Sara Gruen Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen Water for Elephants

              Rated #22 in Books
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270 Reviews 4.6/5 stars
96% Recommended
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A friend told me to read this book and so I had high expectations. It seemed like quite a sad story from the start, but then the action picked up. The story went back and forth between past and present throughout the book, causing you to speculate as to the narrator's actual identity. Overall, the book was sad as the story and subject matter were very sad -- specifically the hard life of a circus worker and the tendency for people to take advantage of others. Despite the love story, I found the book to be a downer and I have not recommended it to my friends.

I read this book after being referred by a friend. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I felt like the happenings in the book would've taken a week to do when in fact it was a summer. The time line wasn't actual to me. I felt like the bond between the two main characters; Jacob and Marlena should've been made stronger. I felt like Jacob fell in love with Marlena but Marlena not with him. The book didn't emphasize too much on Marlena's feelings towards Jacob until they were getting ready to have sex. I liked the book but didn't truly love it.

Wasn't real sure about this book, read it, and it was ok. Nothing spectacular or wonderful, I wouldn't read it again. Ho-hum in my opinon, tho well written, just not my style.


This was a really hard book for me to get into. Would not recommend it

I liked this book and thought the story was very unique! I guess I had never really heard much about traveling circuses before.

I loved the book and was looking forward to watching the movie when it came out. However, I was highly disappointed by the movie version. The book was SO much better!

Loved the book Great story and well written. Saw the Movie also thought it was a little slow moving but worth renting

I read this book because of all the hype and because there was a movie coming out. I thought it was okay but not spectacular. It was a little slow at first but did get better. I say it is worth reading, but don't rush out to buy it, borrow it from the library or a friend.

At it's best this book combines outrageously whimsical premises with touching romanticism but she sort of overstuffs the drama (so many examples to give but no spoilers, I promise) and doles out the passion in a relationship you can't really, truly believe in. I love circus and freak show culture so originally, that is what drew me to this book, and it does not skimp on that. So, if you have seen the 1930's film "Freak" and loved it, this is most certainly the book for you. If you love romantic period early century period pieces, this is probably for you. And, if you love elephants that drink lemonade, you have found your very own Great Gatsby.

I know I am in the minority here but I didn't think the book was great. After all the hype I expected this amazing story and for me - it wasn't a page turner. I was surprised by the ending and it left me wanting more of the story in between to be developed. That being said, it was worth reading.

Read the book first.

Decent book.

This book was pretty good. I saw the movie prior so I wanted a little extra surprise with the book but it mirrored the movie.

Good read As a book lover, this one is not my favorite. However, it was an entertaining and quick read. I would definitely recommend adding it to a summer reading list.