Book Reviews · Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Review: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber
Published January 31, 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton
RRP AUD $24.99
★★★★★ – I would give this 100000 stars if I could

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

Wow wow wow where to begin?? I really really wish that it’s possible to forget books, just so I can go back and re-read it for the first time, sigh.

So, since I read the synopsis ages ago, Caraval has been one of my most anticipated 2017 reads, and I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC from Hachette Australia (THANK YOUUUU <3), so I was able to read it in 2016!! Unfortunately, this also means I have longer to wait for the second book, and I don’t know if I can wait that long omg.

I LOVE THE FORMATTING OF THE BOOK. Besides the gorgeous cover, it has a map (!!), letters and beautiful illustrations. I kept stopping at the break pages just so I could stare and take photos because heart-eyes emoji.

This is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel, and has already shown how brilliant she is. The story is wonderfully, whimsically unique and everything moves fluidly. I loved how mysterious everything was and the twisting and turning plot only added to the experience, and when Scarlett was actually in the game, I also found myself doubting whether the things happening were real or not. I felt as though I was participating in the game too, and I loved every second of it. Throughout the book, I didn’t have any complaints whatsoever and by the time I’d finished the book, I was so blown away. I was so immersed into the story I didn’t notice time flying by.

It was pretty much impossible to call the plot twists beforehand, because everything that happened was just so unexpected and I was in a constant state of surprise and wonder. I was so concerned about how all of the mysterious aspects of the story were going to wrap up, but Stephanie did not disappoint in any way.

The characters were extremely well-developed and draws you into the story. I felt so much affection and understanding for them, and even though Tella wasn’t actually present in the story for a lot of the time (being kidnapped and all), her character was extremely well-developed. I felt as though she was an actual person that I knew and cared for.

I loved the character relationships in this book! Not only is the major relationship the sisterly bond between Scarlett and Tella, but it was extremely tastefully done. It’s clear to see that both sisters mean so much to each other, even if it is slightly more one-sided, and they’re willing to go through so much in order to protect each other.

Now, as most would know by now, I strongly dislike love triangles. During some parts of the story, it seems there is a love triangle growing, but Stephanie always ends up twisting it into something even better. I’m a big fan of the blooming relationship between Scarlett and her counterpart!!! I need moreeeeeee.

The ending is kind of a cliffhanger, because while it wrapped up one side of the story pretty well, it also perfectly opens the door for the next instalment and AHHHHHHH I need #2 asap!! No pressure though Stephanie! Hehe

Also I have just found out it the original title was supposed to be Hearts Made of Black?? I like it, but I love Caraval more ❤

 

I received a review copy from the publisher

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ABOUT THE AUTHORStephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber wanted to be an explorer until she realised most of the world had already been discovered. So she started creating her own worlds, which is why she now writes imaginative fiction. When she’s not writing, Stephanie teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California. CARAVAL is her debut novel.

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