by J.J. Howard
Publication Date: April 1st, 2013
Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.Wow, first off, just look at this cover. Can you say stunning? The colors, the lights, the animals, the sky. Everything just makes this cover catch the eye at first glance. Not many covers feature a circus theme and this circus definitely did not disappoint.
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
After Lexi's father is in a terrible accident, she is left all alone to run off and find the mother that she thinks abandons her. Lexi's lawyer tells her that her mother joined the circus and Lexi has just enough money for a bus ticket there. In Florida, she doesn't find her mother, but she does make a couple friends and finds a sort of family. She starts out as a animal hand but she eventually moves on to more cool positions - like a fortune teller and working on the rides at the midway.
I liked Lexi as the MC. She's more of a wallflower and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to her. Her character is very original and it was easy to like her. That being said, I don't see that she really grew as a person throughout this novel. She does come out of her shell a bit but other than that, I don't see many major changes in her by the end of the book. I also really liked Lexi's circus friends, Lina and Liska, two trapeze artists. They were both so different but so similar at the same time.
Lexi seems to have many love interests in this book. Eli, her childhood friend in New York. Jamie, a worker on the midway that takes Lexi under her wing when she first gets there. And Nick, another helper at the circus who's mother was the original fortune teller at the fair. Out of all of them, I would have to say that I liked Jamie the most. Eli and Nick seem like jerks, but we do see that changes with Eli. Nick stays Nick.
Howard did perfect capturing Lexi's voice and we get to see both scenes from present day and past. That is how we get to know a little more about her father, but there wasn't much. We got to see some of Lexi's favorite memories and her worst.
I liked how the resolve at the end of this book didn't just come in one chapter. It was spent over many chapters and I like how the ending wasn't just sudden. I love the circus as the main setting because there were actually a lot of things I learned about it. Lexi is captivated by the magic of the circus, as was I when reading this book. I really want to go see one myself now.