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.
I read Caraval by Stephanie Garber in one day. Seriously. I could not put it down! I have such a bad book hangover from it, it’s ridiculous! Luckily, Stephanie confirmed to me via IG that there will be a sequel! Thank goodness!! (go follow her on IG, she’s so darn cute I could die)
“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.”
Multiple times throughout the book (heck it even warns you on the cover) you are reminded to remember that Caraval is just a game and not to get swept away. I admit to being swept away! The plot was very well done and puts twists and turns at just the right spots, making it difficult to put the book down. I will tell you that Sunday was extremely unproductive. No laundry was done, no housework… I don’t even think I ate lunch!
“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”
I know this book has been extremely hyped up since its release on January 31 but it definitely deserves it! The world building is masterfully done and really takes you into the world. Some of the characters leave something to be desired at the beginning but you learn to love them and realize that how they are is just part of their charm. I really enjoy the relationship between the sisters Donatella and Scarlet, as well as Julian and Scarlet’s interactions. I really enjoyed Donatella’s character much more than Scarlet, I hope in the sequel we see much, much more of Tella.
“What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you it’s real, but all of it is a performance. A world built of make-believe. So while we want you to get swept away, be careful of being swept too far away. Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.”
The North American and UK cover art are different (as they usually are) and both are beautiful. I prefer the NA dust jacket, simply for the fact that it is all black (the UK is black on the front and white on the back. If it wasn’t I would love them both equally).
The NA hard cover has a blue teardrop on the bottom right hand corner under the dust jacket. The UK versions have one of four golden designs (clock, rose, tent and dress) and they are beautiful!! There is also a SUPER SECRET Top Hat UK version, but as far as I know that was only available through one UK book store. ( I can’t find the name of it, does anyone know?)
I really wish we had something akin to Caraval. I would go in a second!! Is it wrong that I am already wondering when it’s acceptable to read it again? No? Good!
If you have read Caraval, let me know what you thought in the comments (please remember to indicate *spoilers*). If you haven’t read it… GO GO GO!!! Then let me know what you think!
P.S. If you liked Caraval, another good read that was suggested to me was The Night Circus