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Girl on a Wire

(Cirque American #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  5,384 ratings  ·  549 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided ea ...more
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Skyscape
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Arden Leiker The setting overall is just circus. It is a traveling circus so they go to places like Jacksonville, Chicago, and many other places.

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  5,384 ratings  ·  549 reviews

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Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a charmer?! I'm a sucker for well written novels with dazzling leads; throw in info about a subculture and I'm sold. You can tell that Ms. Bond spent a lot of time doing the research into circus families and the tricks that they devote their lives to.

I felt transported.

Here's to Jules and her hero, Bird Millman: Princesses of the Air.

elizabeth tobey
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Girl on a Wire started out really strong: I cared about the characters, I felt my heart speed up during the tense scenes, I didn't want to put the book down.

And then, the ending came. And it was pretty much a Scooby Doo moment where the Bad Guy just explains Why He Did It.

I gave it 4 stars because up until the last couple chapters, I was in love with the book. But those last two get 1 star.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-2014-read
Damn. This was much better than expected, but it still left me wanting more.

It did a lot of things right, especially in regards to Jules and her character arc, and it didn't fall into any of the gross YA tropes I brace myself for when I read a new author. The problems I had were more metaphysical. Because while it was good, I knew the entire time reading that it could be better. That was constantly going through my head: "I like this, but good god it would be fantastic with a little more oomph."
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
So fun and different! You don't read many modern stories about running away to join the circus, so this was very refreshing! Also contains: mystery! Drama! Romance! And descriptions of high wire walking that made my palms sweat!

I really wanted even more from this! I could have read about Jules' previous family life more, and would have liked to have seen Nan in action as a fortune teller!
Tracey Mamerow
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was definitely entertaining. I loved the look into the circus life (I think I'm on a circus kick) and I loved the strength of the main character. It kept my curiosity, stressed me out when she was on the high wire, and made me want to see what would happen.
However, my one disappointment was with the ending. The story built up so well, asking questions about magic and who had it in for them, etc. that I was expecting a more...epic? of a conclusion. Instead, the story was co
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4 Stars

Full Review:
I knew I wanted this book as soon as I saw it because CIRCUS! I absolutely love circus. And one of the best things about this book, as opposed to other circus books, was that the author really delved into the descriptions of the acts and made the practices and performances an integral part of the story rather than just using the circus as a backdrop.

Not only that, the descriptions of the wire walking and trapeze—not even of what skills the performers did but rather of how they
i have a lot of thoughts that are tangential to this book, so:

1. i don't understand how LITERALLY NO ONE IN THE BOOK commented on the fact that these two families who hated each other had kids about the same age who were LITERALLY NAMED ROMEO AND JULIETTA, even after they were caught sneaking around and making out.

2. i was trying to figure out why i was so unbothered by the problems in both this and the paper magician, and then i realized that i probably just really miss reading. i've been doing
At first glance, this seems like it should've been my jam: a Romeo and Juliet retelling set against two rival families of circus performers. Pretty great premise, right? I love circuses!

But nah. Most of the time, I was waffling around 2 stars -- the ending made me straight-up want to take yet another star off, but I'm going to be forgiving since the high-wire scenes were tense and well-written, and there were some good elements here, they were just never utilised the way they should've.

Various t
Emily Donnellan
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
Reading this book I realized that I know way more about circus life then I thought I did. Since Water For Elephants I have noticed a lot of books are using the circus as a whimsical setting for their novels and this knowledge seems to be rubbing off on me. I think that’s one of the reasons that, although I enjoyed this book, I found myself comparing it to a lot of other stories and it ended up losing some its magic.

Jules Maroni is a high-wire walker just like her father. She’s been performing fo
Danielle Hamilton
Dnf @ 10%.

Really don't have any desire to keep on with this; it lacks magic and is missing big worldbuilding opportunities. Was a freebie so I'm moving on :/ No rating as I didn't get far enough to have enough of an opinion. Not terrible though, for the record.

Too many books, too little time to spend on ones you don't want to!
You can read my review over on my book blog, Bluegrass Book Nerd. (Well, it's not up on my blog yet, but will be soon!)

Girl On a Wire is a taut, gripping read. (Ha. Taut. As in wire tension. Guys, I made a pun.) There was so much that I loved about this book, even though it's a bit of an obvious retelling of Romeo and Juliet. (The protagonists' names are Romeo and Julieta; not exactly subtle, but I'm willing to look past it.)

I read this book while flying from New Orleans back to my home in Louis
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! This was such a surprising read!
I've been seeing this book all over the web, but never thought that it would be worth reading. All I knew was that it took place in a circus, which didn't interest me for some reason. I eventually read the synopsis and decided that I should give it a try. I saw that this book has a family rivalry, which I'm al
Enemies become lovers or do they?
This is a take on Romeo and Juliet, but in the circus.

Girl on a Wire is about Jules, who is a wire walker. Sounds highly dangerous but hey, the circus life is for her. There she runs into the Garcia family. Jules doesn't have the best relationship with them or Remy Garcia due to the bad blood that runs between them. However, Remy and Jules start to develop feelings for each other - sounds cliche but it was actually a really good and enjoyable book.

Now I could ne
Mar 01, 2020 marked it as tbr-later  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon, kindle, ya, free
1 March 2020: $0.99 on Kindle ...more
Suze Lavender
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jules Maroni wants to join the Cirque American. It's a big and famous circus and she'll have the chance to do a fantastic performance there. Jules is a high-wire walker. She can makes pirouettes on the rope and she isn't afraid to take risks. She tricks her family into joining the circus of her dreams. Only the Garcia family is also working for the circus and they hate the Maronis.

Jules doesn't understand what's going on with her grandmother. There are so many secrets and she has to find out wh
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond is a Romeo and Juliet tale set beneath the big tent and high up on the wire. A feat Bond does well in this teen lit book that mixes romance, intrigue and dark magic into a novel of forbidden love and betrayal.

Jules Maroni is a sixteen year old high wire walker who is following in the family business. But she is tired of the small circus route and dreams of making it big time. Only her family are outcasts in the circus world and when they are offered the opportunity
Karolina Kat
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magical-realism
Solid 3.5 stars rounded up due to my pure enjoyment.

Girl on a Wire enchanted me with the choice of theme and thrilling descriptions of circus performances. It's a nice, fast and pleasant read, where it's easy to bond with characters, even the heroine, who despite her flaws is still the one to root for - especially during her wire-walks.

The only disappointing part of the story was villian's revelation. As mentioned in many reviews, it trully was Scooby Doo-ish, when the person responsible just op
Colleen Houck
I often felt like I was walking the wire with the heroine. She is such a cool character and I found myself wishing I was as cool as her. Love Remy and the whole circus culture. The grandmother's backstory is so compelling! Wouldn't mind reading her story too. ...more
Clare Lund
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Gorgeous descriptions with an intriguing plot line about circus family rivalry and old magic. But the ending was completely predictable, which deflated my previous excitement about this book. Ages 13 and up.
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
so good so good so good so underrated omg julesremy has my entire heart, i'm so in love with the whole concept and the plot and ofc i'm a sucker for circus stories, 5/5!! ...more
Aug 26, 2017 marked it as dnf
DNF @ 38%
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2014, mystery
One of the two inaugural authors for Strange Chemistry back in the day and one of my favourites from their list is Gwenda Bond. I've read and enjoyed both her previous novels, Blackwood and The Woken Gods , and thought her newest offering, Girl on a Wire sounded very intriguing. Thus, when the author approached me about reviewing it, I didn't hesitate to say yes. And it has to be said, that with Girl on a Wire Bond remains on form. It was a delightful story with some very dark twists and ...more
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Catch our discussion over at Tales of the Ravenous Reader!

"Do you even know what you're capable of?"

Girl on a Wire is a familiar set of story elements set in a less familiar setting: the circus. The book is full engaging elements such as forbidden romance, generation-spanning family drama, mystery, superstition, and a girl's journey of figuring out who she is in the context of this unique world.

I can't imagine what Gwenda's research process was like for this. Did she watch a lot of American Hor
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Yup! A Romeo and Juliet circus mystery. Who could say no?

The parallels between Romeo and Juliet are perfect. The old family rivalry. The fist fight at the beginning (Poor Tybalt-- I mean, Sam!). The secrets. The children knowing they couldn't be seen with people in the other family. Forbidden love. However, I appreciate how they aren't drawn out too much. There are subtle variations which keeps us on our toes. [spoiler]For example, Sam and Dia end up together first, making two elicit relationshi
Oct 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Free from Amazon on Kindle.

Interesting, however I was completely thrown off by the magic. It was not set up well at all and just came out of the blue. The world didn't seem built for it and I kept waiting for them all to say, "Ok, the magic was just in our heads, there really is a logical explanation for this." Even in the ending I thought the main character would get over her fear of it because it was in her head all the time - but no, she fears it and the ending was bland. The "bad guy" did a
alisonwonderland (Alison)
I've never been a big fan of circuses, but I found Girl on a Wire to be an excellent read. It has an evocative and compelling story line with a bit of mystery and a bit of romance. I'll definitely be reading more from Gwenda Bond!

By the way, while the story involves some magic, this is not - to my mind, at least - a fantasy novel (like, say, The Night Circus). It's much more grounded in reality (and I think there's a pun in that statement). Also, it took me quite a few chapters to determine that
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: circus-books
I really enjoyed this. It had a few awkward, clunky moments, and the suspense was prolonged a little too long for the payoff, but who doesn't love a book about the circus? Julieta and Remy are appealing protagonists, and setting them down in the midst of feuding circus families with hidden agendas and careers on the line makes for a great tale. ...more
Dec 14, 2014 added it
I was rather distracted by the presence of freaky clowns in this book, to be quite honest.
Katy Noyes
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Circus-set mystery for teens

I liked this at times, and at others found my attention drifting a little.

A teenager girl, heir to her family's circus dynasty is desperate to find their place among the greats again, restore their name and fortunes after decades in decline. Managing to secure them a place in a successful circus, they don't find a warm welcome and Jules learns it is related to bad blood between another circus family and her grandmother.

Romeo and Juliet-like, though, she develops fee
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book, though I had some minor issues with the pacing and the main character. Jules was just really selfish at certain points and it grated on my nerves. I loved her character development though, so she redeemed herself in the end. The setting was established decently - there was some circus history included that was really interesting to read about and I felt drawn in to the performance family. I wanted a litttttle bit more in that area, but what I got was good e ...more
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2014.44: Girl on a Wire 7 66 May 28, 2016 07:21AM  

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Gwenda Bond is the New York Times bestselling author of many books. Her latest is the first official Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds. Next up is a rom-com duology, Not Your Average Hot Guy (Oct., '21) and The Date from Hell, coming from St. Martin’s Griffin.

Her previous work includes the Lois Lane series (Fallout, Double Down, and Triple Threat), which brings the iconic comic book characte

Other books in the series

Cirque American (2 books)
  • Girl in the Shadows (Cirque American #2)

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
32 likes · 9 comments
“I hate it when people add “woman” to make an achievement seem smaller than it is. She was one of the best wire walkers ever. Period.” 13 likes
“I’m just a woman in the shadows, holding on to secrets so tightly I don’t know if there’ll be anything left, now that I’ve let them go.” 6 likes
More quotes…