The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern
Because “The Night Circus” is an escapist’s dream. Because you wish the world created within its pages were real, instead of a mere illusion. Because as you step between its pages, that world embraces you fully, whispering secrets in your ear.
Because its present-tense tone is pretty unique, and adds to the singularity of the story.
Because even though it’s called “The Night Circus,” I don’t think “circus” is the right term. There’s none of that gaudy, ten-clowns-in-a-tiny-car kind of humor. The word “carnival” comes to mind, but I don’t think that’s the right word either. The circus in the “The Night Circus” is mysterious, magical, elegant, and enchanting.
And that goes for the book as well.
Because it makes the reader want to find an elegant circus and run away with it.
The plot in a nutshell:
He waves an arm at the Carousel and the ribbons shudder, as though the softest breeze has wandered into the tent.
“How is it better?” Celia asks. “How is anything better than anything else here? How is one tent comparable to another? How can any of this possibly be judged?”
“That is not your concern.”
“How can I excel at a game when you refuse to tell me the rules?”
The suspended creatures turn their heads in the direction of the ghost in their midst. Gryphons and foxes and wyverns stare at him with glossy black eyes.
“Stop that,” Hector snaps at his daughter. The creatures return to their forward-facing gazes, but one of the wolves growls as it settles back into its frozen state. “You are not taking this as seriously as you should.”
“It’s a circus,” Celia says. “It’s difficult to take it seriously.”
“The circus is only a venue.”
“Then this is not a game or a challenge, it’s an exhibition.”
“It’s more than that.”
“How?” Celia demands, but her father only shakes his head.
“I have told you all the rules you need to know. You push the bounds of what your skills can do using this circus as a showplace. You prove yourself better and stronger. You do everything you can to outshine your opponent.”
“And when do you determine which of us is shinier?”
“I do not determine anything,” Hector says. “Stop asking questions. Do more. And stop collaborating.”
Before she can respond, he vanishes, leaving her standing alone in the sparkling light from the Carousel.