TRIGGER WARNING : PARENTAL ABUSE
Going into a hyped book could be utterly terrifying. There’s always that dreaded question of “what if I don’t like this book?”. That’s why I was so, so wary of starting Caraval, especially since I’ve been in fantasy slump for the past 3 months. But wow, this book was pretty amazing! It reminded me of how much I love fantasy and got me back in the game. Though I kinda bounced between 4 and 5 stars the whole time I was reading it. Basically this is how I felt :
- Whoa this book is off to a great start
- I love it! I think it’s gonna be a 5-stars
- Well this is a bit slow, maybe not 5-stars
- Definitely not 5-stars, maybe 4?
- But I like the magic and the characters and I shipped them so much
- I think I’ll still go with 5
- What is this ending??? 4-stars will do
- I still really enjoyed it, I’ll settle with 4.5 stars
But heeeyyy you’re not here to see snippets of my status update, are you? Don’t worry, I’ll still explain everything you need to know about this book 😛
Ever since the first chapter, I was enchanted by its prose. It was beautiful, lyrical, but not overdone. Almost everything still makes sense, but I admit there are some sentences that don’t, like this one. “He tasted like midnight and wind, and shades of rich brown and light blue.” It sounds pretty but how exactly do midnight and color taste like? 😂 anyway, it’s still very enjoyable I just need to mention it 😛
The plot was smart and unique. I absolutely love the magical vibe and its unique premise. Some parts were predictable while some others were truly unexpected. However, I felt like there were too many twists toward the end of the book to the point where they lost their shocking value. The ending also felt too convenient for me. Considering most of the scenes were brutal, it was a bit unrealistic for the ending to be neatly wrapped like that.
I actually love the characters. Lately I got irritated easily by female narrators so it’s been a while since I truly loved a female protagonist. Scarlett’s personality just… spoke to my soul. She thinks too much and always acts too cautiously. I’m also a big sister so I know how it feels to want to take care of younger sibling while also being mad at them. I lvoe the dynamic between Scarlett and her sister, Donatella. Tella is so much more carefree and vibrant. She’s a risk taker and she drags Scarlett along with her. But on top of it all, they all love each other fiercely.
I had mixed feeling for Julian. I admit, I think I’m getting too old for nice guy trying to act like a jerk and that’s exactly how Julian acted in the first few chapters of the book. He was cold and pretended like he didn’t care and I was like, “can we please drop this jerk act already?” But then I warmed up to him and I started to actually like and care about him. His relationship with Scarlett was a bit insta lovey but I shipped them both so hard. They’re so sweet ♥
However, I hateeee a lot of their decisions!! Really. They make stupid, selfish decisions for each other all the time. I honestly didn’t appreciate Tella making decision for both her and Scarlett, especially one so big like that. People might think they know the best for other people but it’s not always true. But overall, all the three of them are still lovable protagonists that I couldn’t help but root for.
We also have Governor Dragna, Scarlett and Tella’s ruthless father. I mentioned in the trigger warning that this book contains some abuse. Well, the girls’ father was downright abusive. He might say that he has reasons behind it but the truth is, he’s just a cruel and abusive person. Period.
ALL IN ALL, Caraval was a very enchanting read that will sweep you away with its magical vibe and lyrical writing. The characters, though not always make the smart decision, are all so relatable and you won’t be able to do anything but root for them. Highly recommended ♥
Book Title : Caraval (Caraval #1)
Author : Stephanie Garber
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton (January 31, 2017)
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.
Have you read Caraval by Stephanie Garber? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts ♥
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