Monday, 20 March 2017

Review: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
My rating: 6 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: January 31st 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
SynopsisWhatever 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 . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.


Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. (synopsis from Goodreads)

This was one of my most hyped books of 2017, and it did not disappoint! In fact, I loved every second of reading it! Everything about it, from the plot to the heroine to the world, was totally unique and different, which made it unexpected and completely unpredictable.

   Scarlett is not your usual YA heroine.

   You know how I love those independent, bad-ass heroines? Well, Scarlett isn’t one. She has never left the island she lives on, her father is abusive, and she’s desperate to leave and protect her sister, desperate enough to marry a man she’s never met. She’s very protective and loves her sister more than anything, and she’s scared, because of her father. But it worked. In fact, I loved her! She was something new, and what really impressed me was that the author made you love her, despite her flaws. It’s harder to make a reader love a character like Scarlett than one of those bad-ass heroines. And she grew a lot through the book. She learned to trust others, to take chances and to live her life. It was amazing to see her journey!

   I love Julian!

   He was an amazing love interest, and he was perfect for Scarlett. He helped her come out of her shell and he was totally swoon-worthy!

   But the best thing about the book… Can I pick only one?

   Caraval had me hooked from page 1 with its magic and mystery and general awesomeness! It had me guessing from the beginning, trying to make sense of the clues (and totally failing, my deduction skills could use some help). I got really invested in the story very fast, which made it impossible to put away!

   Okay, the very best thing… The writing!

   The writing was what made the book so magical, and I also really loved the descriptions. Scarlett can see emotions as colours, which made for some very interesting descriptions. The writing made the book come alive in such an amazing way, it was like I was in Caraval myself. Hours could disappear without me even noticing!

   I don’t have a lot to say about the ending, that little teaser for the next book was the only thing about this book that I actually knew from the beginning, but it was a cliff-hanger, and I need the next book now!

   I have only two problems with this book; that it ended so quickly, and that Goodreads won’t allow me to give it more than five stars, because if there was ever a book that deserved that sixth star, it’s Caraval.

   Caraval was a bit on the dark side, which I loved, but I don’t think I’d recommend this for younger readers, but otherwise, this is a book every YA reader should read! But be warned: this book will keep you hooked and make time disappear as if by magic (totally a reference to the book, if you were wondering).
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