My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Date Published: September 20th 2012
Length: 346 pages
The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, "The Disappearing Man," and learns just how dangerous her new life can be.
Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent.
Date Read: December 27, 2012
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Upon reading the summary of the book, interest immediately sparked in my brain. A teenage girl entangled in an eerie circus mystery and drama sounded like a page-turner, which I always like. And I am very thankful that the author provided me an ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Showtime was a very descriptive book, which is great because it was able to give a vivid picture of what Marvelle Circus was like. Every detail of the scenery, of the set and of the performance was clearly depicted. It was as if you were watching the performance yourself. However, there were times that the lengthy descriptions weren't as pleasing as they ought to be. (Sorry, sometimes I just get tired with extremely long descriptions.)
The element of mystery was nicely built-up but didn't work for me as well as I thought it would be at first. Maybe because halfway through the book, it was still hard to tell which direction the plot is really going. It was confusing at times, whether the story was mainly about running away from her family, or the missing girl, or the mysterious guy, or the feature performance of the circus itself. I cannot figure it out. But in the end, the pieces were fitted together wonderfully. It wasn't predictable, and it will keep you guessing. But mostly, it will keep you in the dark and not reveal anything major.
The last few chapters to the end was beautiful and intense at the same time. Polarity was majestically showed through beautifully written words. The grandeur of the show was vividly showed. And the mystery and thrill heightened at the end. The book was wrapped up nicely leaving any reader, though a bit alarmed by the revelations, still satisfied.
The characters were well-developed too, each one different from another. My concern, character-wise, is Laila. She's very observant, but it would have been better if readers were able to feel her emotions, not just see what her mind thinks of. Thus, making the romance part of the book a bit bland. I do not know why, but Laila and Dex did not seem to have chemistry (from my perspective). I just didn't feel it throughout the book, except for the end. I did have doubts with their blooming relationship, but in the end it all played out well.
The downside of the book for me is that it was a bit hard get into it. I had a hard time finishing it, maybe because I wasn't anticipating anything. But all in all, it was a good book.
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