Really, here's the deal. I was unaware of the hype-- completely unaware of how it fared when it was released and how bloggers reviewed it... I think I saw this on "Heather's Picks" on the Chapters Indigo website, along with perhaps briefly seeing the cover around. It wasn't until I was wandering the library seeing the "Best Bets 7 Day Loan" books that the cover sparked recognition in my mind, and I read the inside cover (now publishers-- that's how you entice someone with a cover flap description) I knew I had to read it. And yeah, what can I say? i ignored the massive amounts of Chemistry homework I had in favor of this book, and it was.. great. Glorious, lovely, devastatingly enchanting at times but still, I felt like I was left with a little hole in my heart when I finished, as if something was missing from such a wonderful and imaginative book. I'll just come out and say it- the ending didn't do it for me. The characters were only okay. But if we're just facing the facts here, the joy of this book isn't in the characters or the "love story" (though both parts could probably have used some improvements), it was in the circus-- Le Cirque des Reves-- and it blew me away. Morgenstern's writing is delectable. Will add more to this review later... Just know-- writing was amazing. I absolutely loved it, the entire mood and atmosphere created which made for a compelling and addictive read. The abundant imagery was exciting and so wonderfully done, it's like magic. No, an illusion.