Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caravalCaraval by Stephanie Garber

Publication Date: January 31, 2017 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]

Goodreads Summary:

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

A mesmerising, magical and stunningly imaginative debut novel for anyone who loved The Night Circus and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

My thoughts:



I was reluctant to read Caraval at first because it’s one of the most anticipated 2017 releases of the bookish community. Everyone seems to be talking about it, and I was afraid of the expectations I’d have for this book.



I mean, who would have thought of those twists! Caraval was unpredictable in every angle. Reading it felt like riding a rollercoaster without seeing where you’re actually going. (Space Mountain in Disneyland, anyone?)

The idea of Caraval is very new to me. It didnt remind me of any book I’ve read in my lifetime. I haven’t read The Night Circus yet, so once I get the chance to do so, it will most likely remind me of Caraval.

Scarlett and Tella were slaves to their very own father. Governor Dragna is one of the cruelest fictional fathers I’ve met. He has twisted ways of making his daughters obey his orders, and I would totally want to get away from him if I were Scarlett and Tella.

Julian is a sailor, and also a ticket out of the isle. For years, Scarlett wrote letters to Legend, and when the master of Caraval finally sent a reply, it gave the sisters a chance to make their Caraval dreams come true.

With Julian’s help, Scarlett and Tella made it to Caraval – the grandest adventure of their lives, meant to test what it means to love someone unconditionally and do what it takes to have what you want the most in the world.

Scarlett is probably the strongest character in the book. I try to imagine myself in her shoes, and it’s amazing how she kept herself together despite all the lies she’s been told in the world of deception she’s in. There were a lot of times when I found myself carried away by the game itself, and I just have to say it’s not easy to survive what Scarlett had to go through.

Julian would be my favorite character, mostly because I felt his effort to break free. I saw how much he struggled to defy expectations and go against the rules for the sake of what he truly wants. Plus, he’s very mysterious and he’s running for book boyfriend of the year. ❤

Tella, on the other hand, is pure genius. That’s all I can say for now, because there is so much to find out in the next book.

Caraval is a book of lies that were told “for the sake of the other” – betrayals that will constantly shake your beliefs about the characters. There were a lot of points that will make you question where the book is actually headed and what’s going to happen next.

But the question that you will probably ask the most is who. Who is this, who is that, who is this, really?

Everyone is not who they seem to be. And once you find out the biggest answer to the greatest WHY, you might freak out.

I did.


The book has an end, and the ending was really satisfying. Translation: SWOONWORTHY! ❤

BUT the ending was more of a page break – there were questions that demand to be answered in the second book. And I seriously can’t wait.

Is it really just a game
Or it isn’t
Or it is

Final Rating: 5/5

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2 thoughts on “Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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