Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus:


Spoiler free | Rating: 1 out of 5 stars | Read: 6 July – 10 July, 2018

…where do I start with this one?

If you’re unfamiliar with this beloved story, then all you need to know is that the Night Circus arrives without warning. No announcements precedes it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. It is an unique experience full of breathtaking amazements, and it only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway. A duel between two young magicians who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose. They unexpectedly tumble headfirst in love, but only one can survive this game.

Initially, I totally understood the hype surrounding this novel. I loved the enchanting and whimsical setting of the story – the circus completely drew me in, and I was swept away with all of the tents, performers, and shows. I haven’t come across a novel like this before, and I felt like I was in heaven. It was my kind of setting. Additionally, the fragmented narrative (it jumps back-and-forth between years and locations) was really interesting, and I was intrigued to see how it all slotted together.

…but this grew boring very quickly.

The disjointed narrative started to grow unbearably annoying. I couldn’t remember certain plot points, and I found it difficult to piece all the events together. It became a barrier between me and the story. I was missing important information – the most important being the competition between Marco and Celia (you know… the main story-line). Even now, a few days after finishing it, I still don’t know what this competition was about? Why it was happening? How it was resolved? The question ‘WHAT?’ just rattled through my head the entire time.

Not only that, but I wasn’t invested in any of the characters. I grew bored of everyone. I couldn’t have cared less what happened to them, and it wouldn’t have bothered me if I never found out how their story concluded. The only reason I pushed myself to finish this was because I felt like I owed it to myself – it had been sitting on my shelf for at least four years, and I wanted to love it as much as everyone else does. I think maybe that is a reason why I didn’t get along with it – too much pressure on enjoying it, or something.

Despite this, there were still elements of the novel that I did appreciate. The writing style was rich, and aptly described as ‘seductive’ by my edition. I was put under Morgenstern’s spell, reading twenty pages when it only felt like I had read four. Everything was described so beautifully. The random sections in the first person were the most enchanting. All of a sudden, literally out of nowhere, I was placed inside the circus, viewing the pitched tents and illusionists from my own eyes. It added something to an otherwise boring story.

I’m annoyed I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected to, but I shouldn’t place so much pressure on my experience of reading it. Just because everyone else loves it doesn’t mean I have to, right?

What do you think of The Night Circus? I’d love to discuss your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, Lauren X


4 thoughts on “Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus:

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like this! I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for a good couple of years now, and still haven’t picked it up, for one reason or another. I do tend to get a little lost when it comes to disjointed narratives, so I’ll probably feel similarly to you in regards to that. Hopefully I’ll pick it up soon and find out!

    Hope your next read is more enjoyable. 🙂


  2. What a bummer! I understand your complaints, but they didn’t bother me much. I loved this one… where’s the movie, already!? 😃


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