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Bibliophilic Monologues

That Time I Joined the Circus

That Time I Joined the Circus - J.J. Howard This book, oh this book. It starts off rather nicely. It certainly is very readable and the protagonist, Lexi, is initially rather relatable and more importantly, easy to empathize with. Her life falls apart completely and she has no choice but to hare across the country (ish?) to find her mother who, according to her sources, is working at a circus. Only the circus comes along without her mother in it.The trouble I had with this book is the lack of realism in the characters and the events occurring and the decidedly Mary Sue-ishness of the protagonist. I am totally cynical so I did not believe that Louie, the owner of the circus, accepts Lexi into the circus out of the goodness of his heart. Just like that. I do not believe that he would concern himself with the details of what she’s doing as long as she was doing something. I do not believe that Lexi would remain unscathed living with men in a small trailer as she does and that she has no problem abandoning a fellow girl to her fate when Louie’s daughter suddenly asks her to move in. I don’t believe anyone would be so nice as to share to limited space with a sudden friend.Also, Lexi had the potential to be a substantial character but because things happen for her so smoothly, she just never develops into anything. At all. And apparently she’s irresistible to boys because there’s the best friend she fooled around with in New York, the ride attendant dude at the circus and this seemingly divine creature called Nick who, for reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend, falls for Lexi but out of the goodness of his heart and very noble attentions, decides to back off and let Lexi go free…yeah, I don’t get it. It’s like something out of the 18th century. And they barely knew each other, Nick and Lexi, and she’s hurting and so in love with Nick and I’m throwing up in my mouth, yeah.I thought this would be a mother/daughter book. I was wrong. The mother does appear for all of 45 seconds because Nick being handsome, rich and noble, finds her for Lexi (out of the goodness of his heart, remember that, the man has a heart of premium gold) and somehow, Lexi’s dad turns into a bad guy DESPITE the fact that the mother CHEATED on him. And he’s the bad guy. Why yes, I barfed again a bit.The problem with this book was that nothing seemed organic. Things didn’t happen as a matter of course, naturally due to the narrative, no. Things seemed unnatural and cobbled together because there needed to be a plot and the author needed to get from A to be B. I get it. Writing is difficult and sometimes seems downright impossible but there’s a certain art to the craft that I found this novel to be lacking.It’s not the worst book I have read but it is one of the most ridiculous. I can’t recommend it to you guys but hey, you may like it anyway.