So.... I joined NetGalley.
Not the Circus.
Although lets be honest... joining the circus would be loads of fun (I dream of being a trapeze artist when I "grow" up... that along with an ice skater and prima ballerina)... but I digress.
I joined NetGalley.
Which, I'm not sure why I didn't know about this awesome-ness before, but basically its a place where people (insert: bloggers/librarians/professional reviewers, etc.) can go to get advanced copies of books. All for the small price of a review. Not too shabby says I!
Any-whoooo... so I joined this fabulous NetGalley. The first book I read and reviewed was the sequel to the Immortal Rules, called the Eternity Cure. Which you all know from the review I posted, I drooled over like Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the Oscars. It was just that good.
And now I just finished my second book via NetGalley. (I'm really never going to get over how cool it is to have access to all these awesome AR copies!) The book is called That Time I Joined the Circus, by J. J. Howard.
Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.
A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.
When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.
But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.
With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.
First of all... can we talk about how STUNNING the cover is? I know what they say... but guys... I seriously can't NOT judge a book by its cover. I really can't. Its compulsive. Especially when its a beauty like that!
Pats on the back all around for the marketing team. I applaud you!
However, beyond its stunning cover, I have to admit that the story itself fell a little short. I guess that's why they have that whole preverbal don't judge by the cover nonsense in the first place, eh? This book practically screams: OPEN ME NOW!!! I'M BEAUTIFUL!!! and it even with all that razzle dazzle, it somehow still let me down. Poop.
I guess I should tell you why...
Well first of all there was a lot of that "telling" instead of "showing" bit... (which--for the record--I'm starting to really hate myself over. I mean, seriously, before I started writing, I didn't realize the difference between telling and showing. Or... if I did... I didn't know there was a name for it. Now I can't NOT notice it, even if I try! Gah!!) But yeah. The telling. There was a lot of it.
And by a lot I mean like A LOT a lot.
And I just can't handle that anymore.
Beyond that, though, there was this super duper weird love SQUARE going on. Cause as if love triangles weren't enough, now writers gotta start throwing in the fourth wheel. Oh joy.
Eli.... Nick... Jamie... all of them are Alpha-male-ing it over this one Lexi girl. Or is it Xandra? Or Alexandra? Or Allie? I forget...
WOMAN! STOP CHANGING YOUR FREAKIN' NAME ALREADY!!
Anyway, ALL of them are trying to get with this emotionally unbalanced Lexi, which I find sort of hard to believe in the first place, because she's like the Bella Swan of the circus: completely unremarkable.
And then, to top it off, the guy she finally DOES end up with is kind of like... "Eh.... [shrugs]...meh." The character was completely underdeveloped. As were practically ALL of the characters in the book. Her best friend back home... her best friend at the circus... her best girlfriend back home (not to be confused with the boyfriend, who is actually the best friend)... all of these characters are watery and easily forgettable.
I probably would have forgotten about LexiXandraAlexandraAllie too, if it weren't for the fact that she was the main character.
And while I love the idea of telling the story in a circus setting [three cheers for Water for Elephants!!!], the setting wasn't enough to carry the bulk of a lack luster story and forgettable characters.
Save your pennies and your time. Give this book a pass.
Sorry, J.J.! Better luck next time...