I knew I wanted this book as soon as I saw it because CIRCUS! I absolutely love circus. And one of the best things about this book, as opposed to other circus books, was that the author really delved into the descriptions of the acts and made the practices and performances an integral part of the story rather than just using the circus as a backdrop.
Not only that, the descriptions of the wire walking and trapeze—not even of what skills the performers did but rather of how they carried themselves and what was going through their minds—were so beautifully written and somehow felt both real and surreal all at once, which was just kind of perfect.
The way he moved was enough, so easy that everyone watching believed gravity had given up on trying to keep him tethered to earth. He simply walked on air.
I also appreciated the descriptions of Jules’s costumes because they sounded gorgeous and because getting into costume is just as much a part of performing as the rest. And I couldn’t help but smile at the part about her getting ready in the “nondescript women’s restroom” because anyone who’s ever been a performer of any kind—circus, gymnastics, drama, dance, etc.—can relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that, and I love that it was mentioned because it’s always struck me as an interesting part of the experience, that contrast of getting all decked out in makeup and glitter and hairspray… in such a plain, forgettable, random public restroom, but I digress.
As for the characters, Jules was a great protagonist, especially for a YA book, because she was relatable and a great role model. She worked hard to achieve her dreams and was mature, intelligent, and confident. But she was only 16, so she wasn’t perfect, she sometimes got distracted by boys, she didn’t always have the answers, and she sometimes acted on impulse. But in the end she always learned from her mistakes. And then there was Remy, who managed to charm me the same way he did Jule’s with his good looks, witty banter, hard work, and sincerity. Even the side characters were well-developed with their own lives and story arcs. Plus the relationship between Jules and Remy was a supportive, healthy one.
The plot was also interesting, with bits of magic trickled throughout. I was so glad the mystery was never forced like it is in some books (I can’t stand it when characters are vague for no reason).
Ok I’m about to wrap this up because it’s getting kind of long, but I simply can’t resist sharing one more amazing quote…
Remy stilled. It was impossible not to notice when he went motionless, because he was usually so filled with energy. He was rarely truly still. Some part of him was always swinging through the air at high speed, even when he was sitting next to me.
So overall, this was a wonderful book with beautiful writing about circus, love, and magic, and really, I can’t think of a more perfect combination!
Anyone who likes circus, love, and magic! Also anyone who wants a YA book with a great female lead and a healthy relationship.
A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!
Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.
Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.
As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.
Book Author: Gwenda Bond
Series: Girl on a Wire
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Retelling, Romeo & Juliet Retelling, Young Adult
My Rating: 4
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series, Standalone within a Series