Clay Jannon is living in San Francisco in the time of a great Recession and he is desperately searching for a job. On his job hunt he finds a 24-hour bookstore where a help wanted sign is hanging in the window. Clay is a tech geek but finds the idea of working in a bookstore interesting so he asks the owner about the job. Mr. Penumbra, the owner of the bookstore tells Clay that he is hired if he is curios enough, can work a ladder and does not mind working at night. So Clay winds up being the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. Clay soon learns that this store and its customers are weird. There is a whole section of peculiar books that Clay is forbidden to read. Clay soon gets really curious and wants to unravel Penumbras secrets. He discovers that there is more to the bookstore than meets the eye. The store is a front for something bigger. He has some wild theories and with the help of his friends he embarks on a journey to find the truth behind Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore.
A lot of my friends on Goodreads loved this book and many of them recommended it to me. I hoped that I would love it as much as they did but unfortunately this was not the case. It was an interesting book and I wanted to know how it ends but I was in no way invested in the story are liked the characters. For me this book seemed like a conglomerate of things I already read. It also reminded me a lot of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. But where Cline had me on the edge of my seat Robin Sloan’s Story about a bookstore and its mysteries were just some nice story. It is not a book I will remember. The characters felt flat for me and the whole book felt very much like a YA novel. There was hardly any world building and if you follow my blog you know that I always wish there was more world building in books. Clay is a one dimensional character and all the other characters are just here to play his sidekicks. Typical YA! His friends are conveniently rich or work at Google so Clay has no problem of financing his journey. For me this book felt too unrealistic. I know that it should be a magical story but it was just so convenient. Clay needs a book scanner that only Google has? Well his girlfriend works at Google. Clay needs to fly to New York to search for clues? No problem his childhood friend is rich.
Maybe you have to be a designer or typographer to appreciate this book. There was a lot about fonts and designs here. I liked the idea of debating e-books vs. physical books in this really unusual setting. But it was way too much. There was so much advertising about Google and Amazon that I just could not take it. The book also got so obsessed with technical details that I trailed off. It was sometimes hard to follow because the plot got neglected. I liked the story but it got overshadowed with the things I criticised. It was a quick read and had nice ideas but for me it was nothing special. Did you like the book? If so, maybe you can share with me what you liked about it?
Roomies is a contemporary book by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. When Elizabeth from New Jersey get’s an email with the contact information of her new college roomie Lauren from San Francisco, she immediately sends her a message to get to know her. This sparks a continuous series of emails in which the two girls get to know each other. They get to know each other over the course of the summer before they meet at college for the first time.
Elizabeth and Lauren could not be more different. Elizabeth lives with her mom, who is not often home. She is an only child and wants to major in landscaping architecture. When she does not work you can find Elizabeth on the beach with her friends. Lauren has no time to go to the beach. She has five siblings and Lauren is the oldest. So she helps out a lot in the house but secretly needs some alone time really bad. Lauren can’t wait to get her own single room in college. But then there is this email from her new roommate so it seems that the single room will not work out after all. But they have at least one thing in common, they both start college in the fall and will have to leave home. It turns out leaving and growing up is not as easy. They both have a hard time leaving their families and friends. And at the worst timing imaginable, both Elizabeth and Lauren meet cute guys that are just a summer fling or maybe more?
Roomies is a classic coming of age story told in two perspectives and partly over emails. Elizabeth and Lauren soon start to over share their secrets because it is so easy to do. Just send a quick email. But the problem is, they don’t know each other and misunderstandings can be expected when communicating with one another through email. For the cuteness factor there is a little bit of romance thrown in but it felt more like friendships for me. I liked this book and at the end it got emotional. I love all the books that deal with college so Roomies was a must read for me. But I could not connect with the main characters. Lauren felt to judgmental and Elizabeth too needy. Most of their decisions felt strange for me but the book was so short that I read in very fast. It’s a classic contemporary about growing up, making new friends and prepare for college.
I love book series but there are some Stand Alones that I loved even more than most book series. If you like to read books without sequels, here are some suggestions.
This book is a combination of two stories. It follows the young author Darcy who got her first publishing deal and is moving to New York after High School to get her book published. There she dives into the publishing world and as readers we also get insight into this world. After every chapter about Darcy there is a chapter from the book she is writing. So when you read Afterworlds you can literary see the changes Darcy makes in her story and what drove her to this changes. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Scott Westerfeld achieves to write like a young girl whose writing style grows over the course of this book. If you want to know more about the publishing world you should check this one out.
This book is about Violet whose sister dies in car accident a year ago. Violets life change drastically and she can’t really cope with all these changes. When she meets Finch, she finally found someone who understands her and can help her. But Finch has big problems of his own. He suffers from depression and other mental health problems. He fights against the dark that is trying to swallow him whole but as he tries to help Violet he gets sucked in more and more in this familiar darkness. This book shows with brutal honesty that mental health problems can occur and how many people do not know what to do in this situation. Violet and Finch are alone with their problems and no one really knows what to do. But at least they can help each other. This was such a deeply emotional book, I would recommend it to everyone because it broaches the issue of mental health which is a theme that should be explored more in modern literature.
#3 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives only at night. It is a mystical circus with many secrets. In the middle of this circus stand a contest that is many years old. Who will win the contest? And what is going on behind the tents of this peculiar circus? Erin Morgenstern creates such a magical setting with The Night Circus like I have never seen before. This book is not so much about plot than about atmosphere and myths. The characters are all interesting and mysterious. You want to discover all the secrets the circus bears but that only goes very slowly. At the end everything unravels and gets together so beautifully. Finally everything is clear and makes sense. But until the end, enjoy the ride and keep your eyes and ears open to glimpse some clues of this magical journey.
Ready Player One is set in 2044 and the world is an ugly place. Wade Watts wants nothing more than to escape his dull existing in one of the slums of his city. He spends all his hours jacked into the OASIS, a virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to. The creator of the OASIS has set up a contest, who finds some hidden eastereggs inside the OASIS and can figure out his riddle, will inherit massive fortune and remarkable power. Wade can figure out the first riddle and soon a wild chase begins to save all the mysteries the OASIS creator has set up. This book was so much fun to read, it felt like playing a video game. It is full of 80’s reference to arcade games and movies. There will also be a movie adaptation with Steven Spielberg as director.
#1 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is easily my favourite Stand Alone. I love everything from Rainbow Rowell but this is my favourite book of hers. Fangirl is about Cath who is a real Fangirl. She loves the Simon Snow book series and writes fan fiction that is highly popular. The book starts with Cath and her twin sister Wren going to college. Wren wants to room without Cath and decides that she Cath should make her own life at college and not depend on her twin sister anymore. But Cath is a really shy and introverted girl who does not acclimate easily to her new surroundings. She soon meets a guy, Levi who seems to be too good to be true. So Cath struggles with being away from home, studying for her classes and probably falling in love with a really cute guy. This synopsis may seem shallow but it is the complete opposite. Surely everyone has anxieties and is not always comfortable in new situations. This book explores these insecurities and really hit home for me. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is vivid and wonderful that you will not want to put this book down.
“When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.” Goodreads
The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken is a dystopian fiction book series about kids who are the only survivors of a deadly plaque and have now developed dangerous abilities. The gouvernment of the US has no idea how to deal with them so he puts them into so called rehabilitation camps where the kids get tortured and killed.
The Darkest Minds
Ruby is now 16 and since she is 10 she lives at Thurmond, a camp for teens who developed abilities. Ruby is a green which means she is highly intelligent. Or so it seems. One day she collapses and wakes up in the hospital wing where a doctor helps her escape. Turns out Ruby is not a green but an orange. She can manipulate people’s minds and is highly dangerous. She gets rescued be the Children’s League who want to use her in their fight against the government. But Ruby has a bad feeling and after discovering something horrible she flees from the League and finds three kids in a van. Liam, Chuck and Zu help Ruby and now they are on the run together. They are searching for East River, a safe location for kids like them. On the way their Liam and Ruby get closer and fall in love.
This was an action packed first book and I loved the characters. The best scenes where definitely the ones with the four kids together in the van. I also liked the setup of the story and I was really invested in getting to know more about the disease and the abilities. For me this was a great and fast read and even if there is not that much world building it was enough for a first book. The end was a little bit cliché because how often have we seen the heroine sacrificing herself to safe the others. But asides from that this seemed like a series I could really love. Turns out I was wrong.
Never Fade picks up where The Darkest Minds left off. Ruby is now with the League and tries to find Liam because he ha curtail information for overthrowing the government. Even if there is action in this book it was boring and long for me. There were so many new characters that I didn’t care about and it was clear that this one character would die. The writing was not my thing. I thought it was all over the place and it was hard to understand the more chaotic scenes. Not because they were so complex but because there was so much description, too much because I zoned out often. The writing was also chaotic and confusing at times. But I was still kind of invested in the story and liked Ruby and Liam. So I just hoped the third book will be better and the ending will be a fulminate finale. I was so wrong.
In the Afterlight
This novel was so long and the ending was still too quickly warped up. How can this happen with an over 500 page book? After Never Fade I hoped I was just in a bad mood when I read it but this book was so boring. There are chapters that only describe the rooms where the kids are living and who is on what duty. Who cares? I want to know how it all ends. Finally after hundreds of pages they get to recue Ruby’s camp and that were some great scenes. I loved that Clancy was back and that he screwed them over again. But asides from that the book was boring. I wanted to see what will happen after the rescue. There is a press conference that got my hopes up. There they discussing the future of the kids with powers but nothing get resolved. I get that the government will be reluctant to open the camps but why not stand up for yourselves? Instead they are going on a road trip together? I get why they are doing it but there are so many things not resolved in this novel. It would have been so much better if there were less description and less fighting between Liam and Ruby and instead Alexandra Bracken showed us what her vision for this new America would be. But she takes the easy way out and shows us only that there will be negotiations between the kids and the government. I’m sorry but this is just not enough.
April is over and I did read quite a few books this month. There are also two books in this warp up that I read in the end of March but I didn’t include in my March wrap up. I did not watch many movies because there was not much I was interested in April. But I watched Fast & Furious 7 twice. I also started my new job in April who meant that I needed time to adjust and did not read as much this month.
Fast & Furious 7 – This was a great popcorn flick and highly entertaining. It was so much fun. 8 of 10 points
Avengers: Age of Ultron – I’m not the biggest fan of comic adaptations. So I had a hard time with this movie. It was way too long and there were just too many robots. 6 of 10 points
Ex Machina – This was a suprise for me because it was really good. The action was solid and the set design was amazing. Defenitly going to watch this one again. 7.5 os 10 points
Big Eyes – This biopic was not the kind of movie I enjoy. It was flat and barley scraped the surface of the themes. 4 of 10 points
Movies I want to see in March:
- Pitch Perfect 2
- The Longest Ride (Kein Ort ohne dich)
- Tomorrowland ( A World Beyond)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling – I re-read this book as part of the #HPreadalong2015 . This is my favourite book in the series and I loved to revisit it. It was, like always an amazing read. 5 of 5 stars
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – This was my first Jandy Nelson book and it was great. It is about grieve and losing loved ones so it was emotional. I listened to it on audio book so maybe this is why it did not totally overwhelm me but is was a good book nevertheless. 4 of 5 stars
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey – After reading The 5th Wave in 2014 I finally got to the sequel. Unfortunately it was not good. I did not like the 5th Wave that much but I wanted to see where the story will go from there. Maybe the next book will be better. 2 of 5 stars
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I love this series and I loved this book. It was magical, fantastical and full of metaphors. It was such a great read and I will push this series on all my friends. 5 of 5 stars
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I really wanted to like this book but unfortunately it was not for me. The story did not interest me and it felt more like a dystopian YA novel with some paranormal elements. So not my favourite genre. 2 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill – I really enjoyed this graphic novel. They story is mysterious, imaginative and creepy. I also love the setting with key house. I’m not a big fan about the art but other than that I think this will be a great graphic novel series. 4 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill – I liked this one even more than the first one. I think this series will be highly addictive. I loved that this novel concentrated more on past events and on the keys. 4 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill – It’s getting serious! There was a lot of action in this volume and I loved it. The keys are so interesting and I want to know what happened back in the 80’s. 4 of 5 stars
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – This was a cute story and I feel like summer is already here. I really liked the story and the characters. I loved that there was no insta love and that there was not too much drama. I will definitely read more of Morgan Matson. 4 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill – This was my least favourite one of the series so far. It was too crammed with keys and information. I couldn’t really appreciate all the keys. But besides that I loved this volume because it is such an amazing story. 4 of 5 stars
Scarlett by Marissa Meyer – I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one. I loved the world building and the focus on Cinder in the first book. She is a great character. Here there was not much world building but there was at least Cinder. But now her story was a little bit boring. I don’t care for Thorne and Scarlett. I like Wolf but that was it. 3.5 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill – This graphic novel is all about the past and I loved it. We finally get some answers. These novels are just so amazing. 5 of 5 stars
Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill – I love this graphic novel series so much, these are amazing. I’m impressed especially after finishing the last one. I even cried at the. It is emotional and full of suspense. 5 of 5 stars
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – It is a cute Love story not only between a girl and a boy but also between a girl and a city. It deals with friends, family and growing up. I really liked the characters and the setting of this book. Sometimes I didn’t feel the love between the main characters but besides that this book was a great read. 4 of 5 stars
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan – This collection of short stories was interesting to read. I got emotional because of the back-story but some of these stories were really good. Unfortunately not all of them were and it is quite obvious that the writer was young. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading it. 3.5 of 5 stars
The Statistical Probability of Love at first Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – This was a cute teenage love story. It was a quick read but nothing special. It’s a good book for readathons. 3 of 5 stars
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang – This book is really difficult to review. The writing is beautiful and I loved the non-linear storytelling. I soon figured out who the narrator was so this was no surprise for me. My biggest problem was that I could not connect with any characters. That’s probably because of this unusual narrator. 3 of 5 stars
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephenie Perkins – I really liked this book. It was as cute as Anna and the French Kiss even without Paris and I loved that Anna and St.Claire got to show up in this book too. 4 of 5 stars
I also started reading The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson but I put it down for now because I was not in the mood for this rather low book. I also started listening to the audio book Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews but for now I stopped listening to it because it is really weird but I will continue on with both books sometime in the future. I’m currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
Reading Challenge 2015
I read The Opposite of Loneliness which is a collection of short stories so this reading goal is completed:
- Read a book that is not a novel
So I have only this one Reading Challenge left to complete in 2015:
- Read a classic novel
My TBR for May:
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
- A Courte of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
- Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Because of some major Amazon sales I broke my book buying ban a bought some books but not to many. I also had one book pre-ordered for April.
I bought The Wizard of Oz by and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern in hardcover (unfortunately I forgot to add these two to the pile of books in the photo)
I ordered The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and Scarlett and Cress by Marissa Meyer. I also ordered Plague by Michael Grant. Now I only need to get my hands on Hunger and then I will have all the books in the Gone series.
Also I am a week person and I think my book buying ban is over even if it is only April. I can’t stop buying books. I bought Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy next Door by Stephenie Perkins because they were really cheap.
I also pre-ordered The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas which is also not in the picture because I could not find it at the moment.
I also bought all six Volumes of Locke and Key by Joe Hill and I already read all of them and they were amazing.
Then I went to Prague and I found a cute little book shop and bought the Czech edition of the first Harry Potter book, I also bought Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriatry and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.
So from the 11 books I bought over the course of April and in the Beginning of May I already read 6 and I read all of the six graphic novels I bought. My TBR is up to 18 and I hope to read at least 5 books in May.
Beautiful Disaster is a book that is somewhere between the Young Adult and New Adult genre. It is written by Jamie McGuire and there are a bunch of companion novels and novellas with the same characters as Beautiful Disaster. It is about Abby who is your typical good girl. She tries to stay clear of trouble. But somehow trouble has a way of finding her. This time it is Travis, the college man-whore and he seems to have developed a special interest for Abby. She is having none of it but how long can she resist his charm? The both agree to participate in a bet. If Abby wins Travis has to remain celibate for one month. If Travis wins Abby has to live in his apartment for a month. And you surely can guess how this bet is going to end?
His book was a rollercoaster ride but not in a good way. The writing was confusing and all over the place. Sometimes it felt like a drunken person had written it, especially with scenes where a lot is happening. It reminded me so much of Colleen Hoover and you know I’m not her biggest fan. Thank god it was not as bad as Colleen Hoover’s books but close enough. I really liked the beginning. The first 100 pages were great but then everything turned bad. The character development was completely out of nowhere and was not relatable at all. As the book progressed I started to resent Abby because she acts like a spoiled brat. And Travis was no better, he needs therapy ASAP. He is obviously mental unstable. The two of them combined where a disaster but not a beautiful one. Their relationship was unhealthy and abusive on both sides. And the whole mystery of Abby’s past was just so ridicules. What reminded me so much of Colleen Hoover’s books were the dramatic events at the end of the book that came completely out of the blue and did nothing to the story than create cliffhangers.
Beautiful Disaster is maybe a love story but a dangerous one. It seems like a conservative college student turn all her dreams about taming the bad boy into a book and that’s that. If you think the relationship of Abby and Travis is something you want, you are wrong (or masochistic). The author clearly never had a relationship that is so obsessive and co-dependent, because than she would know who toxic such a relationship really is and that it is not love but pure obsession. Girls, don’t set your romantic goals in this direction. Also Travis misogynistic opinions are disgusting and should not be in a book that is directed at girls and woman. This is not something you glorify and I think it sends an extremely dangerous message to young readers.
The Mortal Instruments is one of my favourite fantasy book series. I has sassy characters, great and detailed world building and an amazing story. Okay the story is maybe not the best story ever but I still enyoed it and the books came together so beautifuly in the end that I just had to love this series. It has also one of the best last books in a series I have ever read. So keep in mind that I really like all six book in this series but I did like some more than others.
# 6 City of Fallen Angels
This was my least favourite book in the series. It felt like nothing much happened and it was just a bridge between the third and the forth book. I liked that the book was more focused on other characters, besides Clary but this book was just a little bit too slow.
# 5 City of Lost Souls
This book was also not the best in the series. This was probably due to the big finale that was the last book. City of Lost Souls sets up the plot for the final book in the series. I did like that it was quiter and not completly full with action. We got some cute moments with Clary and Jace but you know it is too good to be true.
# 4 City of Ashes
The second book in the series was way darker than the first book. I really enjoyed it except for the storyline of Clary and Jace being siblings. That was just stupid and clearly nobody was fooled. It did not get resolved in this book so I was a little anyoed because I did not think Cassandra Clare would drag out this plotline for so long.
# 3 City of Bones
The first book in the series was good but not the greatest. There was a lot of exposition and world building which I loved. Of course there was also a lot of action. Right in the beginning it starts out with very fast pacing. I must say the pacing of all the books is exceptional and you are never bored. But this first book was just the beginning of the story. So much is yet to come.
# 2 City of Glass
This should originaly be the last book in the series but fortunatly Cassandra Clare decided to continue the series and write six books instead of three. For me, City of Glass was a great finale for the first books. We finally get to see Alicante and get more insight into the world of the Shadowhunters. As you know I love good world building and great dialog and Cassandra Clare is the queen of both. She made this really clear in City of Glass and her last book in this series.
# 1 City of Heavenly Fire
The sixth book in the series was amazing. So much more amazing than all the other books combined. I loved every second of it. It was full funny, sassy and action-packed. Everything tied together so well and nothing was left unresolved. The ending was highly emotional and not at all what I expected. There were so many twist in the story and I could not stop reading. City of Heavenly Fire is an epic ending to a great fantasy series.
English version below
Tim Burton führt Regie bei diesem biografischen Film über die Malerin Margarte Keane, gespielt von Amy Adams. Keanes Bilder wurden von ihrem Mann Walter Keane, dargestellt von Christoph Waltz, fälschlich als seine eigenen verkauft. Dieser Film erinnert wenig an Tim Burtons frühere Werke. Dieses Mal ist kein Johnny Depp oder keine Helena Bonham Carter zu sehen. Aber das bedeutet nicht, dass der Film automatisch besser oder schlechter als Burtons andere Filme ist. Leider fand ich den Film ganz und gar nicht ansprechend.
Big Eyes ist vor allem im Ton und der Struktur extreme unterschiedlich zu klassischen Tim Burton Filmen. Der Film des Films ist wunderschön voller kraftvollen, lebhaften Farben. Amy Adams Leistung war feinsinnig und perfekt für die Rolle als unterdrückte Margaret Keane. Aber leider war da auch noch Christoph Waltz der seine Rolle komplett überzieht und unglaublich übertreibt. Seine Schauspielerei ist in diesem Film so wahnsinnig, dass er mehr wie eine Comicfigur wirkt. Gerade im Kontrast zu Amy Adams subtilerer Performance wirkt Waltz als würde er in einem anderen Film mitspielen als Adams. Sein überzogenes gehabe lässt Adams nicht gerade gut dastehen. Für mich war Waltz ewig gleiche Darstellung des Fiesling hier einfach zu lästig und geradezu schmerzlich mit anzusehen. Egal ob es Burtons Idee von Walter Keane war oder Waltz eigene Vorstellung, wie die Rolle gespielt werden sollte, es war schrecklich.
Ich hatte außerdem Probleme damit, dass der Film den Charakter von Margaret Keane, wie auch ihre Situation nur gering erforscht. Big Eyes gibt Keane keine Art von Kotext für die Probleme der Frauen in den 9050er Jahren wie auch der Frauen in der Kunst. Mit einem Satz ist das Ganze im Film abgetan und weiteres wird auf das Thema nicht eingegangen. Außerdem glaube ich nicht, dass Keanes Motivation klar dargestellt wurde. Für mich ist es einleuchtend dass Keane Hilfe braucht, da sie alleine als geschiedene Frau mit einer Tochter und ohne Job nicht um die Runden kommen wird. Walter Keane ist ein Ausweg für sie, doch gerade diese problematische Situation wurde nur am Rande gestreift. Aus einer tragischen und gewalttätigen Ehe wurde eine Komödie, die vor allem gegen Schluss immer absurder wird.
Big Eyes is a biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. It stars Amy Adams as Margaret Keane and Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane. The movie focuses on American artist Margaret Keane whose paintings were fraudulently claimed by her husband Walter Keane. It also shows their heated divorce and trail about the paintings. This is one of the few Tim Burton movies that are not fantastical and do not feature Johnny Depp ore Helena Bonham Carter. But this does not mean it is better than Burton’s previous work. Unfortunately I did not like this movie at all.
This movie is in tone and structure not what we are used to from Tim Burton. It is very different from his previous work. It is shot beautifully, colourful and vibrant. Amy Adams performance was subtle and perfect for her role as the suppressed Margaret Keane. But then there is Christoph Waltz who overacts a lot in this movie. He plays the evil villain of the story, this is what Waltz is known for. But this performance was so over the top that it felt like watching a cartoon character. Also it was such a contrast to Adams subtle performance that it felt like the two of them were in different movies. It was enough and I wished he would have toned his role down a notch because this was painful to watch. Waltz acting even made Adams look bad. At the end of the movie Waltz was just too annoying. I don’t know if this was Tim Burton’s tale on Walter Keane or if it was Waltz idea of acting this role but it was terrible.
What I also had issues with was the fact that the movie did not explore Amy Adams character and her situation as much as I wanted it to. Movie does not contextualize the problem of woman in the arts in the time period of the 1950’s. This issue just gets one line in the movie and then everyone is done with it. We don’t get real insight in Margarte Keane’s motivations and thoughts. I get that she needed a husband because living alone with her daughter without a job turned out to be impossible by her. But I think this is an angel the movie should have explored more deeply. Instead it just scratches the surface and wants to be a comedic take on a very tragic relationship that ends in abuse. So this was not a movie for me and unfortunately, even if I love most of Tim Burton’s films I did not enjoy Big Eyes at all.
„The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called „Le Cirque des Reves,“ and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway–a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.“
I had to borrow this synopsis from Goodreads because I think I could not do this book justice. It is so magical and unique that I feel it is not my place to write a synopsis. This was just one of this books that stays with you for a long time. It is haunting and beautifully written. I could not put it down. Well exactly I could not stop listening because I listened to the audio book and it was amazing. This is a book about a magical circus with all kinds of unthinkable surprises. This mysterious circus bears a lot of secrets and the real story unwraps slowly. Only at the end of the book is clear what really happened. Every time I thought I knew what was going on Erin Morgenstern twisted her story even more and the whole plot changed. We meet a lot of characters, all connected somehow with this peculiar circus. All the little stories were woven so well into each other that a pure magical ambient was created. This book is not so much about characters or plot. It is about the circus and we are the audience.
This book is a slow read and you need to take your time with it. If you are in a reading slump or want to finish a book soon, do not pick this one up. You will not like it. But if you want to emerge yourself in this magical world of the late 18000’s you have to give it a go. It was wonderfully creepy and I enjoyed every second of it. But I also had some minor problems. At times the book gets really confusing and there are some time jumps that were not necessary all the time. There were a lot of details and sometimes I felt like there were too many detailed descriptions. And there is not a lot of plot but somehow this was no problem. Unfortunately I was not attached to the characters because there were so many and with some the book only scratches on the surface. But I think The Night Circus is the kind of book that you can read over and over again and always find something new and amazing about the book. This is a book for everyone who loves a weird and completely unique kind of book that gives you an amazing reading experience and throws you into a foreign and magical world.