Water for Elephants This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

      This is a richly crafted novel about the love, loyalty, and hardships of Jacob Jankowski, a Cornell-educated veterinary student. He finds himself working for the Benzini Brothers’ Most Spectacular Show on Earth after an unexpected tragedy turns his life upside down.

During his employment, he befriends a dwarf named Walter and falls in love with Marlena L’Arche, one of the performers. Their romance is complicated by Marlena’s abusive husband. The intense emotional journey that runs through the story is nothing compared to the twist that author Sara Gruen so skillfully delivers at the novel’s end.

Characterization is, without a doubt, Gruen’s forté. The characters are immensely real and evoke passionate feelings. As the story unravels, Jacob and Marlena’s fears and dreams quickly become yours. By the middle, you find yourself gasping in outrage and pity.

One particularly enjoyable aspect of this book is the importance of animals. Rosie the elephant is almost as human as the people. Gruen’s portrayal of the characters, both animal and human, is nothing short of outstanding.

Gruen writes with simple but beautiful style. Her descriptions of the circus are rich with detail, and the quality of research about Depression-era America is evident in every scene. From the squalid images of the roustabouts’ quarters to the glamour of the big top, Gruen paints a world so real that you are immersed from the very beginning.

Water for Elephants is the perfect read for anyone who likes a good love story. Those who enjoy reading about relationships would feel right at home as well.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 8 at 12:46 pm
i love this !
PaperArmageddon said...
Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm
I've heard that Water For Elephants is a great book, but I've never read it myself. Now I'm seriously considering it! Great job on the review.
DanaR. said...
May 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Sound like a good book. I'll try it. I really liked your would choice. It brought a lot to the review.
Breanne said...
Jun. 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm
I loved this book! My mom made me read it and it was really wonderful! I also liked the movie, its better than most book-movies.
haha4579 said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 11:43 am



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