Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWhatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.



Oh my god, this book definitely lived up to my expectations and if you haven’t heard about Caraval, have you been living under a rock?

I must admit, I was kinda nervous to start this book because of all the hype around it, I seem to not enjoy books if they’re too hyped, I just seem to go into the story with high expectations and then they’re not met. But this book, oh my god, this book lived up to all the expectations.

Caraval is a magical game that happens once a year. Although not everyone can attend, some are lucky and receive invitations. There’s also the choice of either watching or participating in the game. Scarlett, our main character, has been writing to the Caraval Master, Legend, for most of her life in hopes of receiving tickets for her and her sister. The story begins as Scarlett finally receives a letter from Legend inviting her to Caraval.

I really liked the sibling love, Scarlett’s love for her sister warmed my heart and I loved reading about it. Also, seeing them pick each other over guys was my freaking jam.

The novel also involves parental abuse, and physical pain and I don’t think I’ve read a YA book that tackles these topics, and so it was different, interesting different. Scarlett and her sister, Tella, have grown up with only their father, after their mother left them when they were young. Their father is constantly abusing and manipulating them. Literally, their father had my banging my head against the book.

I really enjoyed the characters, Tella was kinda annoying but other than that I loved the rest of them. I really hope they explore Dante’s character more in the sequel. I did see a lot of myself in Scarlett, she’s constantly worried about her sister and making sure everything in their future is perfect, she kind of a planner and she does not take risks. But as Caraval goes on she starts taking risks and that’s when she starts becoming stronger and a more well rounded character. I LOVED JULIAN so much. I want to name my child Julian. I just love Julian. (Can you tell I love Julian?) I think I just fall in love with sarcastic assholes?? But I liked his story and twist(s).

I love this book, I read this in one day and I couldn’t put it down, it was so addictive. Its such a magical and perfect story. Also can we just talk about how this is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel????? It was such an impressive first novel.

The one thing I got a little bit annoyed about was how unreliable the narrative was. Mostly because the character and the reader have no idea what is real and what’s not, as Caraval is a facade. It was also kinda annoying seeing Scarlett completing all the tasks and learning the rules very fast, it was slightly predictable. In addition, I was little confused with what genre to categorise this novel in, high fantasy? fantasy? In the beginning there’s empires and conquered isles mentioned and I was so pumped! Soon after my excitement vanished as there wasn’t anything else mentioned about this. (hence the 4 stars rating)

I love this book, I read this in one day and I couldn’t put it down, it was so addictive. Its such a magical and perfect story. Also can we just talk about how this is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel????? It was such an impressive first novel. I’m so excited for the sequel, and that ending kinda left me hanging. I know that some books aren’t for everyone but I do recommend this, a lot. You should just buy it. And read it. In a day. Its that good. Please?



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