book reviews · young adult

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

27883214Title: Caraval (book #01)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Source: Bought
Edition: Hardbound
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
Pages: 403 pages
Category: young adult, fantasy, magic, sibling affection


Whatever 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.

LIKENESS SCALE:❤❤❤❤ (4.5 hearts)


On the cover:  The cover is awesome. A navy blue background emphasises the sparkly decorations in the front dust jacket. The combination of the matt and smooth texture of the dust jacket makes it look expensive. The blurbs on the back don’t over power the books back dust jacker. Their isn’t a book description in the back dust jacket but a ticket for Caraval is printed. The books spine, end sheets and map are very pretty. Chapter pages also have vintage designs printed on them. All of this add a unique character to the book which reflects its story too.

On the story plot:  The story is about two sisters (Donatella and Scarlett)  who wanted to go to Caraval. However, both sisters have their own agenda on why they are attending the event. Caraval is a yearly event where anything can happen. It could kill you, if not make you insane. However, because of the stories of their grandma they see Caraval as an event full of magic and wonder.Due to events the sisters were separated and Donatella became the target of every player in Caraval. This is because when she is found, a wish of the winner’s choice would be granted. Because of Scarlett’s love for her sister she decides to join Caraval and win. However, she does not know that the journey to winning Caraval reveals a lot of lies, drama and madness.

On the characters:  Dontella and Scarlett are sisters who have opposite yet complimentary traits. One is more adventurous than the other. The other believes in magic while the other is power. Somehow, Scarlett as a character developed really well. She was able to realise that there are things we need to risk before obtained. Sometimes being on the safe side would bring you closer to the enemy. Another character of importance is Julian, he has lots of secrets connected to Caraval. He also became the helper of Scarlett in Caraval to find Donatella. In the end, both acknowledged their growing affections for one another. Legend is the grand master of Caraval. He is the orchestrator and creator of Caraval. Being mysterious and magical are his strong points, but he is also known as a villain by the people despite creating something magical like Caraval. Somehow, in this first book Legend still remains to be a total mystery.

All in all: I love this book. I had fun reading it that I would gladly re-read it again once the second book comes out.The sisterly love did not irritate me because it was well written with sass and witty conversations. I love the interaction between Donatella and Scarlett. Even Scarlett and Julians’ conversations were a delight. I love how the plot was made, the scenes were not long and boring. I was able to read this fast because I just can’t bring down the book. Somehow, this book is super  hyped and in my opinion it really deserves it. I gave it a 4.5 hearts rating because this book was good enough for me. I’m hoping that the second book would be as good as this, if not better. Also, I am curious about and Legend and the siblings’ mother. I recommend this book to readers who appreciate endings which will give you more questions than answers.


It’s better this way, sister. There’s more to life than staying safe…
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Wishes were things of wonder that took a certain amount of faith
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

The future knows what things we desire, unless there is something greater in our path that chase us away
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

It is not fate, it is simply the future observing that which we crave the most. Ever person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

But there are many things to want in life. It’s not a bad thing if there are other things you desire a little more.
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber

People think no one sees all the nasty things they do in the dark. The foul acts they commit, or the lies they tell as part of the game. Caraval takes place at night because you like to watch, and see what people do when they think there are no consequences
-Caraval by Stephanie Garber


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