Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Fantasy

PAGES:

407 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

the 1st in the Caraval trilogy

RELEASE DATE: 

January 31st 2017

PUBLISHER:

Flatiron Books

SOURCE:

Ebook from Library (However, I do own two copies)

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads

IndieBound

Amazon

Audible 

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Apple Books

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

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.

MY REVIEW

I’ll admit that when I first started this book a couple of years ago when I got it in an OwlCrate box, I wasn’t sold right away. I had just finished a book about the Goblin King and I hadn’t liked it at all and so I think this felt too similar at the time and I pretty much stopped reading it right when Scarlett and Julian reach the inn on the first night.

Recently though, I’ve really wanted to go back and read the entire series, especially since its completed and so far, I’m super super glad I did. I absolutely loved the story this time around and found myself completely addicted. There’s a sort of dark romance about the entire story and there are so many riddles and puzzles and questions that there were times I almost felt dizzy from all the things that were happening. The entire story felt like a labyrinth – as soon as I thought I might have an idea of what was happening in the story, I was taken in a completely different direction.

What helped with this too was the fact that Stephanie is an absolutely beautiful writer. Everything she wrote just felt like it jumped off the page. She has a very poetic and artistic sort of way of writing. She doesn’t just saying, she did this, he said this. She’s telling a story almost like a song or a poem and it comes across really well and really plays well into the fantasy and mystery of the story.

What I think really makes this such a wonderful story is how well-written and three-dimensional the characters are, even the ones you don’t see, like Tella and Legend. Every single character stands out, has hopes, dreams, secrets, and mysteries to them and you spend so much time while reading this novel trying to figure out each character. I adored Scarlett and Julian – their development as individuals and as partners is what propels this novel forward – but I’m anxious to read more about Tella, who is definitely more my style, and this mysterious Legend. I have a feeling there are even more characters in this illustrious world to discover.

RATING:

5 out of 5 Stars

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