Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


Title: Water for Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen

Pages: 335

Genre: Fiction with a dash of romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.

In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…


There is a slew of bad reviews for this book out there, but I actually quite enjoyed this read. I can see how the pace would turn a lot of people off. Maybe I’m biased because I think the circus is awesome, but come on! It was nice to get a feel for the old timey circus and a behind the scenes look from the point of view of someone who is already well into old age and struggling to not only retain his memory but also his sense of self.

August…charismatic, outgoing, big personality. Everything that is attractive in the circus and in a man so it’s no wonder Marlena would gravitate towards him, especially at a young age. Little did she know what she was getting into, but I’ll leave that for you to find out.

One of my favorite characters in the book, though not a huge part was definitely Kinko/Walter. What he lacks in stature he makes up for in character. Of course, him walking around with a pup named Queenie also sold him to me, haha.
I think the descriptions were top notch, as I said I really got a feel for the era and the landscape. I actually gave a shit about characters so that’s always a plus. 

To wrap it up, I would say at least pick it up and try to read it, you may like it or you may not. It will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then again what book is? As Shia Labeouf would say “JUST DO IT!” Nike said it first, but that is neither here nor there, lol.


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