Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: That Time I Joined the Circus by J J Howard

Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

Hardcover, 259 pages

Published April 1st 2013 by Point
(info pulled from GoodReads)

The thing I love about contemporary is the more direct and realistic life lessons it hands out.  Not that there isn’t a bit of wisdom to be found in science fiction or fantasy, just a different variety of it.  THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS dishes out some hard to learn lessons in particular to our hero, Lexi, such as finding that people aren’t always who you think they are and that even good people can make terrible mistakes.  People can do you wrong, and still be exactly who you need them to be.  These messages are delivered with an honest story, fun, and a touch of snark.
This book blends a great story with the excitement of the circus.  We get a glimpse into the life of a working circus, which filled that hole inside of me (and more than likely you) that always did want to run away and join the circus.  Lexi didn’t run away or join the circus for the more traditional reasons (you know, like fun), and that makes the story more relatable and believable.  She is rational and in need of a family, which the circus can provide.  I liked that the book highlights the highs and lows of circus work while tying it into a beautiful story of self discovery.

This is the paragraph that I would put negative aspects about the book in.  I don’t have anything to put here so this is a paragraph about nothing.  THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS wasn’t a perfect book that pulled at all my feels, but there isn’t anything bad to say. 

There was a sweetness to this story that I wasn’t expecting.  It has very uplifting messages about being who you are and who you want to be and was an all around feel good novel.  I was surprised many a time within this novel, reminding me that books -- and life -- usually go exactly where you don’t expect them to. 

Final Thought: 4 out of 6 toadstools

This review is also posted on GoodReads

No comments:

Post a Comment