That Time I Joined the Circus – J. J. Howard

15843281That Time I Joined the Circus – J. J. Howard
Published April 1, 2013 by Point
Source: eGalley via Netgalley

I had such high hopes for this one and found it to be a bit of a letdown. Our main character Lexi (or X or Xandra or Alexandra or maybe something else, she has a lot of names) finds herself in search of her mother shortly after losing her father. Her journey quickly takes her from New York City to a circus that her mother was rumored to be part of. The story jumps between Lexi’s present day circus adventures and flashbacks to before her father’s death. At first the jumping around confused me a bit because there were details left out that allude to a twist that is not at all shocking.

The overall story is cute and entertaining but I got lost in some of the details. There were several situations that seemed forced (one particular kissing scene) and ultimately did not seem to aid the story at all. I wanted so much for there to be more description of the circus! I think I hoping for as much details as The Night Circus but found the explanations and details falling short of impressing me. What threw me for even more was in the Author Note she thanks someone for telling her to add more circus. I would hate to have seen what the circus was like before this comment.

There were points where I connected with Lexi and there were others where I wish I could see inside her head to know what was going on (and it’s first person POV!). She was a music and book nerd just trying to get by most days. At one point she makes a comment saying “I have more books than friends.” That is me most days and instantly liked this girl. She creates several friendships throughout the story that I felt were some of the most genuine friendships I’ve read but where the friendships were strong the crush factor lacked. I never felt myself getting excited over any of the males in this story. In my opinion we didn’t get enough about the males so I didn’t understand why Lexi liked them. If you’re not going to give me the magic of the circus at least give me some romance to get excited about! One of the “take away” messages of this book was about home being where there are people you love but I didn’t feel like Lexi was there at the end of the book because I couldn’t understand what made her like any of the guys she was crushing on.

Overall 3/5 stars. This was a quick read so I didn’t feel like I wasted my time; I just wished I either had more circus or more crushable males.