.

When some time has passed, though we don’t know how long, she goes to her computer and starts to write.

Kim the FanGirl (DOT COM), October 2012 
Present Day. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern might come as a surprise to some; another addictive narrative that will keep you up reading long into the night. The images created are some of the most lovely, intricately woven, fantastical impressions you’ll ever read. Morgenstern’s descriptions take on an intense dream-like quality, as if wavering between the state of deep slumber and awareness, though presented in a way in which you feel as if these elaborate, majestic things could actually be reality.Anything is possible when it comes to the Le Cirque des Rêves and the same goes for Night Circus.

I’m not going to lie to you. The story relies heavily on time jumps and alternating storylines, which, I admit, can be damn frustrating. Yet, it is written in a way in which we haven’t quite seen before. It’s not so irritating that you want to slam the book down and walk away. Quite the opposite, really. You want to keep reading; to see how each character, how every plot point ties together. When you look back, you find that chapters or segments that might have appeared disjointed or unnecessary than the rest were actually cleverly intertwined, to where you’re now thinking, “Oh, that makes more sense.” It definitely requires a second read – to pick up the missed bits and pieces from your first time through.

If anything, I wanted to see more from these characters. You get half way through the novel not knowing if the two main protagonists were going to ever meet or even follow the summary on the back of the book. Night Circus will leave you guessing until the end, and I say that in the most positive way, of course. It is impossible not to adore this novel.

The good news is, Night Circus is already in the pre-production stages for its film adaptation. The bad news is, Summit is in charge. Disappointing, I know. I’m sure, not too long from now, I’ll have to instruct them on how to properly modify the novel for the big-screen. I’m happy to do it. Although, I think I’m going to need your help with this one. Which means, for those of you who haven’t already, you need to read the novel. I’m not taking no for an answer. We need to start work on this immediately, so get to it. There’s no excuse. You need to read this book. A love story wrapped up in a complicated rivalry, with a side of magical enchantment, topped off with a good dollop of intrigue? How can you resist?

Book Rating: A-

If you liked this, you may also like:

Looking For Alaska | Water For Elephants | The Hunger Games

Have you read The Night Circus? Will you? What did you think of the book? Which character was your favorite? What was your favorite scene? Favorite line? Should there be a sequel? Are you excited for the film adaptation? Tell me in the comments!

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Anastasia says:

    This book is one of my all time favourites. You got it right with the dream-reality duality it expresses. It really does seem real but completely dreamlike at the same time. I don’t know how Erin did it, but she wrote it well. The style of writing is so unusual yet totally perfect for this story. The slow unraveling of it all.
    I didn’t know that it is going to be adapted. I hope they do it justice. My worst nightmare would be to see it compared to twilight (in quality and plot, just horrific)

    1. “The slow unraveling of it all.” I was put off by that, at first. I just wanted Marco and Celia to meet and fall in love, and have everything happen right away. Then at the half way point, we get to see the anniversary party. I completely fell in love with the book after that. It’s definitely one of my favorite scenes. Oh! And later when Marco is showing her around Chandresh’s home. Perfection. 🙂

      Yeah, I am very worried about the film adaptation. It’s Summit, and they don’t have the best track record when it comes to this kind of thing. I guess it’s all in the people they get to work on it. It has the potential to come across really great on screen, so hopefully they will do it justice.

      1. Anastasia says:

        I think it’s the blurbs fault. Throughout the book you are constantly trying to figure out how they get together. It’s like they are in parallel worlds, coming together yet never quite meet. Compared to modern novels it is very unusual. Their relationship doesn’t play a major part, yet this fact is pretty major too. They themselves constantly wondered when they would meet.

        This is one of my favorite aspects of the book. The fact that what we wondered, what we were amazed at, so were the characters. It’s like an emotional link with them. So when in the end you leave the circus, it really is describing how you feel 🙂

        1. Wow. That’s it exactly. You said it perfectly. 😀

  2. setinmotion says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! great post, I’m so happy you liked it!

    I agree, the backwards and forwards is a bit confusing, but I kinda loved it as well as you wanted to just keep reading and reading (I love those books)

    And how amazing are the descriptions? I want to go to the circus of dreams! I’ll be realllyyy pissed if Summit screws this one up!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! And thanks for the suggestion. I probably would have never picked this book up if it weren’t for you. I did love it.

      The back and forth thing always seems to drive me nuts. But the descriptions were so detailed and intriguing that it didn’t bother me after a while. I’m so disappointed that Summit is making it. This film could be so good. They really have to get it right – pay attention to detail – if it’s going to succeed.

      P.S. When do you Aussies get TVD? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the premiere. 🙂

      1. setinmotion says:

        Yeah I can see where you’re coming from, but I think it worked quite well with this one. Often it doesn’t, and can just be really frustrating.

        Ooh you’re going to hate me! I think it’s already out, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it. Tbh TVD has kinda annoyed me lately, so I’m umming and ahhing over watching it. Is it worth it? Or will I want to scream in frustration?

        1. Shame, Hannah. Shame. Lol. No, I’m just kidding. It’s okay. I understand. The first part might be kind of irritating. Then there’s this really awesome part. Then there’s Klaus. And then there’s this huge WTF? moment at the end. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Unfortunately. But by the looks of a preview shown of next weeks episode, we’re in for a treat. Vampire sex! That alone should make you want to catch up and watch. 😀

        2. setinmotion says:

          Yeah, that all does sound like typical frustrating TVD.

          But this vampire sex, pray tell please! Between whom?

        3. It is, but you’ll like it though.

          Where’s the fun in it, if I tell you? Lol. It did look pretty sexy, I gotta say. I will tell you, it’s between two characters who were previously broken up.

          You’re just going to have to watch. 😉

        4. setinmotion says:


          Stefan and Elena? Its Stefan and Elena isnt it?

        5. I’ve said too much already. 😉

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