4 Stars, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I am sick. My chosen method to help me feel better? A book and a cup of tea (and a lot of medicine) of course. Today’s post it about Stephanie Garber’s Caraval, the book I chose to reread at this dreadsul time. Yep, that is corrected, I have now read the book twice and the book was only just published two months ago. I do not think I can put into comprehensive words exactly how I feel about this book, especially without including spoilers, but I will try my best to keep it spoiler free.

Before I start rambling on about the book, I also want to mention the gorgeous Caraval soap and lip balm from Behind the Pages! Gina has so many amazing smelling combinations, some of which surprise me, such as these beauties which smell of rose, mulled wine, raspberries, and sage. I admit I got them because I wanted Caraval stuff, but these smell so delicious and fancy that they have become one of my favourite scents.


Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Genre: Fantasy

Age Classification: Young Adult

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Format: paperback

Release: January 31, 2017

Alrighty, book time. How about we start with the characters? Yeah? Okay.

Scarlett, our main character, was kind of annoying. I suppose she is not the worst character to have followed through this story, but I had hoped for better. She is not very good at using her head, or any of her other senses for that matter. It felt like she was constantly making the worst possible mistakes in a game where mistakes can cost you your life. Granted, we have to believe she is a little delusional if she thinks marrying a man her father has set her up with is the best way to get away from men like her father.

Her father is a major *insert bad word of choice here* by the way, at the start of the book there is already mention that he is a murderer. Honestly, this man is someone I want to see killed. Violently. I just really detest when evil creatures like this exist and, even in literature, I want them punished.

Okay, happier topic. How about Scarlett’s sister, Tella? We do not get to see her too much during the books, but hello mystery! This is someone I had hope to find out more about on my reread. That may sound silly, but you know how sometimes you miss things the first time? (So hoping someone at least thinks ‘yes’) Well, for me, Tella is still a big question mark in my head.

Then there is Julian who is all gorgeous and lovable, then secretive and misleading, then amazing and helpful, then deceitful and, are you getting the idea yet? I still do not know what that guy is all about or what his end game is. I still do not know whether to love him or hate him and that bothers me.

And how about the guy behind all this madness, Legend? He is the most mysterious of them all. There is not much I can say because there is not much I can go off. He seems to be so important to the story, but we really do not get to know much about him.

Now ignore the fact that I pretty much disliked all the characters, I want to talk about the plot and the setting. Let’s start with the island (was it an island? Pretty sure it was an island…) where the game took place. Each building had its own story, its own magic, its own purpose, and it all seemed rather attractive. I want to go there. Not to play the insane game of course, but it sounds like a magical place to explore. I really love the idea of being able to physically experience some of these places I read about, danger and mind game free of course, and Caraval is now right up there on my list.

As for the plot, I would describe it as a spider’s web. There is a quote from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott that my family often uses, “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”, and I feel that it describes this book so well. So many twists and turns, one thick layer of mystery atop another, more and more lies as the days pass, and we as readers are set with the task of keeping up, sorting through the crazy, and attempting to figure out the truth. I got to hand it to Stephanie, she can sure pen a good mystery!

So, my overall thoughts on the book? If rereading it again so soon does not give away how I feel about it, then how about me taking time out when I had two assignments due and choosing to read this book with a lovely cuppa by my side? I suppose I should make it clear. I love Caraval. It is now one of my favourite books and I cannot wait to read what Stephanie’s next book will hold. There is so much left to explore, so many questions that I want (need) answered.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆

I gave Caraval 4 out of 5 stars over on Goodreads. I love the book, yes, and I will probably read it many more times, I just wish I had liked the characters. Maybe book two will change how I feel about them.

So how do you feel about the book?
Do you agree with me about the characters or did you see another side to them?
And how about those Behind the Pages products, what do you think of them?
I would love to see your answers so let me know in the comments or on my other media!

Until next time bibliophiles!

Amy x

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