Author: J.J. Howard
Released: April 3013
Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.I'll admit it; it was the cover that drew me to this book. I am not a circus fan, but the lights, coloring and flying people made it look like a fantasy land and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
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.
The story starts off with a bang. It alternates time frames and you know Lexi has had some issue in the past months but you aren't exactly sure what happen - this really drives the story. You want to know why this city girl ended up in the middle of a FL field waiting on the circus.
Lexi's life with the circus started out slow and I was a little disappointed with the similarities to Water for Elephants. Lexi impressed the leader and went from one job to another as soon as he learned she was educated. But that is where the similarities end. Lexi bonds with a family of circus performers and they give her something she hasn't had in a long time - a normal family life.
Lexi finally seems to be settling into her new life - she has friends and a boyfriend. Her life was completely turned upside down in last few months, but things finally are working out for her- then bam her past shows up. And another world wind adventure begins.
I really enjoyed the titles and song lyric for each chapter. It definitely gave you a "theme" for the next part of Lexi's story. JJ Howard's vivid emotional writing draws you in, you feel like you are a spectator at the circus, watching every last detail unfold. My favorite part of the story is how nothing is how it seems. Everything seems pretty straight forward, but nothing is - it is all an intricate weave of story lines. This has been my favorite 2013 Debut so far.