Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Pages: 407
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: 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.

Caraval has been on my radar since last year, and I, like a lot of others, tried to get an ARC copy. But sadly, I didn't. But don't fret because this book was definitely worth the wait!

I already anticipate Caraval being on my Top Books of 2017 list. It was everything I could have ever dreamed and more. This book was beautiful. The writing was beautiful. The cover was drop dead gorgeous. I fell in love with all of the characters, especially Julian *heart eyes*. Caraval was beautiful from top to bottom, page one to the very last page.

I have nothing but good words for this book, so you are about to read an extremely gushing review.

Firstly, the plot: it was original and interesting. I loved the whole idea of the carnival where everyone played a game (which wasn't really that much of a game so don't let that turn you off). It was more of a mystery where Scarlett is on the search for her kidnapped sister, Tella. Her sister was kidnapped by Legend (pretty much the carnival master) for the plot of the game. It's full of magic and mystery; it has fantasy elements. It's a perfect book.

The characters were deep and had personalities that made you love (or hate) them. They were three-dimensional, and I felt as if I actually knew them. I was a big fan of Scarlett. Sometimes I tend to hate the lead character, but no, I really liked Scarlett, or Crimson as Julian calls her. Let me just say that I ship Scar and Julian so so much. They are wonderful and beautiful and ugh OTP!

Legend was an interesting character. You know some about him but not much, and we sadly have yet to meet him. I really like him, but I need more. He's the perfect mystery.

I loved the world created inside of Caraval. This magical world was amazing, yet dark and twisted. This isn't a happy go lucky book; there are some dark aspects in this beautiful place. Secrets and fears will buy you a lot in Caraval, you just have to not share too much. This creates for an extremely interesting book. It was addicting because you need to know what happens next. I could not put this book down.

I highly recommend Caraval for anyone looking for a good book. This book will not disappoint and it will leave you wishing for more. I love Caraval, and please give me book two. I need more of my OTP please and thanks!

About the Author

My favorite place in the world is Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where I feel as if the fantastical stories I love to write about could actually come to life.
When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings. I’m also a blogger on PUB(LISHING) CRAWL. But I probably spend most of my time on Twitter where I tend to overuse exclamation points and emojis.
To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.
My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval will be published January 2017 (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in twenty-five foriegn territories and the movie rights were pre-empted by Twentieth Century Fox.