{Book Review} Circus Summer by Kailin Gow

July 22, 2012 Blog Tours, Reviews 3

Pages: 270
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Age Group: YA Dystopian Fantasy
Source: ARC from author
Series: Circus of Curiosities #1
Challenge(s): Young adult reading challenge, 150+ reading challenge, ABC challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon

Summary(from Goodreads):

In post-apocalypse America, every season, the Circus of Curiosities visits the city, bringing with it the most fantastic circus acts that are beautiful, majestic, curious, and death-defying. Every season performers for these acts are chosen from the young men and women in each town, trained, and sent to perform in a live grand performance, performed literally to the death. Two performers from Sea Cliff, a beach town at the outskirts of The Center find themselves chosen to be in this Summer’s Circus Act. Both must win at any cost, but could they ignore their feelings for each other? Leela Sinclair needs to win in order to get to The Center where she can get medical help from the best physicians for her ailing mother, plague with a condition no one have heard of. For Zachary Nile, his reasons for becoming a performer at the Circus is more mysterious.  Only the ringmaster and the Circus of Curiosities owner Dex Hightower (Dr. Dex) knows what the touring Circus is really about amidst the magic and splendor.  Despite the Great War and the poverty surrounding the land except for the towns fortunate enough to be near the Center, Dr. Dex and the Circus performers all know, “The show must go on.”

Each book I have read from Kailin Gow I have enjoyed more than the last one. Circus Summer is my favorite one yet. The concept is creepy, interesting and really well developed. It’s a dystopian, I have noticed that a good amount of dystopians start out with a similar base. This book is kind of like the Hunger Games, in that there is a super corrupt government and there are teenagers competing to be named champion. But that is pretty much where the similarities stop. In Circus Summer, the teenagers actually have to choose on their own to try and join this super dangerous and creepy circus. They each have their own reasons, but no one is forced to join. I liked that. Even though I can’t imagine that I could even come up with a good enough reason to make me join after seeing so many people get injured or die from the circus.

Leela is the main character and she is a strong girl. She is also pretty inquisitive, which I loved about her. She doesn’t simply accept things at face value. Actually both of the main characters have a healthy dose of skepticism, and I don’t blame them. The world is at war with these people called “the invaders” and no one seems to know that much about them at all. Even the readers. The invaders are never really fully explained, because I think at this point in the story they are still a mystery to everyone. I am dying to find out more about them.

Zachary is her potential lover interest/fellow competitor. He is a very interesting character. I really enjoyed reading parts of the book from his point of view. I really like that about Kailin’s books. She normally splits the point of views up by chapters, which is a style that I simply love!

The world in Circus Summer is certainly not one that I would ever like to live in or even visit. There are crazy mutant animals, dangerous experiments gone bad, and little to no technology because the invaders are drawn to technology and they have somehow destroyed it all. How they accomplished this was never really developed. I would like to see some of these questions get answered in the next book.

It seemed crazy to me that the towns people would be ok with the circus after seeing all the horrific things the kids have to go through, but no one really protests it. I think the nation is so oppressive that no one really feels free enough to protest anything. There are some pretty big secrets in Circus summer and some twists and turns within its pages. It is such a great book. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I thought the pacing was great, and the series looks like it is going to be pretty darn awesome!


4.5/5 Gavels


About Kailin Gow:
Kailin Gow is the author of over 100 books, with the majority of them for young adults. Her most popular series are:  The Frost Series, PULSE Series, Desire Series, Wicked Woods, Steampunk Scarlett Novels, and more.  A full-time author, she is also a producer, having worked in radio, television, and film.  She grew up in Southern California, lived in Texas and England, and had traveled extensively around the world.

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3 Responses to “{Book Review} Circus Summer by Kailin Gow”

  1. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    I have yet to read a Gow book. I just wonder how she puts out so many books a year. I was wonderong if they were good. I guess I am just going to have to try one. This circus themed book sounds good and different and a creepy dystopian well sign me up! If you say this is your fav so far it must be good! Perhaps I will try this one!

  2. Holly Bryan

    Like Heidi, I haven’t yet read one of Gow’s books but have been interested before (and also wonder how she can be so darn prolfic – phew!). This one reminds me a lot of The Night Circus – solely by the blurb, because I haven’t had a chance to read The Night Circus yet either! – what with the circus act to the death and the love interest between the two “competitors” – have you read Night Circus, and if so do you think they’re very similar? I’m still probably interested enough to read this one, as the way you discuss it, it sounds pretty dark but very good. Thanks for always passing on such great reviews and opinions for us!!

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