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Review: Caraval

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๏ผด๏ฝ‰๏ฝ”๏ฝŒ๏ฝ…๏ผšCaraval

๏ผก๏ฝ•๏ฝ”๏ฝˆ๏ฝ๏ฝ’๏ผšStephanie Garber

๏ผณ๏ฝ…๏ฝ’๏ฝ‰๏ฝ…๏ฝ“๏ผšย Book 1

๏ผฒ๏ฝ๏ฝ”๏ฝ‰๏ฝŽ๏ฝ‡๏ผš โ˜… โ˜… โ˜… โ˜… โœฉ

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๏ผณ๏ฝ™๏ฝŽ๏ฝ๏ฝ๏ฝ“๏ฝ‰๏ฝ“
From Goodreads

Remember, itโ€™s only a gameโ€ฆ

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlettโ€™s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caravalโ€”the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the showโ€”are over.

But this year, Scarlettโ€™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 Caravalโ€™s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this seasonโ€™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 Caravalโ€ฆbeware of getting swept too far away.

divider-51๏ผฆ๏ฝ๏ฝ–๏ฝ๏ฝ’๏ฝ‰๏ฝ”๏ฝ… ๏ผฃ๏ฝˆ๏ฝ๏ฝ’๏ฝ๏ฝƒ๏ฝ”๏ฝ…๏ฝ’๏ฝ“

โœฉ Legendย is one of my favorite characters. It’s not so much about him personally, but all these rumors surrounding him. I love the mystery of it (and Caraval) that plays out throughout the story. Never knowing who he really is, if you’ve seen him or not.

โœฉ Scarlett was definitely my favorite between the two sisters. I liked that she was always looking out for her sister. Plus, she was smart, always on her toes. I liked that she was independent.

โœฉ Aikoย played a small part in Caraval, but I liked her appearances. She looked out for Scarlett in her own way and pushed her to look at her life (future really) in a new way.

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โœฉ One of the great things about this book was the environment that Garber created for Caraval. I loved the imagination put into and how things worked.

Some saidย Open: Sometime Around Midnight.ย Others signs saidย Come Back Yesterday.

โœฉ I also had a lot of fun reading the interactions between Julian and Scarlett because they were usually a mix of funny and cute.

“If you turn your back to me, we can both change.”

“We can both change facing each other too.” There was a smile in his voice now.

โœฉ Like I said, they tended to be funny, especially early on.

“Don’t look at me like that.” Scarlett said. “It doesn’t work on me.”

“That’s why it’s so fun.”

โœฉ I also liked that Julian was keeping his own secrets, and despite having his own reasons for being in Caraval he still did his best to help Scarlett out. Even if her being cautious could make waves at times.

It wasn’t until Julian stepped out of the room that she could breathe once more, and she realized: when he left, it felt as if he was closing the door on her as well.

โœฉ I also liked Scarlett as a character because she was strong, brave, and willing to sacrifice her future for her sister.

She remembered thinking falling for him would be like falling in love with darkness, but now she imagined he was more like a starry night: the constellations were always there, constant, magnificent guides against the ever-present black.

โœฉ Now, I won’t spoil anything, but I have to say that you have to appreciate the ending for all its twists and turns. There were so many things that I did not see coming. Really, really, loved the ending.

Scarlett didn’t know how many times she repeated his name. She said it like a prayer. A plea. A whisper. A good-bye.

divider-51๏ผฒ๏ฝ…๏ฝ–๏ฝ‰๏ฝ…๏ฝ—

Welcome one and all to my review on Caraval! Okay, I just really wanted to do that. Moving on!

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I picked up this book because everyone was talking about it, and I wanted to know if it lived up to all the hype. And for me, it did. Although, it wasn’t an entirely smooth ride.

I’m going to be honest and say that Tella was one of the main reasons that I didn’t want to pick this book up again, and kinda put me in a slump for a few days. In the first few moments with Tella she was completely wild, capricious, and willing to step all over Scarlett to get what she wanted. I think the moment that I took a break from the book was right after Tella lied and blamed Scarlett for something she did so that her father wouldn’t punish her. It was frustrating for me because I saw two people living in the same nightmare (physical abuse)–Scarlett, willing to take care of them both, and Tella, looking out for herself. Edit: I should say that when I picked the book back up again this was explained and she wasn’t really trying to protect herself by doing this. She was actually protecting Scarlett.

After talking to a couple people on Goodreads and a friend I decided to push through it and go on. It was so worth it! So, if you don’t feel too great in the first few chapters of the book, I urge you to keep reading a little more. Once you get to the First Night of Caraval you can decide for yourself if it’s for you.

That being said, the fun of Caraval really started for me once Tella was out of the picture. When the story turned to Scarlett I really enjoyed the book a lot more. Once Scarlett and Julian reached Caraval I got lost in the magic and mystery. The feeling of Caraval is one of the driving forces of this book. It’s the moving bridges, the loss of time, the payment of secrets and desires–it was just a very dark and magical setting. In a way, I felt like Caraval gave people the chance to show what they were really like, to learn more about themselves.

For Scarlett, I think Caraval taught her about taking chances, and what it means to really love someone. I think she especially learned to love herself enough to make choices about her own happiness. I liked that Scarlett stopped settling and started living.

Legend was another favorite of mine. Although you never really find out if you’ve seen him or what he looks like it’s really just the myths about him that I found appealing. I liked the mystery and his walking the fine line between villain and performer.

Now, I’m just going to address this briefly because I know some people have issues with this so I kinda just wanna give everyone a heads-up. Some people have said that they didn’t like the book because of the apparent instant romance between Scarlett and another character. I didn’t see it that way. It developed slowly, and then came out naturally over the tough situations they were placed in. It wasn’t anything either planned and I think it was necessary for her to grow.ย 

And, of course, I would love to talk about that seriously plot-twisty goodness that was the ending, but I won’t spoil it. Suffice it to say that I was relieved and pleasantly surprised, but also dying to know what happens next!

As a final note, I have to give this book props just for its design. The cover is gorgeous (even though I secretly love the UK cover more), and I love the chapter headers and flourishes used throughout. Plus, if you take the dust jacket off the hardcover it has a cute little teardrop on it that’s part of the Caraval symbol. I just loved how pretty this book was. There, I said it, haha.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Caraval

  1. This comment is kinda spoiler..

    I’m pretty sure, and sure by the fact that I just went and re read that passage..
    When Julian is caught with Tella & Scarlett bother girls says the opposite name.. Tella motioned to Julian to say it was Scarlett. She did this because she knows that her father’s way of punishing Scarlett is to hurt Tella and make her watch.. So she wasn’t been selfish, she said it was Scarlett so that she would be the one to get hurt instead of Scarlett.

    Direct quote: ” Scarlett tried to step in front of Tella, but a guard pulled Scarlett back toward the barrels, grabbing her roughly by the elbows and yanking hem behind her, as she fought to protect her sister. For it wasn’t Scarlett who would be punished for this crime. Every time Scarlett or her sister disobeyed, Governor Dragna did something awful to the other as punishment”

    However I agree with the not so much insta love between characters, at first yes there was physical attraction, but that’s bound to happen. I definitely didn’t think it was insta love! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. Yeah, you’re totally right! I mean, before I got to that part it still threw me off that Tella said she’d just blame Scarlett with no hesitation. I think I put the book down the first time right before that explanation. I’ll go back and clarify that in my post! Afterward, it was more of Tella not seeming to appreciate or understand all that Scarlett was giving up to keep Tella safe. Although I did understand Tella’s reasons in the end.

      And yeah, haha. I think I lot of people just assume that physical attraction means insta-love. They still have to build up a relationship, which I saw happen little by little.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard some mixed reviews on this (it seems like you either love it or hate it), so I’m glad to see you enjoyed it so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like such a unique and interesting book. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! โค

    Liked by 1 person

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