Fantasy, Review, Young Adult

Caraval | Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: 31/01/2017
Genre: Fantasy. Young Adult.
Series: Caraval #1
Format: Hardback. Audiobook.
Pages: 402
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5)

Synopsis (Goodreads)
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.

I was so very much hoping to enjoy this book because I had heard nothing but good things about it. And, to be completely honest, when I first read it, I did enjoy it. Originally, I gave Caraval 4 ★. But, now that I’ve sat and thought on my review for this book for a while, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not as good as I had first thought. There are so many issues throughout this whole book, that unfortunately, I have had to lower my rating to 2.5 ★.

Scarlett got on my nerves. She was so naïve and hardly seemed able to make a decision for the right reasons. She always seemed to be jumping in headfirst, and then suffering the consequences later on. And this just kept on happening, all the way through to the very end.

A book with a great premise, but was sadly killed by all the hype.


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