Good Morning Girls! Today we’re going to talk about what made The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus stand out to me. *hides*
Two things. The cover… and the fact that it’s circus based. I have a HUGE bias towards circus books written by Christian authors.
I think from now on I’m going to post the summary on the back of the book with my reviews so you girls can get an idea what the book is about before you read my opinion on it. XD
Blurb or summary
About the “haunting” part.
The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus was entertaining. I’m going to start by saying this. Had I read the FULL title before clicking to partake in this review tour I probably would have fought myself and not ended up getting this book. My finger clicked apply when my eyes saw the word CIRCUS. XD
I don’t read anything with witches, wizards, magic, witchcraft, etc. The whole sha-bang. I believe that it’s none of our business as Christians to be educating ourselves on these things. And I don’t just say that. You will see books on my goodreads I have stopped because I will not read that content. What made this book different?
There was no haunting. At the end of the book they explain what the events that were a “ghost” were actually caused by. There were no scenes where anyone was being possessed, controlled or any sort of unclean spirits were being used. More on this topic later. let’s get on with the plot and oooo, characters! You know I love those!
How was the plot?
I was suuuper impressed with the way that the author balanced the historical and present day plots. THE CLIMAXES WERE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME LIKE WHAT IS MORE SATISFYING THAN THAT! As an author myself I know how much WORK goes into makeing EVERYTHING work out just perfect so that the climaxes and resolutions can be in the exact same place. It’s hard, trust me.
The detail and pace of the plots were pretty good. I personally didn’t see a need for Chandler’s autoimmune disease as a part of the plot, but it didn’t take away either, so that was just there.
And the Characters?
Chandler as a character in and of herself, was so… relatable? Like, I personally don’t have the same issues that her story spoke to me, but she was so real. And her heartache and fears, even though they were inside her head, were so real, you just wanted to give her a great big hug.
Her Peter Pan was awesome. I loved that kid, and I almost wish he had more scenes so we could metaphorically squish him.
When I met Hank for the first time, even in the dark and weird way that it was, I knew from the first word that he was going to be Chandler’s male sidekick for the whole book. He grew into something more special and respectable during the plot, and that is what a good author does with her characters.
For the historical aspect of the characters, I didn’t love Pippa. I’m sorry. I think if you read my previous reviews you’ll know I just don’t enjoy it when authors portray historical males as oppressive overbearing creatures that the girls have to find a way to escape from. Even if there were and are some men like that. Pippa’s history with the Bonaventure Circus and desire to learn more was understandable, but I would never endorse the way she goes about learning the truth. She was reckless and stupid and selfish and I didn’t like her “innocent lamb” personality with the disregard for basic survival laws. Like don’t go out in the dark to meet creepy guys that claim to be your benefactors. Just… don’t.
How do I go about Jake? He was a character. He was big and powerful and determined and… the ideal circus elephant trainer. XD Especially when he’s a romantic interest for a Circus High Up. If I’m being honest, I didn’t particularly like neither Jake nor Hank when I first met them, but I grew to appreciate each of them in their own way throughout the plot. Which again, is the sign of a good author.
About the haunting… again.
Here’s what I’m going to say about the haunting. There were characters that believed in it. There was a character that truely obsessed with ghosts and hauntings, and claimed that she could learn things from those powers. She never pushed it on anybody and she never actually used it, because Chandler didn’t want it. She was “genuinely” a nice person, but I would personally define her as mentally unstable, or simply an unproclaimed witch.
Considering it all, personally. I wouldn’t recommend The Haunting of Bonaventrue Circus to young Christian readers. If circus and historical fiction and murder mysteries are your thing, and you’re firmly grounded in the word of God, then you would need to make the decision if you would like to read this book yourself. I think, as much as I enjoyed the book and it was well written and there isn’t anything particularly wrong with it, I won’t be keeping it around for very much longer. I just don’t feel comfortable reading it again/having it available for my sisters to read.
There are several scenes where there is mention of inappropriate happenings. A character is also suggested as having a secret, unsavory side job after hours. Two characters die on-screen, which are semi-graphic. Chandler and Hank find a corpse at one point, which may startle readers. (if you’re reading a murder mystery, I assume you’ll be perfectly aware of this fact. XD)
The only other content I’ll make mention of are a couple of kisses that might make you squirm a little, nothing inappropriate, although it is before marriage. That’s all!
I give this one four stars.
Let’s talk! What is your opinion on topics like this? Do you believe it’s okay to read books that have real life ghosts, witches, wizards and witchcraft? Where is your line and who helped you decide it? Let me know in the comments or you can email me through my contact page here.
Thank you Bethany House Publishing for a free copy of this book! I did not have to write a positive review and all opinions posted here are my own!