REVIEW : Caraval


TITLE: Caraval
AUTHOR: Stephanie Garber
SERIES: Caraval
GENRES: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
PAGES: 402
PUBLISHED: January 31st 2017
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton

Whatever 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.


Whatever 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.

In Caraval we follow the journey of Scarlett’s while she ventures through the magical game, Caraval. She must be the one to figure out all the rules and win the whole game if she wants to save her sister Tella.
But in Caraval everything has a price, nothing comes free, and they don’t use coins as payment. She must give something valuable in return if she wants to get something.

Again, I have millions of post-its in front of me and guess what? As I spread them out in ‘themes’, I have mostly put up notes about their father more than anything else. So I guess it’s safe to say that he really got under my skin and made me furious. I would have given anything if I just could have gotten in there to twist his neck or something.
As for all the other characters, those were all very well written! I’d say every one of them somehow relevant to this story really got me. None of them gives away nearly any hints and it’s really really hard to not get swayed away in the game.
I kind of hated and loved Scarlett. She was being too whiny ass almost all the time, it really annoyed me. I would have loved to smack her face so that she would truly open her eyes and see the truth of life. So very well written character this one too!
And Julian! Oh you, I’d take you! There were times I felt really bad for him and when I would have loved to see him be sucked in on earth.

The plot. The plot. I have only one word for it: amazing. This book is very well written. Even though there were some things that you could predict beforehand, or how could I know if that was meant to be, Caraval really took me on a journey myself.
The romance development is also something I think worth to mention. Normally in YA books the characters have some kind of insta-love, love at first sight. But not in Caraval. I really liked it that it developed more realistically and still it’s not a full relationship, it’s still developing.
Though the start of the book, almost until the end, wasn’t so good, not something to keep me interested in that whole night or something. The end of the book was truly something amazing! The last hundred or so pages really took me in and it was hard to leave the book and get back to real life.
There were times at the start when I nearly DNFd this whole book but I’m glad I didn’t. The end was something worth the whole almost 400 pages. I give Caraval 3,5 stars. The end doesn’t up it to 4. But still I’ll definitely be waiting for the next book and I want to read that too.



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