So I crushed this book.
I was a little wary as I saw very mixed reviews on it. It seemed like one where you either loved it or you hated it. I loved it.
It was magically whimsical while also being dark and sinister. Basically exactly what I like.
I’ve tried to keep this review, pretty simple because going too far into detail would require me explaining the book and that would ruin it. The mystery of what’s happening in my opinion is the best part!
I would recommend this book if you haven’t read it! It was full of twists and turns and was exactly what I needed to read to help get me out of my slump. I am excited to start Legendary.
Remember, it’s only a game…
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.
What I liked
The Plot: I really enjoyed the plot of this book. I don’t want to give too much away because there are so many twists and turns that if I describe the plot, I’ll give everything away! But it kept me on my toes, needing to know what was going to happen next. My emotions were all over the place.
Scarlett: While there were some things about Scarlett that I did not like, for the most part I enjoyed her character. You see her grow throughout the book. She starts off very timid and afraid of basically everything, but throughout she finds her inner strength and courage.
Julian: I really liked Julian’s character as well, once I got past the cliche parts about it. I like that there was a lot about him you didn’t know and learned along the way. I also like that for most of the book I didn’t know if he was for or against Scarlett.
Setting: While I thought the overall world building could have been better, I did enjoy the island Caraval was set on. I thought Stephanie Garber did a great job capturing the magic and mystique about it.
What I did Not Like
The Reveal: Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the reveal at the end of the book. It was fantastic and not what I was expecting at all. I just didn’t like how the reveal came about basically as a speech. I thought it could’ve been done a better way.
Legend: It’s not that I don’t like his character, it’s that he really wasn’t actually in this book! I wanted him to be, you got his history and backstory but not much of him really in it! It does just make me want to read Legendary even more though!
Governor Dragna: I did not like Scarlett and Tella’s father at all. I know that we’re not supposed to like the villian, so at least that much was true. However, I didn’t like that there wasn’t really a reason behind why he was so evil. All of a sudden the girls’ mom leaves and now he’s an abusive dad for no other reason but to move the plot along in my opinion. It seemed out of place.
Scarlett’s Inner Dialogue: I loved Scarlett as a character, I just sometimes found her inner dialogue a little much. She was so whiny and wishy washy at times that I was getting annoyed. Also at one point she tells Tella she can’t fall in love within a week, when she legit did the same thing. Tell me how that works.
Have you read Caraval? Are you one of the lovers or the hater?