Caraval Book Review

Book: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Synopsis: 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, Legen. It turns out that this season’s Carabal revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Carabal 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.


Review (spoilery): I really enjoyed Caraval. I wasn’t totally immersed in the story like I thought I was going to be. Some of the characters I found to be annoying, stupid, or generally didn’t like them. I didn’t like the ending at all. It was completely anti climatic, I wanted more emotions.

Characters: Scarlett was an okay main character. Her love for her sister was so strong, that was relatable for me because I have that kind of love for my brother. Her one drawback was her thought process. I did not like the way she looked at things, her decisions.

My thoughts about Julian are confusing. I want to love him but I can’t. Some might fine his humor attracting and rebellious, I found it disgusting. I felt like some of the time he was trying to force himself on her. His excuse was that he was trying to make her hate him and it was like he was barely trying.

I didn’t hate Scarlett and Julian but I wasn’t an automatic ship for me. Something was off about their relationship and it just threw me. It was like one minute she hated him and the next she was wanting to kiss him. She was suddenly into him as he saved her from dying. Also at the end, I didn’t even believe it any more. He was literally a performer doing his job and he just happened to start liking her. Then Julian used the you were different from other players. Now I have no idea how their relationship will play out but as of right now I don’t like it.

Plot: The plot and world was probably my favorite part. Maybe a sinister part of me took over but I loved the darker side of Caraval. I love the thought that this magic place can actually be a bad place. I loved how they used Scarlett’s love of Tella to fuel her journey. I loved Scarlett’s adventure of finding all the clues. The turns were all so unexpected and you didn’t know who to trust. Although I did find the ending very anti climatic. I was really annoying to have so many people die and then bam everyone wasn’t dead. It made it kind of disappointing because all that emotion wasn’t needed.

Writing Style: Stephanie has a magical style. Her world is very deep and cool. They way she writes just gives it a whole new level of magical. I hope that she will be able to improve even more with her world building skills and giving information in the second installment.

This book was very enjoyable and magical. I’m excited for the second installment. I hope that we will be able to dive deeper and go into the characters, Caraval, and pasts that can’t seem to fade away.

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