Jaime Reviews ~ Caraval by Stephanie Garber

By Stephanie Garber
Published on January 31, 2017
Published by: Flatiron Books
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and 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.


I don't know how I am going to write this review, because I really don't have the right words to express how I felt about it. It wasn't the perfect novel, there were two or three pages that I didn't fly through, but man.... it was the perfect story for me! I loved Caraval! LOVED IT!

Caraval is full of magic, beautiful and terrifying. Good and bad are blurred. Relationships aren't what they seem, and neither are the characters. You can't trust your eyes in Caraval, you have to follow your instincts. And sometimes the heart is the biggest betrayer. But in the end, the prize is extraordinary!

Caraval's cast of characters is a unique mix of dark and light, sinister and sweet... These characters have depth and there is more to them all than meets the eye. There is no telling who you can really trust, or if you can trust a single one of them. The bonds of love and the lengths that one will go for that love is a big part of this story. I loved the the relationship between Scarlett and Donatella. They are sisters, exact opposites, but the love they have for one another knows no bounds. The romance is quirky and strange, but sexy and swoony. It is a very shippy ship.

I adored Caraval. I really did. In the very beginning, there were two or three pages that moved a little slowly, but after that I couldn't put the book down. This magical world is one that I will happily return to, again and again. The ending sets things up perfectly for a sequel, with a possible/probable character switch? And it is brutal... but it definitely leaves you longing for more, with a smile on your face!

Jaime Lynn

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