A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!
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.
I am kind of on the fence about this book. The story is good, the writing is good but the characters feel bland to read. The plotline is about Jules, who dreams to become the best wire walker. She forces her family to join the Cirque American to help out their failing family shows. When they arrive, however, she learns that they are shunned due to a past that concerns her grandmother. Said grandmother is cagey about the events of the past, and while Jules is intrigued as to why this enmity has still persisted, she is the victim of a series of incidences designed to make her fail. There is a supernatural element in the book which I did not foresee; I thought it would be a Scooby-doo-ish plot with regards to the mystery, but it actually did turn out to be magic-involved.
The pace of the book was good, but mired with unnecessary romance. I like Jules and Remy, but they were also very boring. Sneaking around because their families might not approve? Yawn. Then there is the issue that it seems like Jules will solve the mystery and all, but doesn’t really? The ending was pretty disappointing, as far as mysteries go; it wasn’t even surprising. Another thing I found that Jules as a character, despite being the POV, did not undergo any character development; I mean, there was even the potential with that magic coin but it was just resolved into a reckless attempt to get rid of it? Overall, it was good in some aspects but also not much at all.
Received a free galley from Amazon Children’s Publishing, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.