Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Hey guys! This is Kester. I haven’t been posting and reading in a while, but I just got done with another book! Enjoy this review.
Rating: 7/10 stars
“Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen is about a college-runaway who joins the a traveling circus, the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, to escape from his sorrows after his parents died in a car crash. Jacob Jankowski, now a really old man, recollects the story of his runaway, how he met all sorts of people of different personalities, especially the soon-to-be love of his life Marlena. When all that stands in the way of their love is her husband August, a crazed and mean soul, Jacob tries to survive circus life in the Great Depression era, a time where the Circus is starting to fail like the rest of the nation.
I had such high hopes. This book didn’t fulfill all of them. I was expecting it would be very great because of the reviews, but this book wasn’t for me. I did enjoy the book for the most part. It was just some parts that made me really bring down the score. This review is hard for me to write because it took a long time for me to finish this book!
First, I have to say, I loved the plot. There were parts I was laughing and parts I wanted to cry. Especially stuff with Rosie. I felt really emotionally linked to the book! I hated it when August was torturing her, but loved it when she drank the lemonade. I also hated what happened at the end (no spoilers) to some of my favorite characters. I was like “No!”
The prologue was another good part. I loved the revelation of the climax before it happened, and how I’m supposed to ask “Who killed who?” I always thought it was going to be Marlena killing August, but I was wrong in a sense. I was really surprised (and disgusted, too.)
There were some things that weren’t realistic. The beginning: Jacob just leaves. Without any thought. I would think it would take a few days for his decision to be final, but he did it immediately. I don’t think many people do this. I know they run away, but it’s after a while before they choose to do so.
Another thing: too much lust. There was even a picture. Oh, the picture. I hated that. That was horrible.
It didn’t feel too Depression-era to me. The circus was outside of the Depression. Now the Prohibition and such were authentic, but the only mention of a depression was the hobo jungle. That was it.
And another thing: I couldn’t get some of the details at the end. I was confused at times because of the way the author revealed it. For example, I couldn’t get the trestle part at the end. I was like “What about a table?” since it wasn’t very clear (to me) what was happening.
Recommendation: Okay.




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