Saturday, February 11, 2017

Book Review | Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
Series: First of 2 Books
Pages: 407
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
Copy: Bought
Summary: 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 . . . 

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.

I absoutley devoured this book.  Once I started it, I couldn't put it down.  The whimsical, magical feeling of Caraval completely drew me in, and when it started to take on a darker tone, I loved that even more.  For those of you who liked The Night Circus, but wanted some more mystery and thriller added in there, this book is definitely for you.

Caraval starts us out with our MC, Scarlett, and her sister, Tella.  Scarlett is definitely more type.  She's practical and levelheaded, and she just wants to protect her sister from their evil father.  And when I say evil, I don't mean "oh he's mean in the beginning but he has a redemption arc at the very end", I mean EVIL.  So Scarlett agrees to marry some random guy that she's never met as a desperate attempt to get away from her father and take Tella with her.  And that's where Caraval comes in.

Caraval starts out lulling you into a false sense of security.  Everything is magical and wonderful at first, but you quickly start to see a darker undertone running through it.  Slowly, it turns from mystical to downright mysterious.

The trippy thing about this book is that you keep thinking you finally have a grasp on what's going on and who is who and then BAM.  Plot twist.  There were so many times when I thought I finally had it figured out, only to have something happen that completely throws me off.  And the final plot twist at the end had me reeling.

I could go on and on about this book, but I don't want to say too much else.  I went into it completely blind, and I think that's the best way to go into it.  All I can say is if this sounds like something you would like, read it!  It's definitely worth it.

*If you guys didn't hear about the new thing I'm doing in my reviews and want to know more, go to my post here.*

My song rec for Caraval is Carousel by Melanie Martinez!  This song is just like the book in that it's like a funhouse gone wrong.  I definitely get the same creepy vibes from both, and some of the lyrics are dead on.  Most of you have already listened to Melanie's music, but if you haven't, I definitely recommend giving it a try!