Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Night Circus

'The Night Circus'
Author: Erin Morgenstern


Format: ARC
Published: Doubleday; Sept. 2011
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction
Grade: C
Source: Publisher


Synopsis: Erin Morgenstern’s dark, enchanting debut takes us to the black and white tents of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus that arrives without warning, simply appearing when yesterday it was not there. Young Celia and Marco have been cast into a rivalry at The Night Circus, one arranged long ago by powers they do not fully understand. Over time, their lives become more intricately enmeshed in a dance of love, joy, deceit, heartbreak, and magic. Author Morgenstern knows her world inside and out, and she guides the reader with a confident hand. The setting and tone are never less than mesmerizing. The characters are well-realized and memorable. But it is the Night Circus itself that might be the most memorable of all.


My Take: One word to me sums up this book for the last month: hype! Holy moly, I was even out of the country for two weeks without the Internet and I still think of this book as being everywhere before and after I left. So, in my backpack this book went for my long airplane ride as I expected to be captivated for an incredibly long journey by Le Cirque des Reves.


The story sets out from the get-go as certainly being something totally different than anything I have ever read before. The section dividers are illustrated beautifully in black and white stars of varying degrees which is fitting since the circus is all black and white. The imagination can only guess at how cool that would be. We meet a huge cast of characters (which as usual, for me is hard to keep straight). I could have used a legend or something at the beginning. After all, this book is long and it jumps around a lot in time. Many of them have magical powers and are therefore involved in the formation of the circus. Others are merely captivated by it. 


What I enjoyed was how different this book was from anything else I had read. The characters were a little bit creepy, a little bit unusual, and a little bit relateable. You wanted to know them, you wanted to visit the circus and you wanted to be a part of the magic. I also appreciated the fact that it was somewhat easy to imagine what was occurring. The movie rights have been bought and I do believe it would make a really cool movie.


What I didn't enjoy was how the plot for me did not progress in the middle. This book was long and it jumped around in time a lot. Rather than move it along, I felt it made it was more stilted. I had to remember who was who and instead of being immersed in the story, I was too busy trying to understand what was happening in what time period and to who. It took me out of the moment.

I realize I am in the minority but I think we all know that not every book is for every body. All you have to do is google this book and you'll find plenty of positive reviews.

Cover Lust: Since the circus in the book is all black and white, I think the cover totally fits the book!

Giveaway Details
The publisher has kindly offered up one new ARC to a lucky winner! The deadline for this giveaway is Oct. 28th; entries open to those in the US.

To Enter (Mandatory)!
Comment below with a way for me to contact you.

For Extra entries (Optional), indicate that you are:
+1 Follow this blog on Google Connect (see right sidebar)
+1 Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (include @amusedbybooks in your tweet)
+1 Blog/Post about this giveaway on your sidebar

3 extra entries available. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST Oct. 28th. I will draw the winners using random.org and announce them here on my blog. Good luck!

39 comments:

  1. I've already read it, as you know but I'd love my own copy!

    bookishchatter AT gmail DOT com

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  2. No need to enter me in the giveaway, as I have an ARC of my own waiting for me to get to it. Just wanted to say I'm glad there are a few people, at least, who didn't LOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE this one. I'm worried I'll be one of those, too, and so I'll be happy not to be alone!

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  3. Man, i amy way out of the loop as i haven't heard of it! Please enter me to win so I can be in the know!:)

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  4. Would love to read it.Google follower will tweet.Thanks for giveaway.

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  5. I really appreciated your review. I have this book waiting for me, and having read so many positive reviews, I was starting to get nervous that I wouldn't buy into the hype. I'm still anxious to read it, but it's nice reading something that isn't, "This is the greatest book of the year!"

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  6. I feel like I am the only person to not have read this yet and I really, really want to! Please enter me! Thanks!

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  7. No need to enter me. I read it already and also didn't love it. I didn't have trouble keeping track of the characters, but I found the jumping around in time odd and quickly grew bored because so little happened and the characters weren't terribly well developed. I'm glad to have some company in the "this book is not amazing" camp!

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  8. I tried reading this one and couldn't get into it so I put it down to revisit later. Love your thoughts on it. I was worried a bit about the hype.

    No need to enter me.

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  9. I'm loving seeing mixed reviews since EVERYTHING else I read was over the top about this one. I would love to read it and form my own thoughts. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am following you on twitter, but didn't see how to add myself as a friend...I will be back either way :)

    Laura Kay
    anovelreview(@)yahoo(.)com

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  10. I have this one, and i'm really excited to read it. I've tried to stay away from reviews. I don't want to get too excited about it.

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  11. Yay, yes I am weird ;) But I like when someone does not like a book cos I need that to make my mind up

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  12. I can see how you might think it was slow in the middle, but I was so wrapped up in the beautiful writing that it didn't bother me. I loved it! No need to enter me.

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  13. sorry to hear this didn't work out for you. i hate it when i read a book that's been overhyped or have too high of expectations for it. i haven't read it yet, so i can't really voice my opinions on the book, but you're right in how not all books work for everyone.

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  14. OK, I might as well try to win this. bkclubcare AT gmail.

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  15. Thanks for the thorough review. I LOVE the cover but am leery of hype, so I've been on the fence about reading this book.

    I did 2 additional activities:
    +1 Followed this blog on Google Connect
    +1 Followed on twitter; tweeted the giveaway with @amusedbybooks

    Thanks again! www.careycorp.com

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  16. Oh no, what is the reading a blog version of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "lalala I'm not listening"? hehehe I have this sitting on my shelf and I'm so excited for it. I'm glad I'm back to reading blogs in time to read your review. I will lower my expectations about the middle and may not be let down. I've missed your reviews so much I'm so happy to be back online.

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  17. I would love to read this, thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 GFC Myra C

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

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  18. I'm kind of worried about reading this, because I don't read much fantasy. No need to enter me.

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  19. I was thinking of giving this one a try, so please enter me. I follow you on GFC (+1) and twitter (+1). Thanks for the giveaway!

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  20. That's too bad this didn't work better for you. I personally loved it, but I tried to read it quickly before the hype really had a chance to overwhelm me!

    (No need to enter me in the give-away.)

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  21. I loved this book too, it was like going on a magical journey from start to finish and I think you're right about the cover of the book, it's VERY fitting! :)

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  22. I agree about the hype - this book must win the award for the most hyped book of the year! I also agree about the plot going a bit stale in the middle. Great atmosphere, just a shame it wasn't as good as the hype would lead you to believe.

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  23. Thanks for the honest review - I have a copy of this book but I am a little concerned that it won't be for me. It is also hard to live up to hype and this book has gotten a lot of it.

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  24. Thank you for the honest review! I feel like a lot of people are so reluctant to say that they didn't like a hype book, so I appreciate knowing what I'm getting myself into reading this one.

    Count me in for the giveaway, please!

    countrygirl922@verizon.net

    +1 for being a GFC follower

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  25. Would like to give The Night Circus a try!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ladybook21 at yahoo dot com

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  26. I'm curious about this one, so I'd love to get a copy. sophisticated.dorkiness at gmail.com

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  27. Actually, all the reviews I've read of The Night Circus so far have been a bit like yours. Acknowledges that it is well written, but worried that nothing much happens.

    I think I'm still going to try and get hold of a copy, but maybe not rush so much. Maybe wait til it comes down a bit in price.

    No need to enter me in the prize draw - I'm outside the UK.

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  28. Oh, I've been wanting this one. Please enter me.

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  29. Thanks for doing this giveaway!!!

    I follow you on GFC and Twitter....@thehiddenbiblio

    hnwhitlock2000 at gmail dot com

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  30. Thanks for the giveaway! It's a good sounding book.

    Following GFC: Cassandra Ruiz
    Email: hernandezcassandra50 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  31. I'd love a shot at this one! Thanks so much!

    nfmgirl At gmail DOT com

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  32. I follow

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  33. Blogged:
    http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2011/10/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-10-21-11.html

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the giveaway! I follow on GFC @amandawk
    amandarwest atgmaildotcom

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  35. This book sounds intriguing. Thankws for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  36. follow by GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

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  37. Thank you. Would love a copy. You can reach me on twitter @readsalways.

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  38. I'd love an arc copy! Looks like a beautiful book and my coworker gave it a good review.

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  39. would love copy .i follow &also on twitter &will tweet.lomazowr@gmail.com

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