April Book Club: The Night Circus

13330943The Night Circus has been casually sitting on my virtual to read shelf for years now, the black, white and red cover drawing me in as much as the title. The idea that magic was not only real but also a force running the circus spoke to me. The idea that it was a venue for a game of wits sounded fun, punctuated only by the players falling in love with each other.

Admittedly, I’ve started this one a few times before. While the story concept was intriguing, the story set up is one that you have to be in the mood to commit to — at least for me. The scar sitting on Celia and Marco’s fingers, Celia’s created within the opening lines of the story, was an artful touch and a clever grounding point as the story progressed. Yet, the idea that two old men were determining the destiny of two young children was frustrating. Perhaps even too symbolic of reality.

I wish I could attend this circus. Climb the cloud labyrinth higher and higher until I decide to leap off the edge, only to float softly down to the ground. Walk through the ice garden and marvel in the beauty of it or light a candle on the wishing tree. Have my fortune read by Isobel or Poppet, listen to a story by Widget. Between the creative attractions and their descriptions, it’s hard not to fall in love with Le Cirque des Rêves.

It was, however, easy not to fall in love with Celia and Marco’s love story. They had beautiful moments, ie when Marco kissed Celia in the middle of the dance floor, but as he made everyone forget the kiss it’s hard to see his intentions as pure. Celia and Marco had little interaction with each other, to the point where I found them suddenly in love. Tsukiko’s explanation of the competition making it their destiny to love each other made it easier to understand, the concept that they were spending so much time trying to win that they were doing nothing besides thinking of their opponent.

Then there was Bailey. A young farm boy with an unknown future, waiting to be swept away by his fairy godmother. I liked experiencing the circus with him, I liked watching Bailey fall in love with Poppet. That was believable love story. That being said, I felt bad when Bailey had to take on the role of ringmaster of the circus. True, he was at an age where he was old enough to make the choice, but did he really understand the choice?

The crazier thing is that there as an alternate future where Bailey made it to the circus on time and Marco and Celia were able to walk away. I don’t need a sequel to this book, but I am left wondering if anyone will live to regret their decisions.

I stumbled across May’s book, the Wife Between Us, while reviewing the “take a book leave a book” section of the library that I work in. The title sparked my interested, but it was the description that convinced me to borrow the book. It feels very Gone Girl, leaving me wondering what the twist will be!

34189556When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.

You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.

You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.

Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

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