While this wasn't the emotional read I'd imagined it to be, That Time I Joined the Circus was still an amazing book that pushes Alexandra (aka Lexi aka Xandra aka X) on her road to self discovery--the kind of contemporary I love to read.
I loved the story idea. How often do we read about a character who runs and joins the circus? Almost never! But I definitely want to read more now! Seeing the circus through Lexi's eyes was wonderful and I loved reading about the circus and the life behind it!
That Time I Joined the Circus is more of a light read, though you can tell where the emotional parts were supposed to be. It's not bad, but it wasn't really what I expected! It was an adorable story that honestly made me want to squish the characters to death! It had an airy atmosphere that didn't really give me the "I'm in a hopeless situation" feeling. Where it may have been a deeply emotional book, it came as a sweet book with a happy feel.
And I think part of the reason was maybe because of the unreality of it. Lexi was completely unpopular at her old prep school, but when she stumbles into a circus filled with beautiful, talented people, she's suddenly adored. It was just super fairy tale-ish, not to mention the fact that it's rare when a ringmaster would let you work without, really, any talents. But it was perfect for the story and I honestly didn't dwell on the story!
But I definitely dwelled on the romance. It was a weird little thing. One moment Lexi was making out with Jamie, then Nick, then oh look a blast from the past. Then, still in love with one of them, one of them betrays her, she goes with one of the other guys, then the left out guy dates her friend. What? It was pretty all over the place and I maybe wanted to introduce my face to my palm, though it was rare. Because it was adorable (no matter how awkward the situation was!)
The characters were definitely detailed, though I did think a few minor characters were flat. The twins were definitely sweet characters, but I'd definitely hoped to see more of their brother so that we could sympathize with Eleski's situation. I felt a little detached from the characters, but they were often relatable a bit contradicting, but it's hard to explain!
I loved the story itself. It was seriously amazing and I really did just adore it. I would definitely recommend this to any contemporary fans!