Yes, I know this is not a book review. And I also know that the book spotlighted here is not typically something I would read. But that's what this whole thing is about: willing to stretch outside of your comfort zone and take a chance at something wonderful.
I started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a few days ago, and I have to say that I'm very glad I did. I'm not finished with the book yet, but knowing me, it won't be long until you find a complete review of it up here.
Now this type of book is not usually one that I would find myself drawn to. Don't get me wrong, I love all things fantastical, and this definitely fits the bill, but that's not all it takes for me to choose a book. There are so many wonderful books out there for me to read that I could never even imagine trying to read something I wouldn't adore after the first page; that would just be a waste of my time.
I normally choose funny books. If it can't make me laugh, then I don't think it did it's job very well. They'll almost always be paranormal or urban fantasy as well, along with a healthy dose of action and adventure, but there needs to be some comedy in there or it just comes off as.... dry.
The concept of The Night Circus sounded wonderful: two magicians battling to the death in a circus arena to settle a longtime rivalry between their mentors. They were trained for this. It's all they've ever known even though they've been told next to nothing about how it would happen. And it was all going down with the whole world watching, even if they didn't fully realize what was going on before them. Sounds great, right?
Well it is. Skimming through the first few pages, the story seemed beautifully written, but there was definitely something notably off about the writing style, at least in my opinion. It was very formal. Kind of sounded like a place where jokes would be strangled to death before they had a chance to spread their wings and the mere mention of sarcasm would get you burned at the stake. Not my kind of environment.
But it was still so tempting. The idea itself is so old, but it was presented in a way that made it seem completely original. So I started to read, expecting to like the book, but not really love it the way I do with my more comedic favorites.
I was wrong.
This book completely drew me in in a way that I never expected it to. It is so completely different from everything else I read, but "different" doesn't necessarily mean "bad." That was the mistake I almost made when deciding whether or not to start this book. But because I was willing to give it a fair chance, even when I didn't expect too much out of it, I fell in love in a way I never expected to. And I'm so glad that I did.