Caraval by Stephanie Garber // Book Review

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Goodreads Rating:  3.95 / 5 Stars

My Rating:  5 / 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Recommend to: Anyone who loves fantasy, magic, carnivals, and dark twisted games.


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.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

My Review 

This book is full of surprises. It was a roller coaster – always super exciting and never knowing what’s around the next corner.
The magic in this book is very strange and mysterious and is used to create an extremely riveting plotline. 

Although it is repeated often – the idea that “it’s all just a game” really plays mind games with the reader and the main character Scarlet. I was constantly stuck between not believing anything at all, and wanting to believe everything. Scarlet’s character is a very interesting and intense one as we follow her through the game that is so believable. Scarlet’s relationship with her sister – Donnatella – was a complicated and realistic dynamic that I would like to see written about more often.

The unpredictability of this book was what really drew me in. This book frustrated the hell out of me as the lines between reality and fiction were so blurred I had no clue if I should ever trust my own instincts. This added to the beauty of the book because it leaves you constantly guessing and predicting. I tend to predict plots quickly but this is one that eluded me until the very end of the book – which was an awesome ending. 

The characters, the plot and especially the magical setting were all excellently written. It’s difficult to write a review because I cannot speak about most characters or places without spoiling this book. But take my word for it – this book was a great read!

Happy Reading !


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