Author: Stephanie Garber
Date of Publication: January 31st, 2017
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and 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.
Scarlett and her sister Tella live with their father who has becomes abusive ever since their mother disappeared. He takes his abuse on the other sister when one does anything he finds wrong. Scarlett is engaged to a man she has yet to meet or know his name, and she wants it so that her sister can come with her and escape their father.
Scarlett has wrote letters upon letters to be able to attend Caraval, and a week before the wedding she receives an invitation allowing three entrances. She decides not to go because any chance of the marriage being ruined would hurt her chances of saving her sister. Tella has other plans, so she gets Scarlet kidnapped with the help of a sailor. When Scarlett awakes alone with the sailor name Julian and they arrive to Caraval, she finds out her sister has been taken as part of the game, and she has five nights to find her.
I loved this story. The writing was beautiful, and I could see and feel everything that occurred within Caraval. The game is mysterious, and you never know what is real and what isn’t.
The action is non-stop and kept me on the edge of my seat. The sister bond between Scarlett and Tella is such a strong bond in the way that they would do anything to protect the other. The romance was so incredibly sweet, and Julian was full of swoon.
I thought that Scarlett was a character that was easy to relate to and tended to play things safe for a while, as I feel like most of us would tend to do. She was also strong and compassionate. Her father though, I wanted to reach in the book and smack him myself. Julian was my favorite character because he didn’t think he was a great guy, but the way he proved himself again and again showed that he was.
The twists were pretty predictable for me, and even the stuff that I didn’t guess wasn’t that big of a surprise, but this book was fun and amazing all the same. That epilogue!!! I can’t wait for book two!
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