Stephanie Ward's Reviews > Circus Summer

Circus Summer by Kailin Gow
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: for-review, owned, will-trade
Read in July, 2012

**Contains Spoilers**

'Circus Summer' by Kailin Gow is an interesting dystopian story set in post-apocalyptic America - now called the United - where people live in fear of the Invaders and now live menial lives without many of the luxuries of the past. In spite of poverty, health issues, and general problems, there is a bright spot that comes around to the towns of the United. It is called the Circus of Curiosities and it specializes in the unusual and dangerous. Young men and women from the towns the circus visits are chosen to participate/compete in the circus to have a chance to perform in the Center - the biggest city in the United where there is still technology and money.

When I first started reading 'Circus Summer' and throughout the novel, all I could think about was 'The Hunger Games'. This book seems to have quite a few of the same situations, plot lines, and character types - among several other things - that compose The Hunger Games. There's the same love triangle between the strong girl who has to compete for her family; the boy who is in the competition with her who falls in love with her and helps her out; and the boy who has been a friend her whole life from her hometown who doesn't want her to go but stays by her side. It sounds like an almost exact match to 'The Hunger Games'.

There are some interesting differences that stick out in 'Circus Summer', including the Invaders and the rebel group that is secretly fighting against them. We find out the in the book that the Invaders seek out healthy humans and take over their bodies. The people of Earth have been waging a long war against these Invaders, but there is a rebel group that believes a dark truth is being hidden underneath it all. These people all have abilities such as telepathy and visions, which they are planning to use to bring the Invaders down. The heroine of the story, Leela, gets caught up in the middle of the war against the rebel humans and the Invaders - and she must make a decision to be another pawn in their game or to rise up and fight back with the others. Of course, thrown into the mix is the love triangle mentioned before, family issues, competing in the circus, hidden agendas, and quite a few other problems.

All in all, there is no denying the several similarities between 'Circus Summer' and 'The Hunger Games'. There shouldn't be comparison between the two books because they have their differences, but I believe many people will be turned off from this book because it seems to be trying to write the same story as 'The Hunger Games'. I'm glad I didn't quit reading at the beginning like I wanted to because it is an interesting read with a pretty decent backstory, although I was pretty put off in the beginning and many times throughout the book due to the intense similarities I mentioned above.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Anagha I have almost finished writing my review and I decided to see what others thought of the book and I am awed by the fact that we have almost the exact same opinions of this book! I was also put off by the glaring similarities with Hunger Games. :)

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