The Night Circus

I had a lot of catching up to do on the work front today, so I was more than ready for a breather around lunchtime.

salad chicken barley 005

I made myself a big ol’ salad packed with the following:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Barley
  • Chopped chicken breast
  • Ginger sesame dressing

It was a delicious combination of flavors. The chewiness from the barley and tangy flavor from the dressing were my favorite aspects of the salad.

salad chicken barley 007

I was feelin’ the veggie high after eating that bad boy. It’s amazing how eating a lots of veggies really does make me feel more energetic. I should remember that the next time I’m tempted to eat cookies for lunch, huh?

Just in case you’re a barley lover like me, you may enjoy the following barley-based meals:

The Night Circus

The Night Circus was the book selected for January’s book club and one I’ve heard praised over and over again.

the night circus

My first thought when I read the brief description of the book was that it might be similar to Water for Elephants, a book I greatly enjoyed. It was definitely different than Water for Elephants, though it did include lots of romance and intrigue.

Brief Synopsis

The night circus is Le Cirque des Reves, or The Circus of Dreams, and is a magical circus that pops up unexpectedly all over the world at night. The tents that comprise the circus are filled with enchanting performances and exhibitions. The food offered at the circus tastes better and smells more intoxicating than any food you’ve ever had before. Patrons are entranced with the circus and fall in love with its magic luminosity.

But the circus is more than what it appears to the average person. It is the venue of an ongoing competition between two talented magicians, Celia and Marco, who are  chosen by two older magicians to battle in the circus, demonstrating breathtaking magic and elusions in an attempt to outdo the other.

Eventually the two young magicians fall deeply in love, complicating the competition, as only one magician can be declared the winner, which occurs only when the other falls.

My Review

I was definitely entertained as I read The Night Circus. While I didn’t find it extremely compelling (lots of detail!), I looked forward to snuggling into bed with the book and found myself more and more invested and intrigued by the story the further I got into the novel.

I was continually frustrated by the way the book jumped around from year to year and day to day, but eventually learned to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapter so I wouldn’t have to flip back through to see when certain events occurred. I like books that occur in chronological order or at least make flashbacks very apparent. I was never lost while reading, just irritated.

As far as the core of the book is concerned, I loved the mystery surrounding the challenge. Not knowing what would allow either Celia or Marco to be declared the winner kept me guessing and left me curious as to what would happen to the loser, since a scar left by a magical ring clearly bound them to the challenge for life.

At first I had a hard time understanding how Celia and Marco seemed to develop this intense, passionate love for each other seemingly overnight after the big kiss in the middle of the ballroom, but once I just let that go and allowed myself to believe their love was pure and intense, I became much more invested in the outcome of the challenge, rooting for them to find a way to obliterate the challenge altogether and find a way to be with each other.

And I loved Herr Frederick Thiessen. Definitely my favorite character!

Blogger Link Up

Additional reviews of The Night Circus may be found on the following blogs:

If you post your review of The Night Circus after this post is published, please let me know and I’ll be sure to edit this post and add your review to the list!

Discussion Questions

  • How did you feel about Celia and Marco’s relationship? Did you find their chemistry compelling or far-fetched?
  • Which tent in Le Cirque des Reves would you most like to visit?
  • How did you feel about the timeline of The Night Circus? Did you enjoy the way it jumped around, or do you prefer a more linear timeline?
  • Which character was your favorite? Why?


  1. Alison says

    Since we didn’t have a book club in September, I decided to catch up on previous books I missed! I read Room and The Night Circus and thoroughly enjoyed both novels! I just finished The Night Circus yesterday and agree with a lot of what you wrote in your review. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be: ENCHANTING. I looked forward to curling up on my couch with this book every night and getting lost in the whimsical world of Les Cirque des Reves. Despite it’s slow plot and the frustration of keeping track of dates, I was continually drawn to the beautiful imagery, magical elements, hint of mystery, and unique characters. I enjoyed reading about Celia & Marco’s relationship (although it seemed far fetched at first) but especially enjoyed reading about Bailey, Poppet, and Widget. There are so many tents I would like to visit in the circus including Celia’s, the cloud maze, and the ice garden. Overall, an imaginative, creative, and dreamy read!


  2. Hayley says

    I should’ve remembered your review before I started reading The Night Circus on audio because it definitely made keeping up with the names, dates and locations much more confusing! Luckily I had checked it out in book form as well so I turned to that at night to make sure I understood the order. Despite all that, I really enjoyed the story. It’s unlike any other book I’ve read and I’d be interested to know if it’s going to be made into a movie! I’d love to see the visuals come to life, especially the Ice Garden tent and Tsukiko’s act!


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