Caraval by Stephanie Garber feature

Book Review: ‘Caraval’ by Stephanie Garber

I finished this book a while ago; I’ve just been searching for the time to review it. Between working, reading and packing for my upcoming move, time has been scarce. However, I took today off to relax, so I thought I’d use it to put up a few reviews.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber was released on January 31 of this year by Flatiron Books. The novel is full of magic, deception and romance, and it leaves its readers yearning for the next piece of the story, which won’t be published until 2018.

Scarlett is a careful girl who protects her sister, Tella, from their cruel and physically abusive father on a small island, but she dreams of attending Caraval – the once-a-year magical performance where the audience participates for an unbelievable prize. Her chance finally comes, but only after her marriage has been arranged with a mysterious man of her father’s choosing. She fears if she leaves, her father will kill Tella. Not wanting Scarlett to miss the chance of a lifetime, Tella and a sailor named Julian whisk her away against her will. Once they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by the Ringmaster of the show. If Scarlett finds her before the end of the game, she wins a magical wish. If she doesn’t find her, she just might lose her permanently.

This book was beautifully written. The descriptions were magical and the characters intriguing. Even though she’s warned that the proceedings are just a game, Scarlett can’t help but get swept up in everything around her and we get swept right along with her. And Julian? Wow. We spend the novel wondering if Scarlett can truly trust him, but also drooling over him and hoping they step up the romance. It was a perfect mix. The ending of the novel was surprising and left the story open in a way I didn’t expect. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

If you’re a fan of YA fantasy that includes magic, theatrical twists and turns and a steaming but age-appropriate love story, this is the book for you. It was one of my favorite reads so far this year.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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