Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. (synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

I am absolutley in love with this book.  There are not enough words to even describe it: magical, whimsical, mysterious, bizarre, confusing and at the core, a love story.  I cannot fathom how the author even came up with the premise for the story. I went to Ms. Morgenstern’s website and she says she grew up reading Stephen King and J.K. Rowling and that this probably explains her literary development.  It certainly shows in The Night Circus.

 I got this from the library and I want to re-read it, so I'm going to buy it.  I want the hard copy, not the e-book.  I want to hold on to it, tell people about it, show people my copy and say "GO GET YOUR OWN!!!!" because I won't give it up.  Does that sound silly?  Too bad - that is how much I loved this book.

In case you can’t tell, I’m giving this 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sister by Rosamund Lipton

Overview from Goodreads:

When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn’t be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics). But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand.

Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered. Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess’s apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister’s life—and all its secrets.

Though her family and the police see a grieving sister in denial, unwilling to accept the facts, Bee uncovers the affair Tess was having with a married man and the pregnancy that resulted, and her difficulty with a stalker who may have crossed the line when Tess refused his advances. Tess was also participating in an experimental medical trial that might have gone very wrong. As a determined Bee gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder—and an obsession that may cost Bee her own life.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book.  It was so beautifully written and often times heartbreaking.   The author wrote the book as a letter from Bee to Tess as she explains the steps she took to find out the truth about how Tess died.

Even though she is already gone, we get to know Tess through her older sister.  In trying to determine how her sister really dies, Bee discovers many things about herself.  As a result, she makes   some major life changes.

The concept of one sister writing a letter to her only other sibling who is gone was very sad.  I thought the author handled the story line quite well.  This is a debut novel by Ms. Lipton.  The US version became available on June 7,2011.  Her second novel,  Afterward, is scheduled for release in the US in April, 2012.  I will definitely be checking this book out!
I gave Sister 5 stars out of 5.