Synopsis: 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 Rêves, 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 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.
I did not care for this book, which has sat on my all time favorites shelf for two years, AT ALL.
There’s instalove, because of course. Characters are either a) horrendous or b) flat or c) somehow both??? Every other sentence is actually two forced together by a comma, because we all full-on adore a good comma splice amiright. Predicates suffer without subjects. The whole thing is so horrifically, tragically, life-bendingly slow and so boring it took me 9 days to suffer through it.
The setting is glorious, magical, awe-inspiring, creative, unreal, unique, fascinating, and altogether so painfully lovely any reader with half an imagination will be dying to pay a visit. DYING, I tell you.
It’s better than Hogwarts. Better than any fantasy novel. It’s life-changing and gorgeous and all around my favorite setting for all time forever.
This book is also really bad.
So how, pray tell, do I f*cking rate something like that? How do I review it???
I guess I’ll backtrack a little and cross my fingers for some fresh #inspo.
The Night Circus is a sprawling book (this is a nice way of saying it takes place over like a million years and is still somehow boring). We follow the creation of le Cirque des Rêves, which is an entirely black and white circus with some delicious snack options that takes place at night. It arrives without warning, no announcement precedes it, etc etc, you’ve heard the quote.
Something that should make this more interesting and instead makes it, in a shocking twist, much more boring, is that the circus is also the venue for a long-term magical battle.
Celia and…sh*t what’s his name…Marco? Is it Marco? Okay yes it’s Marco. Celia and Marco are two magician people (illusionists) who are both involved in the circus and use it to one-up each other until eventually they get way too busy making sweet sweet love to even try to be interesting.
It’s less hurtful because they were never interesting, really.
So that’s the plot but I cannot emphasize enough that it does not matter, is really boring, and only serves to take away any number of pages from just describing the circus. Straight up if this was 600 pages of unbroken description…five stars boi.
But it’s not. And here we are. Dealing with these cretins. (Marco, by the way, is the sh*ttiest person in the world and makes Boring But Otherwise Mildly Unpleasant Celia seem like a goddamn saint.)
As mentioned, the characters are, without exception, boring or bad or otherwise unpleasant. There was exactly one individual I liked, and said person was taken out of the picture faster than I can say “what the f*ck why do I never like any books I loved this book literally two years ago what is going onnnnn.”
And I can say that surprisingly quickly. (Because of practice. Because of all the times I’ve said it.)
God I hate the name Marco on this dumbass white boi. Unrelated but I do.
Speaking of that warty wimp piece of sh*t, T H E I N S T A L O V E! If I have ever read a worse “““love””” story (love in excessive quotes because I’m prettyyyyy sure you can’t be in love with someone just because his eyes are such a lovely green!) I cannot recall it. Marco and Celia are nasty together. Not because they’re cruel (although Marco is, to an innocent – albeit boring – woman), or because they’re gross in the sense that, like, a witch in a live-action Disney movie is gross (although it inspires a similarly visceral disgust in me): because they are sooooo lovey-dovey and emotive. Right away. And also for all time forever with no relief.
Bottom line: instalove. Horrible characters. Terrible (nonexistent) plot. BUT ALSO THE BEST SETTING EVER WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
I don’t know, man. You decide.