The Night Circus ~ by Erin Morgenstern

the night circusSummary.  You meet young Celia, daughter of a famous magician, as a young girl who grows up performing in magic shows across the world.  Despite her plan to conceal her magic as tricks, you get an inside view of them being real.  Sure, this sounds all jolly and fine, but her dad isn’t exactly a nice person: when she was a little girl, he bound Celia to a dangerous “contest” without telling her who she’s up against or how big the stakes are.  After her dad not-quite dies, she is hired to perform in the traveling Night Circus, or Le Cirque des Rêves, whose audiences are stunned by its mysterious aura and magnificent magic.  Also working there is a young man who has been bound to the same contest.  Believing that collaborating will help them win, they fall in love… without knowing the contest holds darker secrets.

Recommendation.  I recommend this book to fantasy and mystery lovers.  The pages are full of magic and mystique!  You’ll enjoy the book’s complex plot because it makes you a little bit confused – sometimes I had to go back and re-read pages.  I liked how the characters, despite their magic abilities, had flaws and downfalls just like normal humans.  However, I didn’t like how the story’s central dilemma continues throughout the whole book and then is wrapped up in a single chapter (I’m not going to say how!).  Even though The Night Circus contains a little bit of inappropriate content, a middle-schooler can definitely handle reading it.

Favorite passage.  “Then, so swiftly she appears not even to move, she picks up her jacket from the stage and flings it out over the seats where, instead of tumbling down, it swoops up, folding into itself.  In the blink of an eye folds of silk are glossy black feathers, large beating wings, and it is impossible to pinpoint the moment when it is fully raven and no longer cloth.  The raven swoops over the red velvet seats and up into the balcony where it flies in curious circles.”

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