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
This review is SPOILER-FREE!
Caraval was one of the many books on my most anticipated reads this year. I had heard great things and was seeing it everywhere, however although I was hearing all of these amazing things I had doubts. I don't really have the best history with hyped books, but LUCKILY this book blew my mind in every way possible.
Within the first few pages---or maybe the first few chapters, I was instantly pulled in. And this was something I hadn't experienced in a long time if I'm going to be honest. From the very beginning, this was a book I woke up everyday looking forward to reading, I had to force myself to stop reading and I was just so helplessly in love with this books world, it's story and it's characters. There wasn't a day that went by that I wasn't excited to pick up Caraval because I was always itching to find out what happened next.
After I read the first chapters, I found that I already had so much knowledge of who these characters were. It was pretty amazing to me because everyone was already so developed but Stephanie Garber still managed to add in so much more depth and development into the characters as the story went on.
Scarlett was a character that I really, really loved. In a way she was just so pure and she's not really a character we see a lot of in YA now a days (at least that's what I think). Usually now---it's always a strong female heroine (which Scarlett is) who is very snarky and is always a little rebellious at times. I thought it was nice to see someone who was a little like myself---in the sense that she's always a little concerned over a lot of things and she's holding back from living the life she wants to live, or speaking out against things that bother her.
Julian was a character that I loved from the beginning, I will not go into much detail of his storyline in this book because it is so interesting and it's best if you go into it not knowing anything at all. What I will say is that he's very charming and reminds me a lot of Mon El from Supergirl...So with that said I totally pictured him as Julian and Melissa Benoist as Scarlett.
The whole concept of Caraval was something that has always fascinated me from the beginning, and to have read the book and experience what the characters were experiencing was so trippy. Before you even pick up this book, you know that Caraval is a game and you don't know what's real and what's not real. And throughout the novel you are constantly reminded of that one thing. So with that imprinted in your mind, you are constantly questioning if what's happening is indeed real. This is a factor of the book I found to be so interesting and complex because as the reader you too get lost in the story---in the game just like the characters. There were so many points of this book where I literally had to put my book down and think... Is this real? What just happened?
With Stephanie Garber's writing, I really didn't realize what was happening because I was so intoxicated, and enchanted with the magic of this book, the magic of Caraval and just this whole book in general ---it consumed me. In a way it was so freaky because it was like the book was the game and I was one of the players, and I was the one getting so mesmerized by everything that was happening that I paid no attention to anything else but this book because I was so lost in it.
Another phenomenal thing about this book was the revelations and twists that happen in this book. I honestly lost track of how many they were because it felt like with every page, came something, something undiscovered. It was so hard to keep my emotions at bay in public.
Stephanie Garber leads you into one direction and for a few pages or chapters you are very accepting (sort of) of the "reality" but in an instant all of that changes. And let me just say---it was done so well because with everything that happened in this book, I never expected.
Caraval is such a gripping and enchanting novel that I couldn't get enough of. It took me on a whirlwind of emotions that ranged from happiness--anger and everything in between. It felt like my head was spinning because after I finished this novel, I was in a daze. I couldn't believe what had happened, the events that occurred---everything was swimming in my brain and it took so long for it to process.
There wasn't really anything I disliked about this book. If I had to name one thing, it would probably be the fact that it ended and that I have to wait another year for the next book to come out. I would rate this book a billion out of 5 stars. Can I do that? I can't? Oh well I JUST DID.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review!
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