PEOPLE. Pretty much EVERY person on bookstagram kept telling me how AMAZING this book was! And honestly….I was a little underwhelmed and A LOT confused. I CONFUSE EASILY but I mean come on. HALF OF THE BOOK I WAS LIKE WTF IS GOING ON. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE. WHAT ABOUT THE CONTEST????? Gah just so much frustration. BUT there were also a lot of things I LIKED about the book……queue list!
- The Cirque des Rêves! The circus itself is WHIMSICAL and MAGICAL and MYSTERIOUS. All things that Esther here is a MONSTROUS FAN OF because MAGIC HELLO.
- The Challenge. (BELOW YOU WILL ALSO FIND WHY THE CHALLENGE ALSO MADE MY SMOL BRAIN ANGRY). SO the challenge is delightfully cruel and complicated but it also makes the circus more magical with every turn?? I APPROVE.
- WIDGET AND POPPET. They are wonderful twins born on a magical night of wonder and they are so cute. Also sort of mysterious and wise beyond their years so WIN.
- I LIKE HOW I KIND OF HATED MARCO AT THE BEGINNING. Because he seems kind of heartless and lame. BUT THEN WE FIND OUT HE’S ACTUALLY NOT. Soooo yeah.
- There are sections where YOU are walking through some of the magical tents, giving you the wonderful feeling that you are in the circus!! I would LOVE to go to a circus like that!!!
- Also Celia Bowen’s father is the actual worst. He is so mean to six year old Celia and she already had a terrible 6 years before that. HOW COULD YOU TORTURE A LITTLE GIRL LIKE THAT YOU BASTARD. I know it sounds weird that this is a like??? BUT I LIKE THINGS THAT MAKE ME FEEL AND HE MADE ME FEEL MAD.
- Everything takes place AT NIGHT. The circus is only open at night. And the proprietor likes to throw his evening parties starting precisely at midnight, not a minute earlier, not a minute later. Also he is very fond of serving mystery food that no one knows what it is and they are strangely okay with it SO ALRIGHTY THEN.
- First thing’s first: THIS BOOK IS SO CONFUSING AT THE BEGINNING AND I HATED IT. It jumps back and forth between very specific years introducing characters willy nilly. I constantly found that I had to go back and check when the last chapter took place so that I knew when and were I was. And even then I was majorly confused.
- OKAY HERE’S THE PART OF THE CHALLENGE I FOUND INFURIATING. We are told NOTHING about the challenge until PAST HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK. This equals more confusion for my poor smol cucumber brain. Also, The Contestants know nothing either. AND YET THEY ARE COMPETING??? I mean come on, we aren’t even told how the competition works, how the winner wins or anything. I just feel like I was kept in the dark on too many points for TOO LONG. This made me an angry little dragon.
- It was Fairly Slow. There is not a lot of action and it doesn’t really pick up until HALFWAY THROUGH. It took me SO LONG to finish this and usually I can devour a book in a matter of days. LIKE 2 DAYS NORMALLY.
- The ending was KIND OF RANDOM AND CONFUSING??? It didn’t really feel like much of a conclusion to me. It felt open ended and…unfinished. So many questions left unanswered.
- I thought the romance between Celia and Marco was not shown very well. I felt like OH THEY ARE COMPETING. OH ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY ARE IN A FORBIDDEN LOVE WANTING TO RUN AWAY TOGETHER. So random. We weren’t shown their emotions that built up to it, so I just felt really stranded. And me does not like being stranded.
All of that being said: THIS WAS A COVER BUY. So, I’m not ALL that disappointed. It was still a pleasant read!
Did you read this book and love it? Tell me why?? Did you ship Celia and Marco or did it feel off to you too? Tell me all your thoughts!!!