Water for Elephants | Teen Ink

Water for Elephants MAG

By Leslie M., Wallingford, PA

      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.

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This article has 5 comments.

i love this !

on 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. BRONZE said...
on May. 24 2013 at 8:38 pm
DanaR. BRONZE, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be positive. What's the point in being negative?

Sound like a good book. I'll try it. I really liked your would choice. It brought a lot to the review.

Breanne BRONZE said...
on Jun. 5 2012 at 4:22 pm
Breanne BRONZE, Fairhope, Alabama
1 article 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Rose as in red, never in blue. Sharp as a thorn, fights like one too."
-Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead! <3

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 GOLD said...
on Aug. 15 2011 at 11:43 am
haha4579 GOLD, Westfield, Wisconsin
17 articles 1 photo 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's a car, that runs on water!" - Hyde



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