Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Received from the publisher for review, via NetGalley
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. (Summary from Goodreads.com)
I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. I may have liked them while I was reading, but all of them left me the minute I exited out of Adobe Reader. Lexi (Xandra, X, Lex) isn't awful to read about, but she sure isn't winning a Best Protagonist award anytime soon. She is a bit too angsty for my tastes: a penchant for fainting, crying, making things more dramatic than necessary. There were other characters, such as Eli, Jamie, Liska, and Lina, who I could have easily been charmed by but turned out to be sort of a let down because I could never really get a good enough feel for them. I guess Liska ended up being my favorite in this book, with her studious habits.
The writing was pretty mediocre most of the time. There was a large amount of telling, rather than showing. And through out the book I was like: Wait, what? You love him? When the frack did that happen? Or: When in tarnations did you guys become friends? It was like things just happened and I didn't understand when or how. Sometimes I wondered if the author was going to go a certain direction then changed her mind, not bothering to smooth over the abrupt jag in the story (not a twist in the plot--a jag in the entire story). And the romance? Miles and miles from being beautiful and heart pounding. I did enjoy the plot, for the most part, even though there were some things that were a little unbelievable (Okay, so my mom isn't actually at this circus, so I guess Ill just join it myself; What do you know, after a few hours of practice, I'm good enough to drive on the highway; Oh, look here! My mom really coincidentally shows up somewhere with a perfect explanation for everything she's done wrong. Even though I "hate" her and am still reluctant to accept her back into my good graces, we patch things up in one conversation.)
My initial response to this book after reading it: "Wasn't perfect, but it kind of made my heart happy, so that's good." I honestly can't remember what about it "made my heart happy." I do know that this was a quick read, though, and interesting enough for me to want to see it through to the end. I don't think I could really recommend this, because it was simply lacking in too many areas.