ARC Review – Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

17838538Title: Girl on a Wire

Author: Gwenda Bond

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to Skyscape and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

First, let me just say that this might have to be one of my favourite covers I’ve seen in a long time. It really captures the novel quite well!

I liked Girl on a Wire. I expected to love it because I am sucker for stories that take place in a circus or have the circus as some sort of centralized theme, and this novel was successful on that front. I thought the characters were quite wonderful, and the circus described in the novel is really colourful, with just enough mystery.

That being said, the prose in this novel didn’t always keep me engaged. I think what I struggled with was that a lot of the description was too drawn out and dull. I found myself skimming in parts simply because I found I wanted to simply get on with the story, but some of the longer winded passages I could have done without. Sometimes Bond’s prose was stunning, and sometimes it felt a touch awkward in places. For me, the writing was what I found myself fighting with the most because when I loved it — I really loved it, and when I disliked it — I skimmed.

Admittedly, I loved that this book didn’t fall into a lot of currently popular YA tropes. I loved how realistic the characters felt and there struggles were things that I felt that as a reader I could sympathize with. I cared about what was happening, but my goodness I did not like that ending. I do not like the type of ending where everything has to be explained even though it was kind of obvious? So frustrating!

In the end, I liked Girl on a Wire, but it definitely did some things that I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to love this book more than I did, but I don’t feel like my time was wasted. There is really wonderful characters here, and if anything, that is why you should pick this book up.

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