I would like to say first off that I didn’t know quite what to expect from this book, it’s been hyped up quite a lot so I wasn’t sure if I would be left disappointed. I didn’t even expect to be as absorbed as I was – but it was an amazing surprise. I read the majority of Caraval in one day, that’s how much I enjoyed it. It fully delivered, at least for me and I know I’ll be re reading it over and over again.
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Page Length: 416 Pages
“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.”
Scarlett Dragna and her sister Donatella (Tella) have never left the tiny island of Trisda, and they are forbidden to do so by their powerful and abusive father. After a childhood of nothing but terror, Scarlett has resigned herself to a marriage her father has arranged for her. For years on end, Scarlett and Tella have dreamed of attending the magical performance that is Caraval, captivated by the stories their grandmother told them.
After years of writing to Legend, the elusive master of Caraval, Scarletts wishes are answered and she receives tickets a week or so before she is due to be wed. With the help of a mysterious and seductive stranger, the sisters are taken to the secret island where Caraval takes place. When Tella disappears, it’s revealed that the aim of this years game is to find her. With five nights to find her and all the other players also searching for Tella, Scarlett must remember the rules of Caraval. Not to get swept away and to remember nothing is real. Or is it?
What I enjoyed:
- The world of Caraval – I was totally immersed in the fantastical world Garber has created, from the settings she describes down to the clothing, everything is so rich. I loved the way Caraval maintains an enchanting but sinister tone. It feels like a more mature version of Alice in Wonderland at points.
- Twists and turns / Not predictable – With most Y/A books, you can predict what may happen next, with Caraval though, I was blissfully along for the ride. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book which was genuinely unpredictable so I loved this aspect. Right to the end, it kept me guessing which was refreshing.
- Romance – The main relationship in the book between Scarlett and Julian – was built up so well and the tension was perfect. Garber really makes you root for them and I got really invested, to the point where I was frantically texting my friend about them. I really liked Julian as a character, even aside from the relationship with Scarlett – or ‘Crimson’ as he likes to call her. He’s mysterious, snarky, intelligent and oh so handsome, everything I like in a fictional guy!
Usually in my reviews I try and put any negatives I experienced whilst reading a book but to be honest, excluding a few issues with repetitive wording etc, I can’t fault it. I think this is one of the best books of the year for me and I can’t wait for the sequel which I hear is due to be released sometime in 2018! It’s my aim to somehow get an advanced copy, I don’t know if I can wait so long haha.
If you’ve read Caraval, what did you think? or if you haven’t would you give it a try?
Until next time,