Caraval

Caraval

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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"Welcome, welcome to Caraval--Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. 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. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Flatiron Books, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781250095251
Characteristics: 407 pages :,map ;,24 cm.

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Nymeria23
Feb 11, 2018

Okay, while this book could have maybe done a better job at developing the characters and analyzing the scenes from Scarlett's point of view (almost too plot-heavy, needed more substance at times) I loved this book. It kept me on my toes, made me question what elements of the story were true or not, and made me appreciate the thought and time that must have gone into this story. It was extremely well done and I loved it.

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Natashastales
Jan 15, 2018

Love this story. Original, adventurous and wow. From the very best page I was pulled into the story. I can't wait to read the next book.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 12, 2017

The lines of reality and imagination are blurred here, in this phenomenal read of magic and wonder. This book will leave you on the very edge of excitement and keep you up past your curfew (as it does get scarier in the dark). I absolutely adored the protagonist and her selfless devotion to her sister, throughout the entirety of the story. Scarlett, our heroine, is caught in a game she has been entranced by since childhood, but at a cost. If she wins, she is granted a wish. However, much is at stake (her sister, time, marriage, etc). Will her partnership with an unlikely sailor (who is not what he seems) prove successful? Or is it all just one elaborate lie in the end? A must read of 5/5 stars!!
- @Siri of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Oh my. This was eerie, mysterious, beautiful and magical all in one, and I couldn’t have loved it more! This book was a wild goose chase but it was so different. If you’re looking for the next Wizard of Oz, trust me when I say this book will give out these vibes. Scarlett has been betrothed to a count of a land she does not know, and a man who is the same. But she is happy. Anything to take her away from her brutal and abusive father and protect herself and her sister Donatella. What she didn’t expect is that after seven years of yearning for tickets to the Caraval, a week before her wedding they arrive. When Tella makes the decision for both of them and takes the help of a sailor named Julian, Scarlett has to follow. But little does she know that the Master Legend has captured Tella and she is the center of the game; the prize to be sought after. All the interconnections between characters were likeable, although the end was confusing and a bit rushed. Overall, a great read! Rating 4/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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MyrtleLouise
Oct 25, 2017

Interesting idea, but I wasn't engaged.

3
3je82rs9
Oct 12, 2017

I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this book from some of the reviews I had read. I'd seen some mixed reviews. I went into this at random not expecting a whole lot, but boy was I surprised! I enjoyed this book a lot! I can see some of the similarities to The Night Circus, but this seemed to be in all in all different ball game. I wasn't sure how the story was going to turn out with all the plot twists. I'm still not sure what's going to happen next (please let there be a second book!) Scarlett was a as a matter of fact a likable character. More likable than her sister Tella seemed to be. I would like to know more about Legend because none of my questions were beyond doubt answered about him. For me, this book was hard to put down and was aloof what I needed for a fun read!

h
heavenne
Oct 01, 2017

What I loved the most about the book was the setting of Caraval. It’s so beautifully descriptive it feels like a magical place. You’re taken back to the feeling when you were a wee little one and you’re in Disneyland for the first time in your life. It’s that magical feel good feeling that comes back to you when you’re reading the book. At the same time you know things aren’t what they seem and there’s some dark undertones to Caraval. It’s hard not to get swept away (as they have warned you) because everything seems so real and fun.

I loved the plot throughout the book. Like Scarlett, you had doubts as to whether things were real or not. By the time you finished the novel you were still doubting what was real and what wasn’t. Scarlett was at times frustrating and irritating. She hesitated at the wrong times and didn’t listen to anyone when she really needed to. Argh. You wanted to jump in and drag her to point her to the right direction. I didn’t really see her well with Julian because I really saw Julian as more of a means to an end because he guided her throughout the game. However I have to admit, I liked it when he called her ‘Crimson’ it suited his personality at the time (I hope he doesn’t stop calling her that, it adds more to their characters.)

The last few pages of the novel though. Wow. You’re blown away and you’ll have your heart wrenched and torn out of your chest and then it’s put back in. Yet it doesn’t feel the same anymore and you’re left with more questions and wanting more. OH MY GOD I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SECOND BOOK! I NEED ANSWERS!

Greatly recommended. Immerse yourself into the world and enjoy. You’ll probably get carried away like I did. Get ready for some good twists that are gut wrenching. You’re not left the same after reading it.

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Doobie2_0
Aug 04, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, but Scarlett was getting on my last nerves.

AL_KATI Jul 03, 2017

Quite a beautiful novel that brings to mind "The Night Circus." I've heard a movie might be in the works, and this would make a gorgeous film.

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morrisaurus
Jun 12, 2017

This was absolutely one of the best reads I've had in basically forever!!!!! I could not put it down and often found myself up late into the night turning the pages to see what would happen next. I ABSOLUTELY recommend!!!!!

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goddessbeth
May 18, 2017

This book had some hits and some misses for me, so for the sake of a quick review I'm just going to list them out.

I really enjoyed:

The setting, which definitely felt magical and otherworldly, with an interesting juxtaposition of Renaissance Italy politics and rustic charm and Victorian fashion.

Scarlett's unique perception- she's a bit of a synesthete, seeing emotion as colors. I've never read this from a character before, and gave a sense of how vibrant the world is to Scarlett, despite being abused and isolated.

Scarlett's fiance. Not to give too much away, but he made a nice midway point between "not exactly a gentleman" and "not exactly a villain"- rather close to what I assume a lot of people would actually be.

The twists. I did struggle with Scarlett's utter idiocy (see below) but it serves a purpose.
Not only is she growing as a character and learning to take risks and trust herself and thinking analytically instead of just reacting, it allows for some fun twists.

Julian.

The cover, which is prismatic and gorgeous.

I didn't so much enjoy:

Scarlett's father never felt like a fleshed-out character, but some kind of bogeyman. His reasons for abusing his daughters is explained from Scarlett's perspective, but since she's a flawed narrator, I wanted to see a bit of what must have been a complicated and self-justified logic from him. Or maybe I'm overthinking it and he's just a bully.

Sometimes Scarlett was SO DUMB. She did grow, and it's totally justified, but there were a few naive moments where I just had to put the book down because I wanted to shake her. It disconnected me from caring about anything else, plot-wise.

I didn't feel like Donatella was fully realized. Definitely Scarlett's perception of her isn't fully the truth, but most of the time she was more plot device than character. Given the cliffhanger ending, this might be totally rectified in book 2.

Overall, I liked it. I will likely pick up book 2, because I'm curious about what happens next and I want to get to know Donatella (who, to be honest, feels much more "me"). And because I want more Julian. I recommend it for fans of fantasy YA with a dash of clean romance.

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KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

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KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“No one is truly honest,” Nigel answered. “Even if we don't lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”

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KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

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Natashastales
Jan 15, 2018

Natashastales thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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