How are y’all doing? I’m busy as usual but I do start to get the hang of everything in life so hopefully things are truly looking up this time. 😛 All right, let’s cut to the chase! In case you have no idea what this book I’m sharing my thoughts with you today is about, here’s its synopsis from Goodreads:
A teenage contortionist and a young cardsharp risk danger to right a family legacy of injustice…
Nineteen-year-old contortionist Ren Putri is committed to circus, study and self-discipline – in that order. But after being rescued from a carnival fire by cardsharp Zep Deal, she’s overwhelmed by some highly disorderly thoughts. Zep has a history of trouble, and now he’s been suspected of sabotaging the circus that’s become his whole life. Ren is already coping with family, and keeping secrets of her own – but she can’t resist a mystery. Will Ren’s penchant for solving puzzles bring the case against Zep to rights, or will digging further into the bad blood between rival carnivals only put them both in danger?
Dark YA romance, with a criminal twist – Circus Hearts: Step. Right. Up.
***Actual rating: 4/5 Bravo Stars***
”Let me tell you, once you learn to win by cheating, it’s damned hard to play square.”
As the Circus Hearts series continues, Ellie brought us the incredible story told from Zep Dealer (the cardsharp) and Ren Putri (the contortionist)’s POVs. After the sabotage in Fleur’s circus, pretty much everyone in the crew suspected that Zep and his notoriously evil father were the culprits, except Ren. Even though Ren showed
tremendous slight interest in Zep’s mysterious exterior at the beginning, unlike ordinary cliché, she didn’t fall for him right away after a couple of encounters. Instead, Zep and Ren took some quality time getting to know each other, while preparing for the reopening of the circus.
It’s nearly two a.m. by the time my thoughts are properly ordered, but once I understand everything and I know what I’m doing, my brain quiets enough to let me sleep. But my dreams are in red and black, with slithering snakes and whirling cards, spades and diamonds and clubs and hearts that dissolve, tingling against my skin, falling around me like rain.
Well, it was quite adorable to see the all-so-organized Ren struggle to get a certain male out of her head throughout the book. In order to stand by Zep’s side, Ren showed a great amount of fearlessness and bravery while trying to collect evidence for Zep’s innocence regarding the sabotage. That being said, I absolutely loved those features in her character since they shaped her into a distinctive protagonist.
And that’s when I know. This boy with the crow’s-wing hair, with a history of struggle and sadness, who bests me in cards and kisses me senseless and considers my needs, and asks me about my heart’s desires…This is the boy for me. And I can hardly believe he is mine.
Frankly, Ren and Zep spent 80% of the time in this book proving that someone they knew was indeed the saboteur so undoubtedly, I was more interested in their relationship for the rest of the story. As you could tell by now, there was real chemistry between Ren and Zep and neither could they deny the sexual tension in the air. To be honest, I was super excited about their slow brewing romance because it was what I’d been waiting for since book one. Sadly, after they became VERY comfortable in each other’s company, their relationship status skyrocketed from the first base alllllllllllll the way to the fourth. AND I COULD HARDLY BRACE MYSELF FOR SUCH A HUGE PROGRESS, which let me down a bit for that the sudden rush in their love story sort of stained all the dreamy expectations I had.
Luckily, Ellie once again amazed me with her magical storytelling skill by adding some highly unexpected plot twists and putting a wonderful end to the entire Circus Hearts trilogy. Hence, I would still RECOMMEND the trilogy because of all the intriguing circus references and memorable characters. It was a true delight to read this series and I was sure it deserved much more readers. So, quit hesitating and go pick this up! In fact, you could now read the first book HERE for free before Dec. 20th! Go, go, go!
***Thanks to the lovely Ellie for kindly providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.***
Until next time,