I'm going to be honest, before I read this a lot of readers were comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars saying that Niven's story was, for less than aI'm going to be honest, before I read this a lot of readers were comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars saying that Niven's story was, for less than a better phrase, a mimicry of John Green's teenage tragic love story.
I found Niven's story less romanticized, less contrived, and less perfect. But yet, I only gave it four stars (Green got five). Why?
Plot holes. There's really only one that bothered me as I read the book and that's towards the end when Violet is up on the Tower with people from both her friend groups. I understand why Amanda was there, but Ryan seemed unexplained. Yes, he cared about Violet, but still he was part of the clique that facilitated Finch's decision in the end. Also what happened to Roamer? I really felt that Niven could have expanded on that aspect of the story seeing as it was such a crucial component. Did he feel guilty? Did he feel justified in his teasing, that his assertion of Finch was correct?
On the whole, I felt that Niven's story about a girl who lost her sister to a mundane car accident and then her first love to suicide was more believable than two kids with cancer falling in lover. Not to say that Green's story loses any merit because, realistically, it is just as important to YA fiction as Niven's. ...more
What exactly happened to Louisa in the maze that made her limiI knew I'd ugly cry and I did.
Things I didn't like, things that bothered me:
What exactly happened to Louisa in the maze that made her limit her life? It's heavily suggested that sexual assault occurred but I felt that if Moyes had expanded that bit of a story line it would have made Louisa's progression more impressive and certainly would have added to the entire arch.
Where did Nathan go after the holiday? Was he not important enough to go to the end? I felt that that angle was sloppy.
Did Patrick really tell the press to get back at Louisa? Did Katrina beat his ass? I hope so.
Things I liked:
How Louisa and Katrina grew close during this. The fact that Katrina was standing up for her "weird big sister" at the end against their parents probably made me cry more than the actual climax. Hell I'd say that was the climax. We know throughout the story that the odds of Will changing his mind are slim, so Louisa coming to grips with that, mourning, accepting on some level is the crux of the story.
That Moyes didn't fairytale the plot. I was worried that after all this build up Will would change his mind. Or that some miracle advance in medicine would be bought by his family seeing as they were rich. Only for then tragedy to strike. I'm glad it was Will's choice in the end, albeit it was and will remain controversial. ...more
This book has had a ridiculous amount of hype around it for the last couple of years and it looked intriguing. That being said, it never rose above aThis book has had a ridiculous amount of hype around it for the last couple of years and it looked intriguing. That being said, it never rose above a 3 star book. Here's why. Some spoilers, kind of?
The biggest problem I had throughout this novel was the disparity between the world development of the circus versus the world development of western civilization during the Late Victorian and Early Edwardian Eras. I know this wasn't a historical novel, but if you're going place your story in a historical context and have it go from major city to major city without developing those scenes, there's a problem. If Morgenstern had developed how turn of the century Constantinople, Paris, Munich, London, ect it would have compared drastically with the fantastical setting of the circus, allowing the latter to have more impact.
The Celia/Marco love story line was too instant. Like hilariously instant, even by young adult novel standards. And it just seemed forced and half hearted. The dialogue wasn't new or beautifully crafted. Additionally, the storyline between these two wasn't very strong. Celia alone, Marco alone yes, but not together. They lacked the dynamic that Bailey, Poppet, and Widget had.
The grand reveal that one of the magicians must die for the challenge to conclude was one of the sloppiest I've ever read. Ever. And I've read some shitty things. Just all of a sudden Celia figures it out? There is some thought process throughout the novel, but it poorly developed. And then while reading it, it just doesn't truly add up, how she makes the leap. This is huge shift in the novel's trajectory and yet Morgenstern fails to encapsulate it properly.
The ending, however, is strong but that's probably because it centers around the twins who are better developed than Celia and Marco. ...more