Thursday, August 14, 2014

Teen Review: The Night Circus

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda, grade 10

Wonder courses through everyone’s soul, a hidden magic through their bones. Bewilderment shoots them around every corner of the enigmatic circus that they never know is coming. Erin Morgenstern has created a breathtaking 512-page, adult novel: The Night Circus, full of love, awe, and a fiercely long competition to win.

Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair are pitted against each other by their fathers in a very real, very serious game. Trained since they were just young children, they learn to manipulate the world around them and use magic beyond belief. In this hauntingly beautiful tale, readers learn to love, to laugh, and to think in different ways that would not have even been thought of.

My first instinct would be to say it is similar to the Harry Potter series, but the only things in common are the magic and how well everything is pulled together in the end. I was astounded by how unique The Night Circus is, since every magical story nowadays is similar to something the reader is familiar with. Each character was developed deeply and accurately, with their own personality. Morgenstern’s writing style inspires me to create fantasy worlds of my own.

Unfortunately this is not part of a series, though readers may count on another book from her in the coming years. If anyone is interested, you can follow her blog at Though she will not be online for the entire month of August, she will return the first of September.

The Night Circus is a 10th-grade level and up fantasy novel beyond compare. I cannot pick a favorite book, since I have hundreds, but without a doubt, this is in my top 10. I have never before read anything as intriguing; I was hooked on the first page. This most definitely earns a 5/5 in my opinion.

Editor's note: Who doesn't love a book with a circus in it? Here is another teen reviewer's opinion, equally positive, here is a different kind of circus book, and HERE is a whole list of books from the circus genre, including one of my favorites! I also wonder (Anarda, chime in here!) if those who have read this book might also like The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. This series is for more mature readers, however--10th grade up, definitely!

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