Customer Reviews for

That Time I Joined the Circus

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A circus book?!  Yay!!  As children, my brothers and I LOVED the

A circus book?!  Yay!!  As children, my brothers and I LOVED the circus!!  Except for my extreme fear of clowns (which extends to everything in costume, not just clowns... FYI), going to the circus was something we always looked forward to.  (As long as those creepy clo...
A circus book?!  Yay!!  As children, my brothers and I LOVED the circus!!  Except for my extreme fear of clowns (which extends to everything in costume, not just clowns... FYI), going to the circus was something we always looked forward to.  (As long as those creepy clowns kept their distance!!)  Between the animals and the outright crazy performances (how do they DO some of that stuff?!) it was extreme entertainment, no matter what age.




Our main character, Lexi, the senior who would rather blend into the walls at school than stand out, has two friends... Eli and Bailey.  She is more than frustrated when Bailey and Eli start dating, turning her into the third wheel.  After a HUGE mistake and an unseen tragic event, she's left completely lost, emotionally and physically.  She finds herself in dire straits and ventures off to parts unknown in hopes of finding her mother, who left her when she was very young.  She ends up at a circus where her mother used to perform and decides to ask for a job to give her a place to stay while she searches for answers to her questions about her mother.  




The story flip-flops between past and present.  This really helps to paint a full picture of Lexi's quest to find herself, and the events that led up to where she is currently.  Each chapter also has lyrics to a song, with the band name and song title, which I really enjoyed.  A few of the bands/singers were new to me, so I actually googled the songs.  I loved that addition to the story!




That Time I Joined the Circus is sure to entertain.  It has a mixture of circus fun, romance, love and loss.  This is different than what I thought it was going to be like, but I was definitely satisfied with this novel.

posted by Lost_in_Literature on March 29, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I¿ve really been looking forward to this read. The moment I saw

I’ve really been looking forward to this read. The moment I saw the novel’s title on Goodreads I knew that it would be a story that I would really enjoy. That Time I Joined the Circus by author J.J. Howard was a fun and quick read that I won’t soon forget. Seriously it ...
I’ve really been looking forward to this read. The moment I saw the novel’s title on Goodreads I knew that it would be a story that I would really enjoy. That Time I Joined the Circus by author J.J. Howard was a fun and quick read that I won’t soon forget. Seriously it had it all. I laughed, I cried, I got angry and best of all I got to experience what it would be like to join the circus (even though it’s a bit more of a carnival). Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to perform in the circus? Just me? Well anyways, to the review!

               That Time I Joined the Circus is a novel that takes place right after the death of main character Lexi’s (/Xandra/Alex/Lex/*insert name here*) father. In her dad’s will he gave everything to her runaway mother and Lexi is left with nothing. She doesn’t have a place to live. Her two best friends hate her. Then Lexi learns her mother’s location: A circus. Aware that this is the only place that Lexi can go to and survive Lexi heads off on a trip into the unknown.

               By the time that Lexi reaches the circus she learns a dark truth: Her mother isn’t at the circus anymore. Lexi ends up with a job at the circus and finds herself making friends with the two trapeze performers Lina and Liska. Lexi soon finds friends and family at the circus. Then she awkwardly meets the tall, dark, handsome and ill-tempered Nick. It doesn’t take long for Lexi and Nick to realize that there’s something between the two of them and Nick begins to play a crucial role in her mission to find her mother. But is it worth it? And can Lexi really live with knowing the truth about her parents or the reason why her mother ran away in the first place?

               I really loved the way that this novel was written. It was lighthearted but when there were serious and emotional scenes I got feels, not to mention how addictive the plot was. There would be moments that I would be reading and want to put the story away and do other things but I would come to a chapter’s conclusion and have to continue reading. That Time I Joined the Circus is also a novel that I found very unique. I’ve never read a novel that takes place at a circus and I haven’t read any novels where the main character ends up becoming a fortune teller (*le gasp*). Definitely a good read for people who want a very original novel and are fans of the circus (because duh!).

               Lexi is a music snob. She also makes playlists in her head and is constantly listening to music. Because of that it shouldn’t be a surprise that every chapter opens up with a fun title (some of which had me smirking) and also a song and excerpt of lyrics. Now there were a few songs that I had heard before and had to nod my head at in recognition while there were others that I hadn’t heard before but after seeing lyrics for had to listen to get and get put onto my ITunes. This all definitely made me love the novel all the more.

               My only complaint about the novel would be the romance. Lexi ends up “romantically involved” with three characters in the novel. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling that if a boy kisses you and then you start to ignore him he’s gonna be both hurt and still chasing you. Just a thought that I had. But when Lexi does finally end up with Nick and everything is going good another character shows up and just about ruins the romance that I was falling in love with! I can live with that, but every relationship that Lexi entered lacked a sense of finality and I have to say that it took away from the story for me.

               I’d recommend That Time I Joined the Circus to readers that are looking for a fun new read and for readers that want a quick read that you’ll come to enjoy a ton.

posted by chapterxchapter on May 18, 2013

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    A circus book?!  Yay!!  As children, my brothers and I LOVED the

    A circus book?!  Yay!!  As children, my brothers and I LOVED the circus!!  Except for my extreme fear of clowns (which extends to everything in costume, not just clowns... FYI), going to the circus was something we always looked forward to.  (As long as those creepy clowns kept their distance!!)  Between the animals and the outright crazy performances (how do they DO some of that stuff?!) it was extreme entertainment, no matter what age.




    Our main character, Lexi, the senior who would rather blend into the walls at school than stand out, has two friends... Eli and Bailey.  She is more than frustrated when Bailey and Eli start dating, turning her into the third wheel.  After a HUGE mistake and an unseen tragic event, she's left completely lost, emotionally and physically.  She finds herself in dire straits and ventures off to parts unknown in hopes of finding her mother, who left her when she was very young.  She ends up at a circus where her mother used to perform and decides to ask for a job to give her a place to stay while she searches for answers to her questions about her mother.  




    The story flip-flops between past and present.  This really helps to paint a full picture of Lexi's quest to find herself, and the events that led up to where she is currently.  Each chapter also has lyrics to a song, with the band name and song title, which I really enjoyed.  A few of the bands/singers were new to me, so I actually googled the songs.  I loved that addition to the story!




    That Time I Joined the Circus is sure to entertain.  It has a mixture of circus fun, romance, love and loss.  This is different than what I thought it was going to be like, but I was definitely satisfied with this novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** That Time I Joi

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard
    Publisher: Point
    Publication Date: April 1, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from NetGalley

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

    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.


    What I Liked:

    I enjoyed this book! It was very short (well, shorter than what I am used to), but I think the story itself was excellent. I haven't read a ton of books dealing with circuses (I haven't read any?), so this was new to me. The characters, the plot, and the setting was pretty well constructed! Especially the setting - I loved how the author made the setting an integral part of the book.

    Lexi is an awesome protagonist to follow. The book flips between what happened before she goes off to find her mother, and what happens as she goes to find her mother. I like Lexi's way of thinking, and her attitude towards achieving her goals (mainly, finding her mother). I also loved how Lexi was so invested in music! The author knows her music well, because Lexi had a vast knowledge of music! It was an interesting aspect of the heroine that made her all the more real and likable.

    There are many, many characters in this book, as is expected, as the majority of the book takes place in a circus! I loved how the author characterized each character differently and clearly. I really liked Nick the most. Nick is one of the love interests in the book (yes, there is a love triangle). He's also fantastic. I love the scene where Lexi and Nick meet. What a way to meet a guy!

    The story itself was great! Lexi went to find her mother, but instead, she found a circus. She wanted to escape from her best friend Eli and his girlfriend, Bailey, and she did just that. She even met a guy! But I won't tell you how everything wrapped up.

    Speaking of the ending... I cannot decide if I liked it or hated it. Seriously. It was good, but then, I was expecting something else to happen. I was disappointed when that thing did not happen. I am okay with the ending, but I did not see it coming. Again, for most people, that's either a really good thing, or a really bad thing. That is the source of so many good or bad reviews on Goodreads.

    There is a love triangle. And I am oh so let down by it. I like one party more than the other, but by the end, I sort of liked both parties (still liked that one more than the other). In the end, I was disappointed by one guy, and slightly mad at the other guy. But you decide!


    What I Did Not Like:

    The love triangle, like I mentioned above. I did not like the presence of the love triangle, and I did not like how the love triangle was resolved. I am trying to tell myself that everything was more realistic that way, but I still cannot decide if I really liked the ending or not. I think I do. Eh.

    I did not have too many problems with this book. I enjoyed it while I read it, but I probably will not read it again. It is definitely worth the read though!


    Would I Recommend It:

    Yes, sort of. It is a fun, quick read that I liked, but if you skip it, you are not missing the next big thing. I liked this book, but I would go shouting to the masses that they must read it.


    Rating:

    4 stars. This is a great coming-of-age story! If you have the book or ebook, it is highly worth the read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2013

    So, who doesn¿t think about running away and joining the circus?

    So, who doesn’t think about running away and joining the circus?




    Lexi joins the circus after her father dies.  She ends up in Florida looking for her mother. You can’t help but feel your heart breaking for her.  She has lost her best friends and her dad and has no idea where her mom is. So she ends up in Florida working on a circus.  And there, she finds a different kind of family.  And, there she starts to heal.




    As for the circus characters… I wanted to join this circus! You meet the whole cast of this small circus.  I will say it sparks slightly of being a little unrealistic.  We are told that many of them can take a while to warm up, but the next thing we know, Lexi is moving in and becoming part of the family, literally. But on the same token, they seem to be just what she needs to heal.




    Oh, and the romance! All I’m going to say is that I was totally not cheering for the guy that she ended up with, but, I didn’t write the story, so, I don’t get to call that one.




    Overall, I really enjoyed the story.  I was a bit quirky in places but fun. And seriously, it makes me want to runaway and join the circus… at least for a little while!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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