Monday, May 9, 2011

Kaya's Korner: "Water for Elephants" Review

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“Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen

Note: there are some spoilers in this review

Oh my... many of you are not going to be happy with this review (or with me for that matter.) This book has been the bane of my existence for a long time. *gasp* I know, I know - everyone loves this book and after reading it, I should’ve too. However, I didn’t for the most part; but more on that later.
“Water for Elephants” tells the story of a young man named Jacob. A terrible tragedy occurs early in his life and he’s left with nothing and by chance he jumps a circus train. It’s because of this train that he meets Marlena, a beautiful woman who performs with the circus. He instantly falls in love with her and together they form an unbreakable bond with each while interacting with the animals. Marlena is married though and her husband is the kind who doesn’t like to be crossed. In fact, there’s really only one way to get rid of him so the two can be together. But, it’s the circus, and the show must go on...
I repeat, I really should have liked this book. All of my friends enjoyed it and assumed I would too and when they heard that I was having trouble reading it and hadn’t breezed through it, they were all a bit surprised. I finally finished the book on the third try and that took some effort on my part. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t connect with the characters. I liked the story in general, but I couldn’t connect.
I will say this though - towards the very end I was enjoying the book and was starting to read ahead; but that was at the very very end. It was after the last of August’s rants (the one with Rosie in the tent, which I couldn’t take seriously, in fact, I actually laughed out loud.) And I did tear up when no one came for the old Jacob at the nursing home and thought the ending, when he ran away with the circus was sweet and fitting.
I did have two favorite things about the book. The first was all the old circus pictures; I thought they were a lot of fun. The second was a line from the book on page 280. Jacob considers his relationship with Marlena and thinks, “it seems to me that the bonds between us must be visible.” I want to have a love like that and I wish it for everyone in the world.       
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Grade: My grade is an E-Reader, but considering the entire population’s opinion on this book, I’ll bump it up to Paperback.
Now on to “Water for Elephants” the movie: again, I didn’t fall in love with the movie, but I didn’t think it was bad either. I thought the movie stayed with the story, which is always appreciated, but I would have liked to have seen one more scene between Jacob and Marlena so we could understand their romance a bit better; one more scene to see the tension building between them. And while I knew August is bad, I thought he was out of control in the movie and I didn’t envision him to be that crazy while reading. Or maybe I just couldn’t see the craziness being acted out, but in reality August would really be that way I suppose. I think the RPatz haters are going to have to admit that “yes, maybe the boy can act” after seeing this movie. And again, my feelings are a bit skewed about the movie because of the book; I can’t gush about it because of those feelings, but after talking to my friends who enjoyed the book, the general consensus was that they all enjoyed the movie, liked the casting, and would watch this movie again and most likely buy the DVD when it comes out.
What are your thoughts about the book, movie, or both?

1 comment:

  1. In the middle of this book, not sure yet how I reallyt hink of it.