review: caraval by stephanie garber

caraval by stephanie garber
published: january 31st 2017
series: caraval series

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Remember, it’s only a game…

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.


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

There is no danger in getting swept too far away. You know that feeling when a book has so much potential but then you finish it you’re just like … what happened???????

That was Caraval. There was so much opportunity for some rich world-building and creepiness and mind-fucking. Let me tell you, my mind is still in one piece and that is a shame. It literally hurts my heart to see this book flop. This book, in theory has everything. Great cover, good description, potential for elaborate world-building, decent writing…

In my opinion, what this book was desperately missing (aside from world-building) was creepiness like in [book:Alice|23398606]. I get that this is a YA but come on. Even a watered down version of Alice would have redeemed this book a little bit. I was just thoroughly unimpressed. The concept was great but the execution was just… not there. It seriously breaks my heart.

If you want to watch a well done Caraval, I suggest watching the movie The Game. Caraval was almost exactly like this movie, but with none of the charm.

The ending piqued my interest. Took about 406 pages to get there, though.

P.S drinking game – take a shot every time I mention world-building in this review

T H O U G H T S ?

3 thoughts on “review: caraval by stephanie garber

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