I found That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard when hunting through the various lists of books released 4/2/13. It was actually released yesterday but who is counting? I finished this book in under two hours, it was easy reading and pretty interesting. After all, who doesn't imagine running away to the circus at some point in their life? If I weren't terrified of heights and a bit disturbed by clowns I would consider doing it myself!
Alexandra, Xandra to her friends or Lexi to her dad, is your average teenager living in New York City. She attends an expensive private school and is best friends with Eli and Bailey. Unfortunately, things don't stay normal or simple for long. When Alexandra's father is killed in a car accident she is sent to Florida to find her mom - who is supposed to be part of a traveling circus.
When Alexandra, now going by Lexi, reaches Florida she is greeted by an empty field and a ringleader who has no idea who her mother is or if she ever traveled with the circus. Faced with defeat Lexi does the only thing she can, she joins the circus. Lexi is soon taken in by the members of the circus to do odd jobs and whatever needs done. She meets a lot of characters and makes friends with both crew and performers.
This is a good story about setting out on your own and finding out who you are in the process. Alexandra was lucky to find the good people she did who took her in and made her part of their family. While not my usual YA genre it was a very well written story with just enough drama and fancy to keep the reader entertained.
I rate this book a 4.5/5, a wonderful debut novel for the YA genre.
I struggled to find recommendations for this one, mostly because its not my usual genre and I rarely read about circuses. Maybe my fabulous readers can make some suggestions.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Okay, Water for Elephants really isn't that much like That Time I Joined the Circus other than they both involve working for a circus. Water for Elephants is the adult version of running away to the circus.