Author: Stephanie Garber
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Caraval, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Caraval is one book of 2017 that I was very nervous about--it's one of those books that people either love or hate, no in between. And I'm sorry to tell you all that while I loved it--and I did--there were some flaws in the novel that prevented me from giving it a full five stars. The worldbuilding needed some work and more explanation. Nonetheless, this book was absolutely fantastic, and it is and will remain one of my favorite books of the new year. A magical game! A pair of runaway sisters! Dark secrets! Forbidden love!
Caraval has romance, action, adventure, twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages frantically, and did I mention the gorgeous prose? Scarlett and Donatella Dragna have dreamed of the magical game of Caraval since they were little girls. But their dreams shortly become reality after Scarlett receives an invitation from the mysterious, magical Legend, overseer of the game. But getting to the isle is easier said than done, and when the game begins, Scarlett has no idea to trust. Getting her sister back may require sacrificing her true love and everything she holds dear...
This book. God, I wanted to love it. And I did. I loved most of it. The prose was beautiful, hypnotic, It was the first thing to win my heart when I started the book. I also really adored the characters, especially Scarlett; I loved her character development! Strong heroines for the win! I was also seduced by the darkly magical and secretive Caraval, where everything has a high price--sometimes so high, the player pays with their life. I also really liked the constant twists and turns, a lot of which had me gasping, crying, or laughing. Also, that ending! Oh my God, I need the sequel. Right now! I can't wait for the next one!
Unfortunately, I really wish that the worldbuilding had been explained better--I didn't really understand it. I loved the world that Garber created, but I honestly had no idea how it had been formed, even after I finished the book. Nonetheless, this book has something for everyone: secrets, magic, forbidden love and cute boys who make you swoon, kickbutt heroines and a killer ending--I can't wait for the sequel! The bottom line: Though there were a few little quibbles, I really enjoyed Caraval, though it wasn't perfect. Nevertheless, I'm so pumped for the sequel! What a debut!