The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called “Le Cirque des Reves,” and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway–a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. 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 per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I’ve been sat on this review for over a week now, because I honestly do not know what to say about it- not in a bad way, but I just loved it so much there is nothing left.

The first 100 pages or so were really slow for me, and after so many people telling me how good it was, and how I would love it, I was nervous that the hype was…well, hype.

But push past those pages- the setting scene, the understanding and childhood, and the story really starts.

Its still slow, and the story unfolds over many years and pages- but with this book, its not all about the story.

It’s about the writing. 

This is the kind of book where you take your time over reading each word, savouring the sentences like the characters savour the smell and taste of the circus food. It’s the kind of book that makes everything real.

By the end of it, you believe in the story and believe that there is, somewhere, a circus of dreams travelling the world for you to find.

By two hundred pages in, I didn’t want to put it down, and by the end, I wanted to restart the whole book, because I didn’t want to leave the circus, or the characters, or the writing.

But the writing is only the start.

The characters are amazing, from Widget and Poppet to Celia and Marco, each one of them has a wonderful story to tell. The settings- the circus that is pure magic to the dinner parties between those that created it.

I could probably talk about this book forever without actually saying much- because part of the beauty of this book is watching (reading) it all unfold without knowing what can or will happen.

Its beautiful, stunning and wonderful, and theres something in the book for everyone to fall in love with.

Advertisements

The Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater

The-Raven-Cycle-Series.jpg

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.
Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.
Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

I finished this series nearly a month ago now, but I’m still itching to reread it, still thinking about the characters now.

I loved these books. I love the characters, and the storyline, and (of course) the magic, but honestly, what I love most about this series is Maggie’s beautiful, stunning writing (of which I am so envious of)

She has said before that the point of these books was not necessarily the storyline, but how it was written, and I agree- you can tell someone exactly what goes on in these books but it will never get close to actually reading them.

Not only does the writing take your breath away, making you feel like the magic of Cabeswater the relationships between the characters do as well.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a series where all the main characters are so real. (yes, even Noah). From Gansey- the boy, who, at some points, seems older than anyone else and knows everything, and then at other, says nothing but ‘matchy matchy’, to Ronan, the foul-mouthed farmer boy turned dreamer (who, I think 90% of readers would quite happily befriend. Me included), and from Blue, the only non-physic in a house of them, to Mr Gray, an assassin with morals. And a heart.

The series starts off almost simplify- but also with one of the best openings. Blue and her aunt are waiting for the spirits of the people who will die in the next year, so they can tell them and forewarn them, when Blue sees a spirit herself. None other than ‘that’s all there is’ Gansey.

And so our journey into their world starts, a journey that will end up telling ushow and why Gansey will die.

Of course, the characters end up meeting in person (though, at first, its not exactly friendship) and Blue is drawn into the web that is Ganseys Gang, and his hunt for a Dead-or-Sleeping old Welsh King.

And the plot only grows from there throughout the books. Plots that involve love stories and not-so-love stories, dreams literally coming true, ghosts, characters that seem evil that aren’t and characters that seem nice that aren’t. Dead people living and living people dying and some people that you aren’t sure are exactly real people to start with.

All in all, it’s an amazing series, one that will stay with you, that will leave you wishing the characters were real, one that has some of the best quotes in the world and one that you will want never ever to end.

Favourite quotes:

‘The problem with being weird was that everyone else was normal.’

‘The soul was a fragile traveller’

‘Dreamers are to be classified as weapons.’

‘He was less of himself out loud. His native language was thought.’

Currently Reading: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

The_Reptile_Room_(UK)

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. the story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.
In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible smell, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the re-appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.
I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

I used to own all these books, and loved them all. They were strange and amusing and adventurous, and I would reread them all the time. Then my sister gave them away, and I think my heart broke.

Until I found a boxset of 10 of them for £20. And started rereading them again.
I may have grown up, but these books take you straight back to being a child again, and I love them just as much as before.