Hi stranger friends! I’ve got another book review for you and if you’re looking for something a bit mysterious, a bit adventurous, and even a little dangerous I’ve got just the book for you! Let’s get into it!
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
ISBN 1250095255 (ISBN13: 9781250095251)
Remember, it’s only a game…
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.
Click Here To Buy Caraval
I bought Stephanie Garber’s Caraval because I couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing it everywhere on book accounts. It’s a pretty instagramable book because the cover is so gorgeous but I had the feeling it was one of those that was also going to have a cult following and be a book that most people adored. I was right! So I saw it on amazon and decided I might as well see for myself.
The premise sounded interesting reminding me a bit of The Night Circus with a bit more at stake in this one. Following the Dragna sisters on the adventure of their life as Scarlett races to save her younger sister Tella I was instantly hooked. I genuinely couldn’t put this book down.
I know I say it a lot but sometimes you just can’t take books too seriously. Especially one that’s about a magical Carnaval where someone is kidnapped and someone else has to save them. This book is filled with whimsy and magic as it should be. It’s not meant to be a fine piece of literature, it’s meant for entertainment and I felt it lived up to that.
There were twists and turns at every corner and it’s absolutely a book that forces you to use your imagination to conjure up you’re own image of the world of Caraval. It’s of course rapt with romance between Scarlett and the elusive and mysterious Julian and the love story that builds between them throughout is a major part of it. Which, honestly, I could have done without. I get it. I do but sometimes it seemed like it wasn’t that necessary. That’s just a personal thing though I didn’t really felt like it took anything away from the book because of it.
I have two brothers so I don’t know what it’s like to have a sister but if I did I would hope that we would love each other the same way that Scarlett and Tella love each other. I think that’s one of the reasons the romance felt a bit out of place was because at it’s heart this is a book about sisters and the lengths they will go to for one another. It’s a bond unlike any other and that bond and love truly shines through this entire book.
For a debut novel I thought Caraval was an absolute gem of a book and I can only imagine Garber is going to just get better from here.