Charlie should be packing her bags for college, but the life ahead of her isn’t one she’s certain she wants. Maybe that’s what led her to sleep with a perfect stranger at the county fair. Finding out he was a carnie was like winning the bonus round of the world’s worst game.
Blue grew up in the carnival, never staying anywhere long enough to call home. He never thought of himself as the type to seduce a local, let alone fall in love with one, but his impulsiveness got the better of him this time. He should go where the carnival takes him, but for the first time he’s not sure if he wants to follow.
When he makes the decision to stick around, Charlie eagerly follows him down the rabbit hole; into a world with no regard for consequences or regret. Most of all, he shows her that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling they can create and share. For a price. Because the higher the roller coaster goes, the faster it all comes crashing down.
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Have you ever read a book that you can't put down? No I don't mean because of how addicting the storyline may be, but because of how that storyline is written. I am really having a hard time putting into words my thoughts on Carnival. I have never read a book that took me on such an emotional roller coaster. They say John Green writes a good emotional story? Yeah okay, let me introduce you to K.B. Nelson. I honestly did not know what to expect when I first discovered Carnival. The cover was intriguing, so knowing my love of carnivals/circuses, I had to take a closer look. It's synopsis read like the storyline of a NA romance, and though I've taken a long break from that world, something about Carnival was calling to me. What the synopsis didn't tell me was that I was going to go on a complete emotional roller coaster ride and seriously live the Carnival the entire time.
Okay. Where to start. Let me get some disclaimers out of the way. If you are a prude, don't read this book. Why? There is sex. Quite a bit of sex. And the scenes are excellently written. I'm a guy and at one point I set the Nook down and gave Mrs. Nelson a slow clap. I'm not even kidding. Also, there's is some heavy drug use in this novel, but hey guess what, it's about the carnival lifestyle. Seriously though, there is sex,drugs,and violence, but if that isn't a deterrent for you then STEP RIGHT UP because have I got a recommendation for you!
Never before in an NA novel have I seen a story come as full circle as Carnival. The storyline is both gripping and satisfying. It's so hard to review this without giving away spoilers so I have to be as vague as possible, but let me just say that about 3/4 of the way through the book I thought it was over. I seriously thought all the action had happened and were were going to wrap it up in the last 50ish pages. WRONG. The book took a turn out of nowhere and took me on one helluva journey. The twists and turns made me feel like I was on the Zipper with Blue and Charlie!
Blue, our male MC, is a carnie, as the synopsis suggests. In some aspects he is very much like you may picture a carnie to be, but in other, more important aspects, he definitely is not. Charlie, our female MC is a fresh out of high school firecracker trying to find her place in her small Ohio town. I came from a small town and some of the things that Nelson writes in this novel touched me because of how accurate she has portrayed the small town lifestyle and the morals and values that comes from being raised as such. Much like Charlie, I never have fit in in my hometown. Unlike Charlie, I never hooked up with a carnie and went on a life changing adventure. I suppose there is always time, though I never see many female carnies? Charlie is quite possibly one of my new favorite NA characters. He character transformation is one of the most beautifully written things I have seen in a very long time. Nelson's writing is raw and brutally honest to the point that you feel like you are these characters. I very seldom feel the pull of characters as I did to Blue and Charlie.
Also, have I mentioned how much I like carnivals/circuses?! YES! I cannot say enough great things about this read. It pulled me in from the very first page with a laugh and keep me going until the very end. The settings written by Nelson are so clear in their description that you can see the lights, you can smell the fair food, you can feel the storm. Seriously, it was some strong writing folks. If you read this book without laughing and tearing up, you're living life wrong. Such a powerful story that I can only imagine will make a lasting impression in the career of our DEBUT author, Ms. KB Nelson. Yes, you read that right, DEBUT author.
The novel ends with an ending that could be satisfying if you wanted to quit, but it left me wanting more, because, well, I'm greedy when it comes to books I thoroughly enjoy. Good news for fans like me, because KB Nelson has already announced the titles of the next two books in the series: Attraction and Neon Lights, which will continue the story of Blue and Charlie. I'm not sure about you guys, but I will be very closely following this story! Be on the look out for more KB Nelson reviews as the stories become available! I can already tell you guys that this book has wiggled it's way into my top 5 NA's of all time list overnight. Seriously. I highly recommend it to any fans of the genre. If you've been on the fence, go ahead and give it a try! You will not regret it! A 5-star read for me all the way around!
Check out this promo graphic I made promoting the limited time sale of Carnival! From what I understand the sale should be ending very soon, but as of 9AM on 7/21 the sale is still ongoing. Check out this graphic and follow the links by clicking the buttons below the graphic to get your very own copy of Carvival!
*Note I WILL be adding more graphics to this post as the day goes on so check back later*
**UPDATED: sale is now over, but Carnival is available for the low price of only $2.99**
Alright readers. That's all I have for you on the topic of Carnival by K.B. Nelson! Thank you so much for stopping by! If you like what you read, let me know about it in the comments below. I love connecting with fellow readers and would love to hear some thoughts on this new read from others who enjoyed it! Until next time, Happy Reading!