Caraval (Caraval #1)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…
Beware of getting swept too far away.
Scarlet Dragna has always dreamt of seeing Caraval. Every year, she would send a letter to the great Legend in hopes of going with her sister, Tella. It isn’t until the week before her wedding that she receives her invitation, but she can’t go. Their father would punish them beyond measure if they did.
With the help of the mysterious Julian, Tella kidnaps her sister. When Scarlet awakes, Tella is gone. Turned into the main event of Caraval, Scarlet and Julian must work together in order to find Tella first before any of the other players doo. The one who finds her wins. The winner gets a wish.
This book was instantly gripping from the start. My curiosity was pulled like a string the moment Scarlet received her invitation to go to Caraval. My excitement only grew as I kept reading because I was left guessing and dying to find out all of its mysteries. This is definitely one of those books I couldn’t put down and got done with two days and it’s certainly one of the best I’ve read all year. I don’t think I have enough words for how much I enjoyed it.
The world that Garber created was magical like a dream, except you didn’t wake up from it because this dream was happening while awake. Filled with lights, secrets, and tricks. When you think you know what’s going on you really don’t. This world flipped me around and I was swept away, even though I was warned not to be. Caraval was marvelous and I definitely want to play the game. With doors opening in unexpected places, shops selling things and the currency to buy it are secrets, and time if not used well, is lost with a single drop of blood.
I was left guessing with these characters. Always guessing and that is always refreshing. Scarlet and Julian were amusing and I couldn’t get enough of these two. Scarlet is always protecting Tella, her sister. Personally, Tella needed her noggin knocked. She is such a blasted pain in the ass. Granted, Scarlet wasn’t much better. Many of the interesting situations Scarlet got Julian and herself into were basically her fault, but it all lead to a magical ending.
Speaking of Julian, Scarlet’s partner in crime during Caraval, he was so mischievous. Which is why I loved him! He was the complete opposite of Scarlet and was exactly the person she needed to open her heart. The entire book, I kept trying to figure out who he was and what his game was. Safe to say, I was wrong in my guesses and totally stunned.
The style Garber brought to this story was fast, fun, and colorful. Driven by the character, Scarlet, I was blown away that she saw emotion in color. It enriched the story so much. That was one of my favorite parts in the story. It gave so much to the imagery. And my emotions! I fell in love with Scarlet and Julian.
I really loved this book. Getting pulled back and forth, my emotions got pulled like Laffy Taffy, as the twists and turns kept coming. This definitely one of those ones that I didn’t want to end. I can’t wait to read Legendary because the end of Caraval left me hanging! Currently, I’m still waiting for it to come out on paperback. It joins the many others I’m impatiently waiting on.
“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.” (Grandmother, p. 19)
“Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.” (unicyclist, p. 77)
“People are willing to spend a lot of money, or give up their deepest secrets, for a bit of Caraval magic. But those who don’t play fairly usually pay an even higher price.” (Julian, p. 129)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.