Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen Wow! This was one amazing, all-encompassing ride. I really didn't know what to expect coming into it; a book about life in a circus. But my word, is it ever so much more! It's a love story, it's a life story, it's an adventure story, it's a coming of age tale. It's so real it almost breathes. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and when I was reading it nothing else seemed as important, or as real as what was going on inside it's pages.

Water for Elephants tales the tale of Jacob who is now 93 years old. He reminisces about his life, focusing on the events that led to him joining a traveling circus in his early 20's, and how it changes his life forever. I absolutely loved Jacob's narrative voice. As his older self he is likeable and you can't help but feel for him...I've never read a more compelling perspective on a senior man. And well when he's 20-something Jacob...*sigh* he's sweet and kind and innocent...he's just plain awesome. Especially when it comes to the romantic bits. He's just so realistic it makes him adorable!

Aside from all the yummy mushiness, hats off to Sara Gruen for world building and character development. While the world building bit does come from history for the most part, I really do felt like I've spent three and a half months aboard a train traveling with these people from one city to the next. And that is no small feat. And as for the characters, well they're more alive than most of the people you meet will ever be! They are all encompassing, that's the only way to put it. This story really surprised and touched me. It's bittersweet and real and honest. It also certainly didn't hurt to get to picture Robert Pattinson as the main protagonist! *swoon*