CrushNotes: Everything You Need To Know About The Novel ‘Water For Elephants’

by Aimee Curran

Hollywood Crush loves a good book—and so do moviemakers, seeing as more than a few of our favorite reads are headed for the silver screen. With so many adaptations in the works, keeping the ol’ reading list current is harder than ever, which is where CrushNotes comes in! We give you the low-down on books before they hit the big screen.

Lion and tigers and bears! Oh my! Hollywood has been buzzing about “Water for Elephants” for almost a year now. With its April 22 release on the horizon, we are biting at the bit to see Sara Gruen’s non-stop page turner hit the silver screen. The story of what goes on behind the scenes of the rag-tag Benzini Brothers traveling circus takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride that is not only funny, thoughtful and heartfelt, but at times, a downright tearjerker. Here’s what you should know about the novel before the movie comes to theaters next Friday!

Characters you need to know: Most importantly, Jacob Jankowski, a veterinary student who falls for Marlena, the Benzini Brothers’ animal exhibitionist, who is married to August the ringleader. Sharing Jacob’s adventure, and showing him the ropes, are his misfit circus friends Camel and Walter. Surprisingly, the story’s breakout star is a large African elephant named Rosie.

Plot Synopsis: After losing his parents in a tragic car accident, Jacob drops out during his senior finals at Cornell and jumps a midnight train. Waking up to discover he has ended up in the middle of a traveling circus, he quickly settles in as the Benzini Brothers vet. Crossing the country, jumping from town to town, Jacob finds himself in the company of a motley crew of friends, discovering love for the first time and fighting for his life in the greatest show on Earth.

Stars: Robert Pattinson has put his glitter lotion in a drawer and slipped into the circus shoes of lead character Jacob Jankowski, while Academy Award winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz help navigate his circus life as Marlena and August. And who could forget Tai the Elephant!?

A scene from the book that must be in the film: Jacob and Marlena finally giving in to their undeniable attraction for each other. It’s the stuff all good love stories are made of and will make anyone want to run away to the circus. Whether or not the two end up together at the end of the movie is something you’ll just have to wait to find out.

What the film’s got over the book: Robert Pattinson…duh. Please excuse us as we wipe the drool from our faces. Besides being able to stare at his holy hotness, the story in itself is so magical, we can’t wait to see it play out before our very eyes and transport us back to the 1930s. Plus, with A-list Hollywood heavy-weights carrying the film, it’s a no-brainer that it’s gonna be good.

Have you read Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants”? Are you as excited for the film adaptation as we are? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!