Review: Caraval by Setphanie Garber (spoiler-free)

Hello booklovers! How are we today? I have some exciting news for you! Yours truly here received her first ever review copies on Monday!!!! I was sent a copy of Caraval by Setphanie Garber from Hachette Books in exchange for an honest review. Caraval is one of the most anticipating YA release of 2017 and I so so thrilled to be sharing my thoughts with you! It is truly a magical book and it’s my first very-close-to-5-star reads of this year (and that’s saying something!).

Synopsis:

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.

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My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For starters, I want to point out that I’m extremely passionate about The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Like I really really love that book and believe me – I hugged that book and fell asleep with it after I finished it. Caraval does try to recreate the magic and mystery of The Night Circus, what I would like to say is that if you enjoyed the Night Circus, you are likely to enjoy Caraval too (feel free to discuss it with me if you want!) 🙂

I personally quite enjoyed the book as a story, the planning is there and the author has tried to weave in many elements together – and it worked. It has quite a rapid pace as time is clearly an important factor in the plot. The entire novel revolves around a single mystery given to all those who are players of the game. There were many unexpected moments, shocking twists and turns, although some were quite predictable – I found them to be the reason I finished the book so quickly as I was eager to find out what will happen next. The smooth (and the ‘not-so-smooth-you-need-to-know-what-happens-next) transition between each chapters and parts makes the novel quite easy to read and navigate – the map included at the start of the book also spiced things up a little. (I love bookish maps, I adore them in fact.)

Our heroine is an 18 year old girl Scarlett, who has always been the more thoughtful and responsible sister, who also claims to love her sister more than anything in the world. Reading from her perspective startled me a little from the beginning – not that it’s not enjoyable – it’s a little over-the-board when she wishes to marry an aristocrat whom she does not even know the name of or has ever met in person JUST so that her sister will be safe (like from what? and how well is that going to work out?).

But putting that aside, we have this whole deal with Caraval and its magic itself, what actually do the players need to do? How to win? How is this all “IT IS JUT A GAME”? This book will leave you questioning what’s real and what’s SO real that you want it TO BE real but it’s in fact NOT real and so on (A/N: wow that’s one long low-key deep sentence sorry ’bout that).

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And oh the romance, YAS. I really enjoyed (more like adored) the chemistry between the characters and I would recommend this book to you if you like tan-skin, ruffled-haired, mysterious handsome dudes. (And no I’m no saying much more as I don’t wanna spoil anything 😉

There are a few minor problems which I wish were fixed as it’ll definitely make it a full-5-star-read for me. The repetition level was ridiculously high. The phrases  like “I just want to find my sister and get home in time for my wedding” or “my greatest desire is to find my sister” are repeated throughout the novel. So. So. Many. Many. Times. The other thing was that the ending was a tiny bit confusing (maybe it’s just me? haha). It’s definitely not my favourite thing in the world when a message in a book is a bit too vague in my liking (or it has not been executed well) that I don’t even know where I’m going with my train of thoughts. Maybe it was the author’s intent? I have zero clue (and please let me know your thoughts on this). I also wish there was more to it. And having more chapters from Donatella (the other sister), would have been a huge bonus. These were just some really minor things that I picked up on and do not, I repeat, DO NOT be discouraged to read it because of the above! It’s really a worthy read! (These reviews are purely my own thoughts on great pieces of literature.)

Overall, this book did not disappoint me! I really like the way the story is put together and seeing the characters grow page after page. Thank you so much again to Hachette Books for sending me a copy of this magical book!

And there you go! Hope you will read Caraval and let me know what you think! Fangirl with me if you’d like!

Happy Reading! xx

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2 thoughts on “Review: Caraval by Setphanie Garber (spoiler-free)

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