As I mentioned earlier, one of my goals for summer is to comprise a reading list and finish it before school starts again. I just completed the first book on my quickly evolving list: "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. I LOVED this book, though it was not what I originally expected. I was anticipating a love story after watching the lovely Robert Pattinson in the book's movie adaptation commercials. It was so much more than that, though. It is a true coming of age story, following the life of Jacob, a 23 year old boy who is days away from finishing his veterinary degree at Cornell University. After his parent's are tragically killed in a car accident, Jacob finds that they were in serious debt and have left him with nothing. Distraught with grief, he leaves school and finds himself on a wild ride, literally, on board a circus train. Jacob soon finds himself serving as the circus veterinarian and learning a whole new world of travel, deception, and, of course, love.
I loved reading about Jacob's relationship with the animals. They are very prominent characters in the novel, especially Rosie the Elephant. I also really identified with the hardships experienced by the characters related to daily life during the Great Depression. And of course, his love for Marlena. He is so young and pure and his love for her reflects that innocence, making their feelings that much more genuine.
I would definitely recommend this book to all of you lovelies and am excited to now watch the movie. It starts off a bit slow but the author does an amazing job of taking her time and fully developing the characters.
Next up: "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky