Book Review: Caraval

“Remember, it’s only a game.”

                                     – Stephanie Garber

I definitely have a theme going here:  beautiful books.  I just cannot help myself.  In my last book review I touched on the fact that I am a book snob.  I know it and I don’t foresee it changing in the near future.  To prove my point, I bought Caraval by Stephanie Garber on a whim.  I did however, read the synopsis first before ‘ooh-ing and ahh-ing’ at the cover jacket art…and what was underneath.  The UK editions of this book have five different gold embossed covers.  And I didn’t get to choose which one I received because it was shipped over from England.  I hoped I would get the clock, and when it arrived that’s what I got!  A big gamble for sure, but honestly all the different cover designs were beautiful and I would have been happy with any of them.  Although the clock was my favorite!

It has been the only time in my life where I have just spur-of-the-moment bought a book, knowing the shipping cost would double the book cost.  Yikes.  Oh well it was my birthday present so no big deal in the grand scheme of things.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  And my husband.  He’s a good man.  He puts up with all kinds of crazy over here when it comes to my reading habits and book-buying.  But with all of life happening it took me a long time to actually read Caraval.  And when I did I was so enthralled that I didn’t want to put it down.  This book surrounds the disappearance of a sister, to a magical game called Caraval.  And the other sister must find her before the end, or the consequences will be dire.  There are so many tricks and turns in this book that at times, I found it hard to keep track of a characters’ true motives, which a good writer will do to weave a beautiful story.

I will tell you that nothing is truly as it seems in Caraval, and you can’t trust anyone or anything they tell you in the story.  It’s best to read this book without trying to figure out the ending as you go.  I know I have tried that and it has worked in the past with other books.  With this book?  Nope.  Don’t even try.  And whatever you do, DO NOT READ THE LAST COUPLE OF CHAPTERS BEFORE STARTING THE BOOK.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am notorious for reading the ending of a book, first.  I know, I know…I can hear the yelling, “but you’ll ruin the ending!!”  Yes.  I know.  I’m one of those readers that likes to see what happens first, and then tries to figure it out along the way.  No sudden surprises.  No mystery.  I get too involved and attached to the characters while reading and need something to ground me.  Example:  I was devastated as a child after reading Charlotte’s Web.  I cried for two days straight and I was so upset with my mother for not warning me.  To this day, I still cannot read it or watch the movie with stopping before the end.  Ever since then I have been reading the endings.

Caraval is a magical tale full of mystery, suspense, humor, and a little bit of romance.  I found the ending superb, leaving an opening for the next installment, Legendary, releasing soon!  This book is a quick read as well.  I finished it in about eight hours over two days’ time.  If I was on vacation?  I wouldn’t have stopped until it was finished in one day.  This book shows the lengths one will go, to save the one they love from destruction.  And when there’s a twist involved?  Perfection.  Here’s the synopsis:

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

Scarlett and Tella have 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.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations 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 an elaborate performance.  But she quickly becomes entangled 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.”

– Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I just loved this book from start to finish.  At the start I was hooked quickly by the characters, but the ever-twisting plot was what kept me reading until the finish.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!  If you’ve read it, message me so we can talk.  I’m always wanting know what other readers like/dislike about a book.


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