A Unique Writing Style // REVIEW: The Circus by Olivia Levez

Title: The Circus
Author: Olivia Levez
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Publisher: Rock The Boat UK
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: ARC from Rock The Boat UK
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery ||  || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million 
Blurb Description: Why would a girl who has everything want to run away and never be found?
Willow has staged runaways ever since she was a little girl. She has everything a young person should want: a rich daddy, clothes, money, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. In reality, she has everything except the thing she really wants: a father who cares enough to find her.
Aged sixteen, on the eve of her father’s wedding, she ruins the bride’s dress and escapes through a window, determined never to return. Her missing mother was a circus performer, and Willow wants to follow in her footsteps. But the performers she meets don’t want her. When her last bit of money is stolen by Suze, another runaway girl she thought she could trust, Willow becomes really homeless. Then Suze comes tumbling back into her life and a desperate Willow has to decide whether to trust her all over again . . .
So begins their frightening, exhilarating odyssey though hunger, performance, desperation and dreams. Will they both survive and will Willow make it to the circus of her imagining?
Olivia Levez takes you into the very heart of a girl who wants so hard to be lost, but saves herself through a powerful friendship and the awakening of a need for home.
I try not to read reviews of a book before I begin them, especially for review copies, because having a pre-formed opinion isn’t something that helps me go into a book unbiased. Which is basically me saying I don’t read reviews before I read a book because I like the experience to be all mine.

I had a friend borrow this book before I read it, and once she was done, she very loudly projected her opinions onto me.

So, despite trying not to, I went into this book with some semblance of the story already in my head, along with thoughts about it.

I was SO SO excited when a LOVELY publicist at Rock the Boat UK contacted me asking whether I’d be interested in reading this book because YES! I ADORED Olivia Levez’s debut, The Island, as it kept me company on a fourteen hour train journey and I even had the AMAZING Olivia Levez on my blog last year. Basically, I’m a fan.

While The Circus was a GOOD BOOK, it wasn’t as good as The Island.

My thoughts:

1.       I was slightly disappointed that the actual part of Willow BEING in the Circus was so little. Rather The Circus. I hoped that I’d be surrounded with unique characters with even better circus acts, but that was not the case.
than it being about a girl that found her place among a merry band of outcasts, this was about her life after she ran away, and while that by itself was a good story, it really took away that the TITLE of this book was

2.       I liked Willow but NOT ONCE did I condone her running away from home or feel sympathetic for her. I understood that she was neglected a bit, but she lived this life of COMPLETE AND UTTER COMFORT that she really didn’t care for and threw away without a second thought. There are so many kids in the world who would be so grateful to have a fraction of what she does, but there was no appreciation for any of what she had.

3.       One of the things I REALLY LOVED was Olivia’s writing style. It’s a very free spirited style of writing, like her main character. It captured the essence of a life without a home, life in a circus and the mind of a very live in the moment teenage girl REALLY REALLY WELL.

4.       I don’t entirely know if I loved or hated Suze. I certainly understood her more than Willow, and I loved her ability to make costumes like they were magic, but there was nothing in particular that made me connect with her. I guess that she and I aren’t similar at all, and I couldn’t relate.

Do I recommend this book?

I CERTAINLY 1000% recommend getting lost in Olivia Levez’s writing style because she has a TRUE TALENT but if it came down to it, I would certainly pick The Island over The Circus. Still, this author is DEFINITELY one worth reading! 3.5 stars.  
Olivia Levez lives in Worcestershire, where she is an English teacher in a large high school. When she is not teaching, she binge writes in her caravan in West Wales.
Olivia likes hula-hooping, yoga and real ale, but not at the same time. She lives with her husband, two sons and a Jack Russell named Basil.

YA book The Island is published by Rock the Boat, Oneworld.

What are some of your favourite Circus filled books? Have you read Caraval or The Night Circus? What did you think of them?
Have you read any of Olivia Levez's books before?

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