Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Published: January 31, 2017 by Flatiron Books
Source: Hardcover, 407 pages
Summary: A legendary competition. A mesmerizing romance. An unbreakable bond between two sisters.
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her 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 faraway, 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. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval… beware of getting swept too far away.
Rating: I gave this 4/5 stars on Goodreads!
Thoughts: Beautiful. Magical. Mysterious.
These are the words I would use to describe Caraval. Going into this book, I was worried because the hype of this book is so much. And with a super hyped up book, I always worry that I won’t like it “the way I should”. But thankfully, this one lived up to the hype for me.
I’ve seen many people talk about this book and some of the complaints I read was that the story was predictable, but for me, I didn’t think it was predictable at all. The ending really surprised me, and it opened up for an entire story to be told in the next book.
Another thing I saw was that there was not much world building, but I think that’s what the author intended. We aren’t supposed to know really all about the world. It’s a game that’s different supposedly every time. I personally think that it was great the way it was. To me, world building is important, but not in every single book. This one didn’t need it really.
The way this author writes is beautiful! There were times when Scarlett was walking down the cobbled stone streets looking around at all the little shops, and I honestly felt like I could see it in my mind, like I was there. Garber has such a way of describing that makes you want to know more. I soaked it all up.
Our main character, Scarlett, was a good main character. She wasn’t my absolute favorite main character, but I liked her. Now, Julian.😍 Starting out, I didn’t think I’d like him, but he very quickly grew on me! He was funny, mysterious, and so sarcastic. He was great! Tella was a good character also. She really pushed her sister to get out and do something better than what she tries to settle for. Just the way a sister should be!
The side characters were good but not super important. I do wish some would have had a bigger role. Some just showed up in random scenes, but I feel like it seems like some should have played a bigger part. Maybe we will see that more in the second book!
I absolutely loved the mystery behind Legend. I love that no one truly know who he is (except for one person, but spoilers, so I won’t say), and that he wears a different face in each game. I thought he was such an interesting and unique “villain”, if you can even call him that.
I really enjoyed this book, and I am definitely planning to read the next one in the series!!
Have you read Caraval? What were your thoughts?
Thanks for reading! (: