Jacob Jankowski is left without money and family when his parents are killed suddenly in an automobile accident. He leaves veterinarian school right before he finishes his final exam and accidentally becomes the veterinarian for the Benzini Brothers Circus. There he meets Rosie the Elephant and Marlena, a beautiful (and married) performer in the circus.
(Summary from Librarything.com)
As most of you know, I recently interviewed author Sara Gruen about her new book, Ape House. My father knew Sara Gruen before she became an author, and I've always been meaning to read Water for Elephants. Well, I finally got around to it a few days ago.
This book has quickly become one of my favorites. I thought it was very interesting that she put authentic circus pictures at the beginning of each chapter, since she got the actual idea for the book from a circus photo. I enjoyed looking at the pictures from that time period; it really made me feel like I was in the book. The book is woven so seamlessly and perfectly together. I was amazed! The ending made me want to cry, in a good way. In a happy way.
I really, really, REALLY did not like August, though. I would have hated to be Jacob, the way August would be charming and kind one minute and then screaming and throwing things the next. I would definitely recommend this book, but NOT to middle school students. Many parts are EXTREMELY inappropriate, as is one of the pictures. If you really want to read this book, have your parents read it first and approve it. But for adults, this book is amazing, and is a must-read.
Kudos for Sara Gruen!!
I give this book five chocolate bars. Death rating for appropriateness.