April 15, 2017

ARC Review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Page Count: 407
Format: ARC
Genre: YA/Fantasy
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.

*an ARC of this book was given to me during BEA 2016 from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Caraval by Stephanie Garber was one of my top goals at BEA 2016 (and thankfully I did end up getting it), I had found out about it while working on my schedule prior to BEA and was instantly interested by the cover and description. I didn't have a chance to read it until the start of this year but I ended up really enjoying it and I can say that I was right in making it one of my top goals last year.

The most striking part of the book was definitely Caraval itself, after all the whole book is centered around it. Stephanie Garber strings word and descriptions together to create the enchanting world of Caraval that we get to experience and see through the pages of her book. However, despite the great descriptions of Caraval I wanted to see more. It's a minor detail but I feel like with just a bit more "exploration" of Caraval the book would've gone to an even higher level. Other than that though the book was very well-written with fully fleshed settings and world-building that weren't boring for a second.

No book is complete without great characters to accompany it and Caraval was no different. Everyone from Scarlett to Tella  to Legend and everyone else were all very complex and interesting people. Witnessing them change from the start of the book to the end was another very cool part of reading Caraval. However, I think the plot of this book was my favorite part of it. So. many. plot. twists. So many things changing and becoming different than what I thought it actually was. Even without the plot twists the plot was interesting and had me on the edge of my seat with every page. Stephanie Garber seriously knocked this one out of the park, Caraval was probably one of the best books out of all the ones I got at BEA. 

I know that a few bloggers in the book community have said that they disliked Caraval but I am of the opinion that it's a really good book. Even if you aren't sure about it I would recommend that every YA fan pick it up and give it a shot because I'm pretty sure you'll like it. After all, why wouldn't you want to read about a magical carnival/show?

4.5/5 - Really good book

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