Skip to main content

Book Chat: The Night Circus | Erin Morgenstern

**WARNING: This is for people who have already read this book. There will be spoilers! If you do not want the book's wonderful surprises to be ruined, read my review of the book, read the book, then come back to read our chat. Thank you!**

Amber: So let's start with overall thoughts of the book. It was a hard one for me to get through just because of its length and the amount of detail. Once I could focus on it, I could appreciate the detail and the world-building that the author did. But it was definitely tedious at times. I felt like I could have used more story and less description. What were your thoughts?

Melissa: I agree with that completely. I'm really not super into tons of words. Even my own writing I seem to be pretty concise. So some of the details in a long drawnout descriptions are tedious for me as well

Amber: I was also confused at first about what was happening. We aren't really given background information. We experienced things as the characters did. What did you think of that writing approach? To me, it felt like I was an observer of all of these events over the course of a century.

Renee: What was confusing to me was the jumping all over the place in the timeline. I think that was increased by the fact that I was reading it as an ebook where it's not as easy to flip back and forth between chapters to keep track of the dates.

Amber: Yeah, I had to flip back and forth a lot too. But even with that, it was still confusing.

Renee: And then it kind of left you hanging at the end too.

Amber: I thought it was interesting that at the end they had an email address, which showed me that it was at least close to the present day, even though the last chapter doesn't have a date with it.

Renee: Yes I found that interesting too.

Amber: I’m curious what you both thought of the man in the grey suit. I thought he was a jerk until one of the last chapters when he talked with Widget. Then I could see why he did some of the things that he did.

Renee: I still think he was jerky. He got mad because his student had differing opinions and so he ruined all these lives. I don't know, I think that's crappy. Who knows how many challenges they had and at the very least one person dies in each challenge. Not to mention the collateral damage like the one sister.

Amber: That's very true. But I thought that Celia's father was always much worse though. He would cut Celia's fingers over and over so that she would perfect her healing skills!

Renee: Oh yeah that was awful. They were both awful.

Amber: What did you think of the relationship between Marco and Celia? It was the exact opposite of a love at first sight type of romance. It took several decades for anything to start...

Renee: Yes, but I love how they like can't help but be together. I love that kind of love. I'm upset they didn't let us know what happened with them really.

Amber: Yeah, me too. All we know is that they are in a weird state similar to Celia's dad and that they are tied to the circus. Do you feel bad for Isobel at all?

Renee: Yeah I wanted to know if Celia and Marco were able to be together in that state. Could they undo it To me, I didn't really see where Marco led Isobel on. I mean he took her in but there wasn't ever anything physical between them. I didn't get any vibes other than close friends.

Amber: I think in Isobel's eyes, everything she was doing was for him. I thought they did kiss and were a couple until the circus started?

Renee: I must have missed the kissing. I did get the sense she had feelings for him but I don't ever remember getting the feeling that he was leading her on or even that he returned her feelings.

Amber: I wonder if it was because of the "charms" he could put over people. I got the impression that he could kind of persuade and manipulate people's thoughts and feelings. That's why Chandresh was so messed up. Marco was always messing with him.

Renee: Yeah, I got that sense. I definitely feel like he used her for gain in the game but I didn't see the romantic part.

Amber: She’s like that crazy girl that thinks after a hook-up they are together forever. Then when she finally realizes that's not the case, she loses her mind and ruins everything, haha.

Renee: Yes! Exactly.

Amber: What did you think of Bailey? I could see where the story was going with him, but I didn't see him as an interesting enough character to take over the whole circus. Maybe its just because there were so many characters, it was hard to really get to know any that well.

Renee: I liked him, actually. And I liked his thing with Poppet. I wish they had expanded more on that because the parts with him and her and with Celia and Marco are the ones that piqued my interest the most. What I found kind of discordant is how he could take it over without having magic. And who was going to run all the attractions? Marco's were powered by the bonfire but Celia powered hers herself so that was confusing to me.

Amber: I think Celia was teaching Poppet and Widget how to control some of the things.

Renee: Yeah, I think so too.

Amber: So who do you all think would win if the competition hadn't ended through a loophole?

Renee: I don't know. Part of me feels like they were too evenly matched. And the other part saw that Celia was getting tired and couldn't last much longer, whether she gave up and let him win or just gave out altogether.

Amber: But it was interesting that she actually had magic and it seemed like Marco just learned his by using charms. To me, that seems like Celia's power was stronger. Plus, I felt like she was controlling so much more. However, it was impressive that Marco could control things without even being near the circus

Renee: Yeah, they definitely had different types of magic.

Amber: So what are your final thoughts on this book? Would you recommend it to someone else?

Renee: While parts of it were interesting it was very hard to get into and I probably won't read it again and wouldn't recommend it to someone.

Amber: I would recommend to someone who really enjoys descriptive books and world building. I'm more of a plot person, not description. I think I would have liked it a lot more if there was more substance to the plot. But I actually did really enjoy it. It was a change from the types of books I usually read. Thanks for joining me! I am looking forward to next month’s book chat!

Have something to say? Feel free to comment below to add to our discussion!

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

My Journey with Scoliosis [and related book reviews]

I have scoliosis. That is a fact and it is a part of my identity. I am on a continuous journey to correct my spinal curve. Part of this journey is educating myself and figuring out which approach I should take next. So I received and reviewed several books on scoliosis ( I will be adding more as time goes on). But before I can begin my reviews, I think it is important that I share my own personal journey with scoliosis. 
I was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curve in my spine, when I was about eight years old. It was purely an accident. My mom was seeing a chiropractor for her own slight curvature, and I was playing around on the scales when the doctor noticed that when I stood on two scales, one foot on each, one side of my body weighed significantly more than the other. So he decided to give me an X-ray. My curve was noticeable at that time, but it became more severe as time went on. The worst was during puberty when I hit a growth spurt. In several years, my spinal curve increased almos…

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.

2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.

4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…