Tea & Book Chat: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is the most beautifully written book I have ever read.  The story revolves around a traveling circus and two magicians who’ve spent their youth training for a duel and the strings of prose that Morgenstern crafted to tell their story are pure magic.  I devoured the entire book in one day and it’s one that I know that I will for sure be re-reading in the future when I feel like immersing myself in magic.  I also love both the US and UK covers. The black, white and red designs are so incredibly striking.

Aftering pointing out how gorgeous the words are in the this novel, the next logicial talking point is the wonderfully immersive world that Erin Morgenstern has built around this mysterious traveling circus named Les Cirque des Reves.  “The circus arrives without warning.  No announcements precede it.  It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”  I had to include the direct quote from the plot synopsis since it describes it better than I ever could!  There are people who become obsessed with the circus and spend their lives trying to catch it wherever it may turn up (they call themselves reveurs or dreamers).  That is how enchanting each show is.  The circus take place in black and white tents and has red accents throughout the different rooms but it’s the giant clock tower that I would do anything to see in real life. I loved that throughout the book there are certain scenes revolving around experiences at the circus that are told through second person POV which allows the reader to feel like they’re there.  I would also do anything to try some of the circus food which is so very vividly described or to take a ride on the magical carousel.  This book is PERFECT to be made into a really high budget artsy film.

The Night Circus

Throughout the course of the novel, you’re introduced to an extensive range of characters and the story spans over years so it can be slightly difficult to keep track of, but it’s complexities are completely worth your time.  The story begins with Prospero the Enchanter choosing his daughter Celia and Mr. A. H. choosing an avid reader from an orphanage as the students they will spend their lives training and who will ultimately duel one another to the death when the time comes.  Depite their inevitable fate, Celia and Marco fall deeply in love with one another and it’s forbidden romance at its finest.

Final Thoughts:  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a magical foray into a world about a traveling circus that I will spend the rest of my life wishing I could experience firsthand.  The story is full of the most beautiful imagery surrounding the circus and the magical elements will leave you smiling and daydreaming for years to come.  Plus, there are two magicians training for their fated duel and a blossoming forbidden romance between the pair.  This book is literally perfect.

Rating 6

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 Reves,” 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. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

Bout of Books: Wanderlust – Day 1 Challenge

This is my first time participating in Bout of Books and I’m going to make an effort to post the daily challenges throughout the week! This morning I posted my TBR – I’m aiming for 4 books in total but I’ll be happy with 3 as well.  The first day challenge is hosted by Leann @ Between Library Shelves and the topic is Fictional World Travel.  Participants are supposed to choose 3 to 6 books that are set in countries other than your own, display your choices in a creative way and share them on Leann’s blog.  Below are some of my favorite books that have given me a case of wanderlust!

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Paris Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
London A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Venice – The Magician King by Lev Grossman
PragueDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Japan Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
London – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Kristin

Top 10 Books

I decided to split my top books of 2014 into two categories as well.  I think it would be a shame to leave out some of my favorite things this year just because they hadn’t been published in 2014.  For a more in depth look into my reading habits and tastes this year, you can view my end of year book survey!  And Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Comics, and Top 10 TV Shows, Top 7 Movies, & Top 5 Broadway/Off Broadway Shows of 2014! What were your favorite books this year?  Is there anything your particularly looking forward to reading in 2015, new or otherwise?

Top 5 Books Published in 2014

1) Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

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2) The Unbound (An Archived Novel) by Victoria Scwab
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3) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
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4) We Were Liars by E. Lockheart
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5) Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

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Top 5 Books (I Read) in 2014

1) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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3) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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4) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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5) The Diviners by Libba Bray

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Books I’ve Read & TV Shows I’ve Watched In January & February

I said I would start posting about what I’m reading more often and I’m starting now! HOORAY!  I thought it would also be fun to include which TV series I’ve been binge watching on Netflix lately since my attention span has been magically reinstated.  I haven’t split up the TV shows by month, but maybe I’ll start soon. Maybe. We’ll see. No promises!

If you have any recommendations for books or TV shows I should watch next month, please send them my way! I’m always open to suggestions!

January Books

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I loved this book so much.  It’s very whimsical and it tells the story of a traveling circus.  There’s a beautiful love story between two characters who are destined to compete against one another with the magic they’ve studied throughout their entire childhoods.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Oh Fangirl<3 I have so many warm and fuzzy feelings for this book.  The main character Cath is a popular fanfiction writer with a strong online following for a series similar to Harry Potter and it chronicles her experience as she adjusts to college life and grows apart from her twin sister.  And there’s a super cute boy named Levi who I just want to hug.

3. The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived series quickly became one of my favorite things I’ve read.  One of the central settings is a library full of Histories (dead people), and the main character Mackenzie is Keeper which entails leading Histories to their doors using her Keeper key when they get misplace from their shelves.  There’s a librarian that’s basically David Tennant, and her potential love interest (who I wish were MY love interest) is nicknamed Guyliner.

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4. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David LeviathanDash and Lily’s Book of Dares is co-written by two authors who I love, but I found it to have too many similarities to Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which is a story I treasure.  It was a fun, quick, snowy winter read but it wasn’t my favorite that I’ve read recently.  Maybe I’m being spoiled by the other wonderful books I’ve consumed.

5. The Diviners by Libba Bray – This book is quite the adventure.  It takes place in the roaring twenties in Manhattan which is obviously a place I love more than anywhere else in the world.  It’s a kind of supernatural mystery and I as I neared the end I was definitely having a few nightmares.

6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I wanted to read this book before I saw the movie and I’m really glad I did.  The movie was very loyal to the book but I felt like I got more out of it having read it beforehand.  I love the strong female friendship between Rose and Lissa and I can’t wait to devour the rest of the series!

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7. Looking For Alaska by John Green – Alaska Young is a force to be reckoned with.  I love her free spirit and I love the main character, Miles’ search for “The Great Perhaps.” I think there are so many lessons to be learned from this book and I wish it would’ve been around for me to read while I was in high school.

8. The Unbound (Archived Book 2) by Victoria Schwab – I talked about my love for the first book in this series above, and the second was one of the best sequels to a book that I’ve ever read.  I am so attached to Mackenzie and Wes that it hurts when I feel like they’re making a poor decision.  I cannot recommend this series enough.  Seriously, go buy it!

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February Books

1. The Mortal Instruments Book 2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – I felt kind of meh about the first book in The Mortal Instruments series and after I saw the film I was convinced that I was done with it forever but after Melissa’s constant attempts to get me to pick up the second book I finally obliged and I’m happy to report that I liked it more than the first.  It’s still not my favorite series but it’s a quick filler series to read between other endeavors.

2. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by Marissa Meyer – I was really impatient about waiting for this book to be released and once snowpocalypse hit and my mail was delayed, I was nearly in tears.  Cress picks up right where Scarlet left off and I found Cress to be my favorite character in the series.  I loved her immediately because she’s so awkward and such a romantic that it’s almost too adorable to handle.  I have no idea how I’m going to survive until the final installment which doesn’t come out until next year.

3. Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – This graphic novel will leave you in tears.  It’s the conclusion to Joe and Gabriel’s Locke and Key series and it has a very satisfying ending but seriously, it will reduce you to tears so be prepared.

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4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – This book was cute.  It took me a little while to get into it, but once I continued on I found the story to be very pleasant.  It’s definitely a lighter read but sometimes you need one of those.

5. Sailor Moon Volume 8 by Naoko Takeuchi – I don’t think any explanation is necessary for Sailor Moon, especially when all of my magical girl merchandise keeps shipping from Japan and the rebooted anime is expected to debut this July.

6. Sailor Moon Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi – see above!

7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I picked up this book after love love loving Fangirl and I’m pretty sure my heart melted a little more with each page.  The main characters bonded over their shared love of comics and The Smiths so it really hit home for me.  I wish Rainbow Rowell had more published books for me to read before her newest novel, Landline, comes out this summer.

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January & February TV Shows

1. Pushing Daisies (streaming on Amazon Prime) – If I could do anything I would quit my job and become a pie maker and fill my closet with all of Charlotte’s dresses.  I loved everything about this series and supposedly there is a revival in the works!

2. Veronica Mars (streaming on Amazon Prime)Veronica Mars: The Movie is coming out SO soon and I’m totally caught up on this fandom that I somehow missed when it was on air.  Huzzah!

3. Pretty Little Liars (streaming on Netflix) – What a guilty little pleasure! As one of my friends pointed out, there isn’t actually much that happens on any episode of the show but they somehow make you think that lots of things are happening, especially for the first three seasons.  But I kept having to watch one after another!

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4. Arrested Development (streaming on Netflix) – I’ve already seen all of Arrested Development but my parents hadn’t seen the exclusive 4th Netflix season so I marathoned it again with them since they don’t use my Netflix account unless I’m with them for some reason.  The George Michael, Tobias, and Gob episodes are still my favorite.

5. Portlandia (streaming on Netflix) – I hadn’t watched the most recent season of Portlandia so I blew through it while I cleaned my room one day.  I love the quirky skits that Fred and Carrie developed and I always end up laughing at their antics.

6. Princess Jellyfish (streaming on Netflix) – I definitely watched this entire anime series in one day.  And it had subtitles so I even paid attention to the whole thing which is a pretty big deal.  I want a jellyfish dress!

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7. The Carrie Diaries (streaming on Netflix) – This is another guilty pleasure show that I finished watching really quickly.  There were so many nods to Sex & the City and I just love watching people who share my love of New York City. Plus it takes place in the 80’s so the fashion is so fun.

8. Pokemon: Indigo League (streaming on Netflix) – I’m actually watching more of this as I write this very blog post!  I missed Ash, Misty and Brock, but mostly Pikachu, Squirtle, Charmander and the other Pokemon.  I’m so happy that Netflix added Indigo League to their lineup but I feel pressured to watch all 52 episodes by Friday because all six season of The Clone Wars are being released then!

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