I really enjoyed this book. I mean, circuses, mystery, family rivalry, forbidden romance? It's all there!
Essentially it's a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet (and not that subtle; the MC is Julieta and the love interest is Romeo) in a circus. But it's more than that because the source of the family rivalry is something of a mystery.
I loved the circus setting, especially that it's a modern day circus yet is so deeply rooted in its traditions that each night's performance could be from 100 years ago or more. That people in this environment still believe and trust in magic is completely believable.
Jules is a likable protagonist. She's ambitious and headstrong, but not uncaring. Her relationship with Remy unfolds in a realistic and satisfying way, especially given there are so few people their age in the circus.
The only thing I didn't like was the ending. After ratcheting up the tension in the mystery about the family feud, the eventual solving of it felt like a letdown. And not a big surprise given how few people had any stakes in it in the first place.
There is also a big event that happens toward the middle of the book that felt like it was there mainly for shock value and didn't really add anything (in fact it took out a character I'd really loved up until that point).
But for the most part, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, despite the weak ending. The journey to it is so enjoyable, it almost doesn't matter that the book ends more with a whimper than a bang.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.
Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.
As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.