Review: Showtime


◆ Showtime by Chloe Kayne
◆ Read February 2013
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, "The Disappearing Man," and learns just how dangerous her new life can be.

Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent.❞
I received a free copy of Showtime from the author and am ever so glad that she was so generous because I enjoyed this book immensely.

I felt a bit confused whilst reading the first chapter, clueless about who was who and what was going on. However, after a few chapters I was easily drawn into the circus world that the main character explores. The author does a great job with the descriptions of life in a circus. Not only does she describe the glamorous side of showbusiness and spotlights, we also get to take a look at the less appealing side which includes the way freaks are treated and some of the less-enjoyable jobs employees were subjected to such as mocking out the stalls and doing the laundry all day long.

Despite that, I got the impression that the author forget to put in slightly crucial bits of context. The story is set right after the First World War, yet there is no mention of that though it could have easily been incorporated. Neither is there any mention of the economic bloom or popular culture. The story lacked historical context, and that put me off slightly.

Furthermore, though very detailed, the descriptions were a bit over the top and far-sought sometimes. In my opinion the book would have been better if there was a better balance. Short sentences with little adjectives complement  long descriptions after all.

The book could use some more editing as there are definitely a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes, but apart from that I enjoyed the story and the characters - especially the minor ones -. The pace was well maintaned and easy to follow and the book truly reads like a train. I recommend this book to anybody who likes to read about circus-life or coming-of-age.

2 stars because:
✓ Great description of circus life
✓ Likeable characters
✓ Well paced
✗ Too many descriptions
✗ Misses historical context

 

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