Caraval by Stephanie Garber
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.
This book was very magical and whimsical. In the first 200 pages,it had such a good feel to it and I couldn’t put it down. It was one of those stories where you would want to finish in one sitting.Unfortunately,I had to go to sleep. When I picked up again,the atmosphere had changed,or maybe it was just because I had put it down. It seemed there was more at stake,and the plot got even more complicated. At some parts I was wondering what was real and what was not. The writing was beautiful and the concept of Caraval was very interesting
I’m not going to go in too much detail but I wanted to take a minute to talk about the characters. I’ve heard that not a lot of people like Scarlett but I think I like her better than Tella for now.She thinks clearly most of the time,I think. Tella seemed too manipulative(is that the right word?). I didn’t like that she planned this whole elaborate scheme and didn’t tell Scarlett. I get that there would be a boring story if she told her but there could have been some hints. Julian was a character I initally liked, but after the 200 page mark,I didn’t like him as much. Maybe it was because he could have been Legend or maybe because he was secretive but he just felt different in the last 200 pages. One thing that took away from the magical and whimsical story was the fact that Legend was played by actors. It would have been even more magical if he actually appeared to different people with different faces.It sort of ruined it for me. One last thing I’m going to talk about is the deaths. I don’t know if it was just me or they weren’t dramatic enough. I didn’t feel anything when Julian or Tella died. I was like ‘nope,they’re going to be back in a few pages/chapters’ and I was right.
I initally gave this book a 5/5 but now that I have written this review, I think I might change it to 4/5
Have you read Caraval? What did you think? Did you enjoy it?