Author: Stephanie Garber
Book #: 1
Goodreads Rating: 4.0
Published: January 31st, 2017
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.
- The magical world that is Caraval. I felt like I was right there in the middle of the game. Every clue and obstacles that Scarlett went through the reader also goes through it. At some points I would even play along and think "that's gotta be a clue". And even when I thought I had things figured out, I still ended up being surprised most of the time.
- Another thing that I liked about this story was the writing style. It honestly feels magical and fairytale-like. The mystery that is Legend and his performers was stunning. And even though you really don't get to know more about Legend I have a feeling that the next book will focus more on him. The island where Caraval is played sounds breathtaking, it honestly reminded me a bit of Alice in Wonderland, or at least that's what I pictured the island to look like haha.
- Another thing that I loved was the romance. I don't know if others thought the same as me but for some reason I thought that Scarlett was going to end up falling in love with Legend. But it was a nice turn of events that she actually fell for Julian. Although the romance felt a little bit too rushed, I completely ship them haha. I think I really like this pairing because if you look at it from Julian's side it is very romantic and innocent.
- Despite the beautiful world-building that Stephanie Garber created some things she left very vague and didn't explain at all. For example how Scarlett assigns colors to emotions. Is she like reading auras? Is she magical? We don't know because it's never explained.
- How much Scarlett complains and frets, I honestly didn't like her very much. Julian and her sister, Tella, on the other hand I did. It was a nice surprise to find how different these characters are in reality as compared to how Scarlett depicts them.
- The lies. That is something that I didn't really like that much. I understand that it was necessary to create that mysterious atmosphere. But I swear sometimes I just wanted to stop reading the book because it became too much. The lies, the vague actions of certain characters, and the whole mysterious scenes sometimes became too much. But overall it was nice when at the end everything is explained so I guess it was worth it.
Overall it was a great book and I really do recommend you to read it!:)