Read Каравал by Stephanie Garber Стефани Гарбър Online


ДОБРЕ ДОШЛИ НА КАРАВАЛА, КЪДЕТО НИЩО НЕ Е ТАКОВА, КАКВОТО ИЗГЛЕЖДАСкарлет и Тела никога не са напускали своя мъничък остров и отдавна копнеят за чудесата на Каравала, ежегодното едноседмично представление, където на публиката е позволено да участва в шоуто наравно с артистите.Каравалът е магия. Мистерия. Приключение.Когато дълго чаканите покани най-после пристигат, изглеждДОБРЕ ДОШЛИ НА КАРАВАЛА, КЪДЕТО НИЩО НЕ Е ТАКОВА, КАКВОТО ИЗГЛЕЖДАСкарлет и Тела никога не са напускали своя мъничък остров и отдавна копнеят за чудесата на Каравала, ежегодното едноседмично представление, където на публиката е позволено да участва в шоуто наравно с артистите.Каравалът е магия. Мистерия. Приключение.Когато дълго чаканите покани най-после пристигат, изглежда, че мечтите на двете сестри най- сетне са се сбъднали. Ала едва стъпили на брега на вълшебния остров, Тела изчезва, отвлечена от Легендата, мистериозния собственик на Каравала.Скарлет е чувала, че всичко, което се случва на Каравала, е постановка, ала въпреки това бързо попада в опасните мрежи на любов, магия и разочарования.Така или иначе, трябва непременно да открие сестра си, преди играта да стигне до своя край и Тела да изчезне завинаги...Каквото и да сте чували за Каравала, действителността надхвърля чутото. Каравалът е повече от игра или представление. Ако на света съществува магия, най-вероятно е да я намерите именно там....

Title : Каравал
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789546557393
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Каравал Reviews

  • emma
    2019-04-18 10:53

    *record scratch**freeze frame*Yup, that’s me. Scarlett Dragna, main character of the YA hit Caraval. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. If everysinglethingthathappenedinthiswholebook was anything to go by, it was through a combination of pointless lying, constant embarrassment, obsession with Some Guy, a big act of caring about a younger sister despite very little indication of that being true, unrelenting drama about a dumb wedding, repetitive interactions, weird descriptions, gender-based generalizations, and insanely personal info-dumps about emotional happenings from the past.(insert elegant bow here) And that, my dear friends, is my Scarlett Dragna impression. Thank you. Yes, thank you. Oh, please, stop with the standing ovation! I’m just like all of you. Except I possess such bitterness and have such a grasp of the future that I wrote a character description at the 25% mark, and god did it hold up.Yup. You guessed it. I didn’t like my most anticipated book of the year. a surprise! you probably all chant in unison.)I almost felt guilty about writing a negative review about this book - because it’s about to be damn negative - but then I remembered it’s THIS BOOK’S FAULT. It marketed its damn self as a young adult The Night Circus. It must take some serious goddamn gonads to look at a masterpiece, essentially magic with a front and back cover, and go, “Yeah. My book is just like that.” Spoiler alert: it’s really, really not.Oh, God, this review is going to be long. My bullet point list of notes alone is long. And I am putting away fruit snacks like nobody’s business, so I’ve got enough sugar in my system to sustain a lengthy burst of anger. Strap in, everybody! (Note from later: I sugar-crashed when I was almost done this review. But it did last me through most of it.)THE SETTINGAll I want is a good setting. All those times I said I just want a good character to love and settle down with, I think - and relish this rare gift of a moment - I think I was wrong. I think I care most about settings. (Hence why books with magnificent settings get five star ratings no matter what.) And thus, it is my curse to eternally pick up every book that is compared to The Night Circus.This book does not have a good setting. It’s confusing: everything that seems solid is gone back on later. Nothing is real. That doesn’t lead to a good setting. But I’ll talk more about the constant, piece of sh*t cop-outs later in this review. It lacks the strong descriptions that a setting literally needs. It doesn’t feel magical at all. (More on that later, too.) But above all, it’s not goddamn GROUNDED.Haha. That GIF made me feel a little better. Thank you, my favorite person of all time forever, Bo Burnham. Anyway, as I was saying. This. Is. Not. Grounded. In Round 14 of 3947234829 why The Night Circus is better than this book and the latter should never have been compared, TNC takes place in our world. Yeah. The author (presumably) realized 1) maybe we need a little bit of magic! And 2) she couldn’t create one of the greatest settings of all time while also establishing a fantasy world. It would have weakened the whole book.But Stephanie Garber did NOT make the same choice. Instead, we’re unceremoniously dumped into a world where there are islands and colonizing empires and that CLASSIC YA trope of using clunky terms to differentiate the world from the real one (like Hot Season, because they don’t have WORDS FOR THE SEASONS). Even more fun, during this book characters travel between countries/colonies/islands/empires/I have no idea, and the reader has NO GODDAMN CLUE WHAT IS GOING ON.Alright, I think I’ve talked about the setting for too long. I see that now. But this is an UNFORGIVABLE OFFENSE, OK?THE CHARACTERSWe’re introduced to a world’s worth of characters here, and this book achieves quite a feat - they all manage to be either flat, boring, or both! Yaaaaay! I’m totally ready to try to pretend to feel emotionally connected to these goons for 400 pages!!First: Scarlett. Cannot believe we were trapped inside the head of the most boring character of all time throughout what was supposed to be a suspenseful thrill ride! (But, obviously, was not.) She’s easily embarrassed, obsessed with propriety, falls in pretty much instalove with Julian because he’s hot. Lies all the time because poor widdle gal is embarrassed of something or other about herself. Super weak. Constantly questioning her own reasoning and letting others make decisions for her. Tries to act like she’s a protective older sister, but, speaking as a protective older sister, she doesn’t give much of a sh*t about family when she’s staring into Julian’s eyes or literally sucking his fingers. But then we get into a whole different type of characters: Those who, by the end, we know NOTHING. ABOUT. Tella, Julian, Legend. We’re given descriptions of them that are gone back on, returned to, and gone back on again. Nothing is real. The whole thing is confusing and an absolute waste of energy. I came SO GODDAMN CLOSE to DNFing this book because it has about 100 twists and none of them make sense. I wanted to shake myself out of a nightmare. What the hell was going on for 400 pages?!Beyond that, they’re boring and I don’t want to talk about them. And so were the “villains.” Scarlett and Tella’s dad is literally ruthless for no reason. His wife left him and now he plays psychological games of abuse with his daughters. There’s a moment where he essentially tries to get his daughter’s fiancé to rape her. And for what reason? It makes no sense. No sense at all. He slaps a random girl across the face at one point, murders some random dude. I don’t know what excuse to make for that except that this book is sloppy.THE PLOTWord to the wise...if you haven’t read this book, you may want to skip this section. Even the stuff I don’t mark as spoilers may be somewhat spoilery. I’ll try, kind of.So this book centers on Caraval, the supposedly wonderful setting I’ve already moped about for way too long. Caraval attracts a bunch - well, an unknown number of people, and is supposed to be a scavenger-hunt-style game. Somehow, though, in spite of the bajillion people who actually give a sh*t competing against her, Scarlett just stumbles into the goddamn clues.Here’s my world famous (I’ve become famous since the beginning of this review, right?) Scarlett impression, coming back to show you what following her through this shindig feels like. “Oh, this terrible poem-slash-cheat sheet I was unceremoniously given says I have to ‘earn’ the next clue! It’s probably just this thing I randomly picked up along my travels with zero fanfare! Or maybe it has something to do with a situation I just stumbled into! Doesn’t matter which choice I make, somehow it’ll be manipulated into being the right one!” Where are the stakes?!I also feel like 80% of this is just us listening to boring old Scarlett being like, “Omg, I think Julian is lying to me. Whatever shall I do?! I don’t trust him!!! I just want to kiss his face off!!!” Etc, etc. And despite spending ALL OF HER TIME with him, she’s never just like:(view spoiler)[And when Scarlett’s piece of shit dad shows up with her fiancé to like, punch her in the stomach until she says she’ll make babies or whatever, she and luhhhhhhverboy have the DUMBEST REACTION. They get caught in a poor widdle thunderstorm, stop to make out for somewhere between 90 minutes and 7 hours, and get caught by the Dynamic Duo of Bad Characters…despite being about 1 f*cking yard away from an entrance to a hidden tunnel system. An entrance they knew about all along! I wish they both died. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[Also: two deaths, neither real, both anticlimactic and annoying. Not. A. Fan. That’s literally just a ploy to make it seem like your dumb book has the emotional depth it strives for. WHICH IT ABSOLUTELY DOESN’T. (hide spoiler)]And this book is just one cop out after another. Weird choice to write a supposed ““““high fantasy”””” book without wanting to define your world at all! Everything that is said definitively is gone back on, so many conflicting descriptions of Caraval are given that I couldn’t summarize them if I tried, and on top of all that, we don’t even get answers at the Big Reveal.LANGUAGEThis book is written...weirdly. For one thing, Scarlett, in order to remind us of her special snowflake status, sees emotion in COLOR. It is straight up so annoying. Here are a handful of my least favorite instances, for your reading horror enjoyment.1. “She could see the sting of her rejection in shades of stormy blue, ghosting over his heart like sad morning mist."2. “Periwinkle curiosity” (I don’t know why I hate that one so much. I just really do.)3. “It would have been a mistake to kiss him, yet she felt … disappointed. It came in cool shades of forget-me-not blue, which wrapped around her like evening fog, making her feel hidden enough to acknowledge that she wanted to experience more of Caraval’s pleasures than she would ever have admitted out loud.”Did you notice anything besides how irritating that quirk is? Numbers 1 and 3 are pretty much the DAMN SAME. What the hell?!The language in this book isn’t always AWFUL, it’s just...weird. Every sentence is very overwrought. Like, not everything has to have figurative language. Here’s my favorite example: The worst poem I have ever, ever read is in this book. And I’m an English major who hates poetry. Would you like to read it?"This girl was last seen with Legend.If you catch her, you shall catch him as well.Of course, you may have to venture through Hell.But if you succeed you may find yourself rich.This year’s winner will be granted one wish."I do have to give this book some props, because this is the first time I have ever had to shut a book for 90 seconds in order to hysterically laugh. No one ever told me that the word “rich” rhymes with “wish”! Hahahaha. This poem should be used to teach the importance of using meter.GENERAL STUPIDITYI haven’t had the absolute privilege of writing one of these sections in a while! It’s like a homecoming. An unpleasant, unwanted homecoming. Like if my home was a festering swamp, or a city sewer system.Here’s one beautiful example - seriously, it’s like a gift from the reviewing gods: “Then she did her best to explain the truth about death and Caraval. Tella didn’t know the particulars as to how it worked. It was one of those things that people didn’t really talk about.” See what I mean?! Instead of the author coming up with an actual defined magic system, she just says “Oh, um...well the character doesn’t know. There’s that!” The world has no definition and neither does the magic. In other words, some of the sloppiest fantasy I’ve ever had the privilege to read.Plus, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on with hooking up with your family members’ sloppy seconds. I don’t want to talk about it because I’m grossed the f*ck out. I just want to let everyone know I’m SUPER not a fan. There’s also a fun moment where Scarlett lectures her sister on how “You can’t be in love with someone you just met,” even though a) she fell in luuurve with Julian in less than 5 days and b) she was planning on marrying someone she’d never met, and thought she could tell he was a good guy THROUGH LETTERS. So dumb.And then maybe my favorite moment of all: When a fortune teller tells Scarlett she wants “love and protection,” her reaction is even worse than I would have expected from a character I hate. She says, “Isn’t that what every girl wants?” WHAT. THE. DAMN. HELL. No! No, not every girl, you piece of shit! It’s fine to want that, but some girls want adventure and knowledge and friendship and bravery and the ability to look out for their damn selves! What the actual f*ck?!Bottom line: I can’t believe how much I hated this book. (Or how long this review is.) Boring setting, boring characters, boring plot. Overall confusing language and decisions and reveals. I honestly wish I had never read this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Emily May
    2019-04-25 03:54

    I feel the same way about Caraval as I did about The Star-Touched Queen last year. In fact, many of my comments are the same, so if you enjoyed that book then it's probable you will like this one also.Caraval is a fantasy without world-building or significant character development. It relies on its dreamy descriptions, purple prose, and a heavy helping of romance to make it dazzle. To take a quote from my review of The Star-Touched Queen, "if you buy into these metaphors, put on your prose-tinted glasses and let yourself get drunk on the glittering descriptions, I suppose you might be able to ignore..." that's literally how I feel about this.It is about two sisters - Scarlett and Tella - who live on some random island in the middle of random world X with their abusive father who wants to marry Scarlett off to a count she's never met. Caraval is, as it sounds, a carnival-like game on another random island. People go there to play and if they win, they get a wish. The mysterious Caraval master is a guy called Legend, who Scarlett has been writing to for years, but he has now finally replied - and sent three tickets for Scarlett, Tella and Scarlett's fiance. Upon arrival at the island, Tella goes missing and it soon becomes apparent that finding her is all a part of the game. Scarlett must solve the clues and find her sister before Caraval is over.For one thing, this is a writing style that never appeals to me. So many metaphors and similes that I know are supposed to be evocative and exciting, but they're nonsensical. Phrases like this:“It smelled like the middle of the night”“He tasted like midnight and wind”“Tella’s expression fell, like a doll Scarlett had dropped.”I understand that some readers like this kind of mysterious, weird writing, but it just pulls me right out of the story. I'm sat there thinking "how the hell does something TASTE LIKE MIDNIGHT?" What does it even mean that Tella's expression fell like a doll that Scarlett dropped? Does it mean that Tella is like a doll being dropped (i.e. unhappy doll?) or is the author equating the downwards turn of her expression with the downwards fall of a doll? Or neither - it just sounds good?And here, have some more:“Something about him made her feel perilous shades of silky black.”“The world tasted like lies and ashes when Scarlett woke.”“Something acidic and moldy and burnt bubbled up through Scarlett’s throat - the taste of death.”Let’s forget for a second that death now has a “taste” - is the author just listing random words that sound cool? Think about it. How can something taste acidic AND moldy AND burnt? I just don't believe that good writing is collecting as many exciting, descriptive words as possible and shoving them all together, regardless of whether they make any sense.But whatever. That's just taste for the writing style. I personally thought the story was lacking too, unless you are seeking more romance and descriptions of male muscles than actual fantasy and mystery. From the very beginning, Scarlett goes on and on about the gorgeous men around her - Julian and Dante - often forgetting that her sister is missing because she is so caught up in her own romantic ambitions. And, of course, when Julian is seen talking with another girl, said girl is described as "some tart in a bar"; in comparison to Scarlett who blushes every time Julian looks at her.He had the sort of profile meant for sculptors and painters. Full lips, strong jaw, coal-dark eyes sheltered by thick, dark brows.Do you think that she means "sculptures" and "paintings" instead? Or is it a stereotype I don't know about that artists are supposed to have a certain sort of profile? Anyway...I found so much of this book unsatisfying. I gave it an extra star because it remained interesting enough for me to read to the end, but there's not much more than a flowery romance contained within these pages. The mysteries and reveals are not particularly exciting, and there's a poorly-executed end moment where a character reveals everything through a long speech - like a magician dropping character at the end and telling the audience how they did it.Also, as a side note - and I wasn't sure if I was going to mention this or not - I got a very strong sense that I had read this story before. Most people probably won't know what I'm talking about. But back when I was about eleven/twelve years old, I read a book called The Forbidden Game by the same author who wrote Vampire Diaries, about a girl who gets pulled into a game and must find her friends before the time is up. There's also a mysterious, gorgeous guy called Julian pulling the strings (holy shit, I was in love with him back then) and this book is so similar. Really. It makes me wonder if the author read it too.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-03-29 08:51

    Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .4.5 stars. I’m very impressed with this book. The most important thing you need to know is that, although it’s marketed as such, it really isn’t a competition per se. I mean, it’s as much a competition as THE NIGHT CIRCUS is.Sure, it’s a game indeed, a treacherous game that you can lose yourself in at any moment, but it’s not a competition. I’m not going to elaborate, because I’d have to reveal some things that will spoil some surprises, so you’ll just have to trust me on that.But it’s good, so good. It plays with the reader so well. It’s not only Scarlett who risks her life to win the game, it’s also us, or so I felt. I felt as I were a player myself. Sometimes characters are clueless and don’t see what is in front of them while we readers scream our heads off trying to make them SEE. This never happens in this book. Because whenever Scarlett learns something, we learn it too.The reader in me can’t help but try to guess what has happened and who that character is and what the characters will face in the future, etc. I just can’t help myself. And so that’s what I did. But even though I kept trying to have things figured in my mind before the main character ever could, I still ended up being delightfully surprised.What really shines in this book is the action. Every new chapter brings a new setting or mishap or character: the story progresses well. Sometimes scenes can be lethargic because of an exaggerated amount of description, but that too never happens in CARAVAL. What stole my heart was the magical, fairytale-esque writing style and narration. Though it obviously is a young adult novel – no cross-genre going on – I didn’t mind that it wasn’t more sexy or ghastly. It’s very worth reading if you’re a fan of fantasy novels, uncanny and treacherous stories and thrilling, intelligent plots.Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-04-01 08:48

    How can I write a review for this giant ball of awesome and do it justice? I was intrigued by the summary from the second I found this was coming out, but had no clue if it would live up to the hype. The back cover boasts of “The spell-casting fantasy destined to become a sensation” and Fox 2000 has already purchased the rights to turn this into a major motion film, which claims some pretty mind-blowing story is within the covers. This book was even better than I could have imagined and then some. Hi, my name’s Chelsea and I’m addicted to Stephanie Garber’s world of Caraval. The blurb tells you everything you need to know going in; honestly, the less you know the better and the more confused you feel, the more enjoyable your reading experience will be. Every single chapter had some sort of twist, and whether it was minor or major, it got me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This book was somehow 400 pages, but it went by too quickly. I kept saying “Just one more chapter” and next thing you know, it was finished. Sort of. Because YAY book #2 is coming! Well, once she writes it of course. (No pressure Steph. I’m only gnawing my nails to the bloody nub in anticipation.)Surprisingly, one of my favorite things about this book was the budding romance between Julian and Scarlett. I must be maturing (HAH!) and opening my reading door to some new things, because years ago this would have grossed me out to the core. The good news is it isn’t gross and cheesy; the tension continually grows throughout the book but it is really quite clean. This is something I wouldn’t bat an eye at letting my teenager read; the romance was tastefully done and, while refraining from being cheap and raunchy, sucked the reader in as the relationship grew. IMO, this showed what true talent the author had in being able to gain the reader’s interest in her romantic composition without relying on overdone sexual situations that are graphic and distracting from the heart of the story.JULIAN.I know Scarlett is supposed to the the show stopper here, but Julian stole the limelight for me. I fell in love with his character from the first page he showed up; he’s rugged, bold, and hilarious while carrying meaningful dialogue and playing a deeper role than just eye candy. I found myself cheering for him constantly throughout the story, and even when suspicion is cast his way multiple times (which both was rightly and wrongly cast), I couldn’t have cared less. This series I believe was set up, not as a complete focus on one character with many supporting roles, but as a character study on multiple people with a more complex story that interweaves multiple interests. While it is told mostly through Scarlett’s POV, we have a view into other’s interests as well, and the massive cliff hanger on the final page has set this up to be a strong series that should continue without a hitch.There is an overall dark feel to this book, and there is some disturbing violence in a fantasy-related sense, but it was necessary and intriguing to the story line. The mystery surrounding Legend and his traveling Caraval performers was breathtaking; I found myself completely lost in this otherworld. To me, it had a historical fiction feel with a side of science fiction due to the fantasy aspect, which made for a unique read. I’m not sure what else to add, other than I have an advanced case of Caraval hangover and need the book #2 cure ASAP. If you enjoy Young Adult novels, regardless of your age, you’ll want to open your heart and your book shelf up to this one. I hate writing reviews this far in advance for a book that doesn’t come out until next year, but go ahead an pre-order, make a note to yourself to request at your library in January, or go to NetGalley and request your copy, because it will have a guaranteed spot on my Top 10 Wrap Up at the end of the year.*I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. So SO grateful and am already sending up prayers for book #2 once it’s ready.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-04-20 05:05

    This freaking book HOLY CRAP. I have a feeling this book is going to be a huge hit when it comes out, and rightfully so. This is the kind of story that you just want to devour because you can't get enough. It's a beautiful story about sisterhood and adventure, full of amazing characters and a delightfully dark world. It's this grotesque Wonderland like world where the Mad Hatter is calling the shots. Honestly cannot wait for you guys to get your hands on this. Keep an eye out for it because wow. Video review to come closer to publication date!

  • Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
    2019-03-27 11:00

    ❝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.❞Thank you to Flatiron Books for sending me an advance reading copy of Caraval for review purposes.4.5 STARSThis book was just absolutely ENCHANTING! I didn't know how high or how low to set my expectations before going into Caraval but one thing is for sure by the time I closed this book: Caraval surpassed all my expectations and more. I've always been a sucker for circus/carnival themed books but I never read another book that came close to one of my favorite circus tales and favorite books of all time, The Night Circus. But Caraval has easily set its place right next to The Night Circus as one of the most magical stories I have ever read.From the very first page up until the last, there was never a dull moment while reading Caraval. It was just an enigma wrapped in magic and deception. One minute you think you have the story and the characters all figured out, the next minute the storyline takes you on a completely different direction! There were just so many twists, turns, and puzzles that every page leaves you hanging at the edge of your seat.Although Caraval didn't really feel like it took place in a circus/carnival like I was hoping it would, the world building was still very mystical. Clues and objects are paid in your deepest secrets, greatest fear, or even days of your life. There are tunnels that drive you mad and make you question what is real and what is simply part of the game. Caraval was just full of so many surprises that'll keep you turning the page. I had so many theories right from the very beginning that kept changing and evolving as the story progressed. I was so immersed in trying to crack the big mystery that was Caraval and Legend. Remember that it's just a game. But is it really? ;) This book will definitely leave you with more questions than answers in the end so prepare to be mind blown!I can't even put into proper words how magical this book truly is. Of course I can't speak for everybody, but I can almost guarantee that you'll never read a story like Caraval! Stephanie Garber has made quite the entrance into this community with this captivating piece of work. I almost can't believe that Caraval is actually her first book! I can see so much potential in this author and in this world that she has created. I definitely can't wait for book two because something tells me that Stephanie has more tricks and magic up her sleeve for her readers! :)*** The quote in this review was taken from an uncorrected proof and should be compared to the final copy upon release.

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    2019-04-18 11:14

    *Full Review Update!!* (Spoiler free) I cannot rave enough guys... this book wins everything. This has made it in to my absolute all time favorites. I can't even function normally to describe it... I am absolutely floored. Zero complaints. I enjoyed every sentence.. every page.I couldn't get enough. It was whimsical, off the charts electric, romantic, mysterious, enchanting, enthralling... full of twists and turns. So many that I thought the ending couldn't possibly live up to the mystery this created.. but it absolutely did.My advice is to go into this knowing NOTHING. Seriously, I wanted to throw like 10 billion quotes in my review because I loved it THAT MUCH but its going to be so much more mysterious if you just dive right in. But I'll say this - I was hooked from the first page. There's a series of letters that Scarlett writes to the 'Caraval master' Legend over a series of years. This story begins when he finally writes back.I loved the writing and the pacing so so much. It wasn't too slow but it wasn't too fast either - it was just right for the character development. Scarlett was the perfect choice for an MC and I loved being in her mind without any outside perspective. Everything about the plot and the other characters are a complete mystery. Good luck trying to guess everything... you'll need it. The best part of the experience for me personally was trying to guess who was who and who was good/bad. I literally cannot comment on any of the other characters because it would be a spoiler - but oh man.. you guys. I think I'm in love. And the end? CLEVER. Wow. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I thought Stephanie was writing herself into a hole with all the mystery but boy oh boy did she deliver. The setting is another win for this book. If you like the Night Circus, you'll be pleased. (The plot is totally different but the magical circus/carnival like atmosphere is on point.)Alright, I know I've done nothing but hyped up this book. Do yourself a favor though- go in with zero expectation, spoilers, hints, etc. Just enjoy the ride.Now excuse me while I go work on fan art because this has taken over my world.My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy

  • Samantha
    2019-04-18 03:14

    Well that was disappointing.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-03-25 04:51

    I'm not sure if I should call this one of my favorite books of 2016 or 2017, but it's definitely at the top of both lists! The setting kind of feels like The Night Circus meets the first Pirates of the Caribbean with a bit of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus thrown in? The story is completely unique, though, and TOTALLY pulled me in.Every single element was so well done. The way the whole story unfolds as a sort of mystery + quest with a deadline makes it a million times more addicting, but the characters, writing, and setting would have been incredibly strong on their own no matter what. I have zero complaints.Every time I thought I had some complaint during the story (like "do NOT try to make the abusive father sympathetic now") the story would just twist in a different direction that worked even better. And by 80% I wasn't sure how on earth there would be a sequel but when I got to the epilogue I was like OF COURSE! THIS IS BRILLIANT! Basically, I was just constantly surprised the whole way through. The plot weaves all over the place and keeps throwing curveballs at you to the point where you don't know who or WHAT to trust anymore. I thought I called some plot twists at the beginning, but was completely off. This is one of those rare books you wish you could forget and then go back to read all over again for the first time because figuring everything out is an adventure on its own.I also loved how the relationship between the two sisters was the strongest relationship in the story. I mean, there is romance, but it's not the central focus. And I liked that this is a complete story by itself, but then the epilogue has a cliffhanger that leads into a sequel that's already perfectly set up!Stephanie Garber is an incredibly talented author and this is a book that pretty much any age will love!!Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-04-02 02:55

    Okay why didn't I read this sooner??! IT'S SO MAGICAL. I totally preordered it and then immediately decided to wait 9 months to read it. I don't know either, mate. This is the life of the Procrastination Queen. Also I saw a lot of disappointed reviews, so I was prepared for teeth gnashing and refurbishing it as a hat if I didn't like it. But I kind of accidentally loved it?? Except for the narrator. I would be like 500% okay if Scarlett fell into a bucket of soup and never got out. BUT NARRATOR ASIDE = wow it was weird and wonderful.+ The world was actually incredible.It's like set in this mysterious carnival type island world. So think: gondolas and weird tunnels and magical shops and doors that change directions and rooms that grow and shrink with your emotions. It was like Alice in Wonderland but SINISTER and with a vague circus vibe and like set IN VENICE. Duuuude. I like. I LOVE it when buildings have their opinions though lowkey am curious why that room didn't crush Scarlett because that would've been exciting. BUT OK. + The writing was rather beautiful too.Except for that line where she likened a kiss to "giving birth to the dawn" or whatever and I'm like...mate. You do not put BIRTH and KISS in the same thought with a guy you just met. Ya know. Anyway. I really liked all the vivid descriptions! It didn't feel too flowery but just added to the magical vibe. So so much magical vibes.+ Mind twisty!They start off the book saying "nOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS" and Scarlett promptly forgets that 2 seconds later and freaks out over everything. I would like to stuff her in a shoe. But it was really really well done!! I had SO many questions. It tossed me about a LOT. And I questioned everyone adn decided they were all evil by page 3. So basically: I had a freakin good time. I loooove worlds that are so morally grey and all "IT'S A GAME AND EVERYONE'S GONNA GET STABBED!" I mean. Monopoly was so yesterday.+ Okay but real talk: Scarlett...why.Just why. She was the typical: "I am a good and wholesome creature." sort of character who informed us 87 x per chapter that she was GOOD. Aka, super boring. I do think she had good character development, but if a bucket had narrated it would've been just as exciting. Which is weird that I still love the book a LOT even if Scarlett is as stimulating as that plastic fork over yonder?? Nice.+ SISTER STORY!!Except Scarlett was boring and Tella was a self-centred ass, but you know what. Family...ya can't pick 'em. And I do love books about sisters, EVEN IF Scarlett did forget for a second she wasn't Elsa and threw out the "You can't love a boy you just met" line even though Scarlett was freaking in love with a boy she just met. Apparently we are in Disney now.+ The romance was honestly super BITTER and I liked it.Let's have some salt and vinegar on those CHIPS my friends, because Scarlett is Too Holier Than Thou™ to fall in love with the rougish sailor who I was totally all for 100% of the time. Especially when I thought he was the villain. That would've been a fab plot twist. But whatever. JULIAN. YOU DASTARDLY LITTLE SNAKE. I loved how they fought so much but obviously cared about each other. #shipping+ A few negatives?Eh, okay so the ending had a LOT of high stakes things going on was kind of writing so apathetically I wasn't even worried. It was too rushed and the reactions of the characters weren't realistic enough. Also I'm a fussy turnip. Just in case you didn't pick that up yet. I also am frikkin' sick of fantasy being so sexist because there's literally no need in a world that's not attached to ours. STAHP. And there was a LOT of repetition. Irritating ya. But I survived because I'm a champion inside.ALL IN ALL: Look I thoroughly enjoyed the magical setting and it gave me ALL SORTS OF FANTASY APPRECIATION. No really!! I finished it and thought "I love this, I genuinely do" and I want to immediately read more books about Caraval and hopefully find myself a bedroom that expands when I put more books in it because I am heckin' running out of bookshelf room here. Narrator = nope. (Although I loved that it was in 3rd person!) Julian = yes. Creeptastic psycho mysterious Carvanal master = HECK YES. And the world is honestly so inspiring to me I need to eat a cake and sit down for a while.Every person gets on impossible wish, if the person wants something more than anything, and they can find a bit of magic to help them a long.

    2019-04-22 09:15

    Lowering my rating to 1 star. I am genuinely trying to find out who started advertising this book and why? It's been blowing up GR for quite a while now. People with ARC were selling it on eBay at ridiculously high prices. That's how it caught my attention in the first place. Was that a publicity stunt? If it was, it's not going to help much because the book is shitty. There is nothing new or exhilarating here. If anything, it's ideas stolen from a bunch of other books, The Lunar Chronicles, Hunger Games, Night Circus and such. There was no originality here whatsoever, on top of all that IT'S BORING AF!The only characters who held my attention were Iko (TLC much?) and Dante. Obviously, if you are interesting, you aren't good enough for this book. They are no one of relevance. :/ Let's talk about Scarlet, our main character. I really tried to like just because of that name of hers. Scar from Lunar Chronicles is my absolute favorite! Unfortunately, similarities don't go any further than their name. This Scarlet is one of those characters who we are constantly told is clever, adventurous, and ambitious. Let me tell you right now, she is none of those things. Scarlet is gutless and way too naive for my taste. I'm sorry, but i didn't find her to be very intelligent either. Many times i was baffled by her ignorance. These riddles weren't even hard to crack, but it took Miss Scarlet pages and pages crying over totally random and irrelevant things till correct answers would slap her right in the face. THEN things would click in her tiny brain. Legend is the Darkling figure more like an insult to Darkling's greatness. He is the mysterious host of Caraval. He is dangerous. He is crazy. He is the villain. No one has ever met him, nor do they have any idea what he looks like. He wears a new face every year. And he sees everything. In other words, BLAH BLAH BLAH. At first, i was aboard. I was totally anticipating meeting this Leged. However, at one point his name started irritating me because it's all just talk. He isn't even in the book! Julian is a young sailor who helped Scarlet and her sister escaped their evil father. He gave me massive Captain Carswell Thorne vibes. Of course, me being trash for TLC didn't need anything more. When i started looking at Julian as his own character, not Carswell wannabe that's pretty much what he was his character is flat/painfully predictable. Didn't buy the romance for a second. It was merely anticlimactic. This being said, please don't let me discourage you from reading this. What do I know, I am just a crazy woman who is super picky when it comes to fiction. It's just my, once again, unpopular opinion. UGH, i told you didn't out it there for decoration.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-04-15 08:51

    This is my second time reading this as I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the audiobook from Macmillan audio (thank you so much to them!) Honestly I loved it even more the second time. The audiobook was so atmospheric and beautiful and I just adore this story so much!!!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-04-03 09:56

    My February Owlcrate Box!HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER! Loved it! ❤I guess I should put up the big ole spoiler label just in case I get spoilery! First off let me just get this off my chest. I wanted to smack Scarlett about 15 times during the book because she said this one thing about 50 billion times. I have to get back to get married. I have to get back to get married. I have to get back to get married. I have to get back to get married. I have to get back to get married. <-- Okay those are not the EXACT words but still - ya get me? But I digress =) The sexual tension between Scarlett and Julian could melt butter! And gave me some twinges at times. Good twinges! I guess I should just crack on with the book =) Soooooooooooo, Scarlett and Donatell (Tella) have a jerk face for a father and they are stuck on an island with him. He will do horrible things to them or other people if they dare try to escape. But Scarlett has a way out, she is to marry some dude her father set her up with and take her sister, Tella, with her. Scarlett has never met this man and her father won't tell her anything about him. Like that's not sketchy. When Scarlett was younger she used to write letters to Master Legend for years trying to get him to come to their island with his Caraval. Of course he never comes but one day many moons later he sends a letter to Scarlett inviting her and Tella and a guest to his Caraval on an island down on the right. Scarlett is so happy but she knows she won't be able to go because she will be getting married soon but Tella gets her to go. It's an unsavory way but Scarlett, Tella and Julian (whom Tella met while he was visiting their island) all end up at Caraval. And it's crayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Things and people are not what they seem. And they say that Legend creeps around watching people. You also have the choice of watching the show or participating in the show to get a special wish at the end if you are the winner. But the show can drive you mad. Turns out Tella is put into the show and everyone in the show must find her or she could die! What? Julian decides to help Scarlett out and it's so freaking good! I'm shutting my mouth and not saying another thing because you need to read it and find yourself in the crazy land of Caraval. I wonder where the next book will take us! =)MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  • Candace
    2019-04-04 09:05

    What a surprisingly captivating world Stephanie Garber has created in 'Caraval'! I listened to the Audible version of this book and I was mesmerized by the beautiful and vivid imagery that 'Caraval' contained. I was drawn in by the world that Ms. Garber created and it held my attention right to the very end.Every once in a while, I love a great paranormal romance. I love to leave reality behind and take off on a journey to a place where magic and fairytales exist. This was the perfect story to do just that.Scarlett, aka "Crimson", and her sister Tella have lived under the oppressive rule of their father. His cruelty seems to know no bounds and he takes satisfaction in tormenting his daughters. Knowing how close the girls are to one another, he uses their love against them. When one of his daughters breaks a rule, it is the other one that will receive the punishment. Awaiting her arranged marriage to a Count that she's never met before, Scarlett is just biding her time until she can get away from her sadistic father. She's literally counting down the weeks until she will be married and can take her sister with her to her new home. Unlike Scarlett, Tella is skeptical of the mysterious fiancé that seems to say all of the right things but whose identity remains shrouded in mystery.Before Scarlett can be married off, she receives an invitation from Legend, the famous mastermind behind the Caraval. Despite writing to Legend ever since she was a young child, Scarlett has never received a response before. Now, with the clock counting down to her wedding, it seems like fate that she would receive her first ever response and an invitation to participate in the Caraval.With the support of her sister, Scarlett sets off for the mysterious island where Legend has indicated that the Caraval is taking place. Along with Tella, she sets sail with Julian, a young sailor, to participate in the forbidden game. Both sisters know that they are risking their lives by sneaking off against their father's wishes. However, they are willing to take their chances in order to seize a once in a lifetime opportunity.From that point forward, the girls are caught up in a magical and dangerous world. Appearances are not what they seem and even time moves differently in this new world. Caraval is a game where the stakes are very high and not everyone will come out alive or unscathed.I don't want to give anything away or ruin the surprise for others. There were many twists and turns that I didn't see coming while listening to this story. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, something else would happen that made me question everything again. This story held my attention and kept me guessing right to the very end.If you like adventure/fantasy/paranormal stories with plenty of twists and turns, this is a great choice. There is some romance, but it took a back seat to the magical world of Caraval. For me, the adventure and mystery of Caraval reigned supreme. Of course, there is a love story weaved into this fantastical story as well. Just, don't plan on a super-smutty type of story where the focus on the romance is paramount.All in all, I thought that this was a wonderful story. I was enchanted by the world that Ms. Garber created and cannot wait to read the next installment. This book filled my head with some beautiful and vibrant imagery that will hang with me for quite some time. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a paranormal/fantasy/adventure to read. It was fantastic!

  • Andreea Pop
    2019-04-11 06:55

    I had really high hopes for Caraval. The blurb, the cover, and the excellent reviews promised a magical whirlwind of a story. And this novel delivered that, but its relatively achieved grandeur was overshadowed bit by bit till the end. The last 50 pages or so of the book took its soul out, leaving me with a bittersweet aftertaste, a headache and lots of confusion. Since I cannot even reflect upon the messy thoughts inside my brain, I'll analyze punctually. 1. The world-building. Sadly, in its true meaning and ramifications, we have no such thing as world-building. I do not even know how to categorize this novel. High-fantasy? Just fantasy? Regardless, in the beginning we had mentions of empires and conquered isles which had me utterly excited, but they were left to rot in the backseat so that the world of Caraval could unravel. Moving to this microcosm, it was indeed complex and fascinating. However, only through its captivating appearance and bold imagery and creative ideas. If you dive deeper, into the background, mechanisms and history, you come up empty. It's all really a facade. 2. The plot. God, the lies. There were so many lies and so many secrets and so many games and manipulation that it honestly ended up being exhausting. Revelations upon revelations, ones that often contradict each other, keep you guessing from start to finish, but after a while this initially mesmerizing stance metamorphoses into the feel of being tricked. Personally, that's how I felt. Deceived. After all the puzzle pieces finally straightforwardly fell into place (some that I've anticipated, some that I did not) you are offered an explanation. And like all good magic tricks, this kills the spirit -- and, implicitly, the so called "plot" -- of Caraval. Gone is the magic and wonder; instead, the triviality and over-the-top drama take residence. It's a scam. A ploy. And, much like Scarlett felt in last key-scenes, I also felt I haven't really made progress in the story. 3. The characters. We have Scarlett, our heroine; Julian, the love-interest; Donatella, the sister. Governor Dragna, the father and also the villain. Legend, the pseudo villain and the mastermind behind Caraval. Plus a few secondary, yet admirable characters (them I liked in their entirety). Scarlett could have been awesome, I'm telling you, if it weren't for her constant fretting and worrying and flowery thinking. Her personality was nuanced only in the kind, moral and brave spectrum, but at least a fraction of character development existed. Julian is a completely other story. The hottie and protective type, he was so intricately woven into the scam I've mentioned that he missed becoming a swoony book boyfriend. Tella was, on the other hand, funky and with a mind of her own, but her supposed cleverness the author tries to sell us falls flat. Despite their flaws, the sisters had a nice relationship. Their father represents a villain-wannabe that should only be called as he truly is -- an abuser, a bully. Legend... now Legend was a mystery and I'd love to find out more. The epilogue seems to hint we'll see him again in a sharper focus. 4. The romance. A bit too syrupy and insta-love reminiscing. I realize now it's the same feeling I've had when reading Falling Kingdoms: it's too much, too early in too little pages. About a quarter into the book, the feelings developed by Scarlett for Julian were already getting in the way of the plot. And I am quite the romantic fan girl, so when I'm saying something felt off, I'm not doing it lightly. Taking into account the amount of untruths that they based their relationship on, it's yet again a case of a shaky foundation to a central aspect of the book. 5. The writing style. Expect prose the likes of Laini Taylor. It sounds beautiful and I'll admit I get swept away pretty easily with this type of writing. It felt like the story flowed, despite its numerous hiccups. The third-person narrative also helped induce a darker atmosphere to keep us on the edge. On a structural level, there was redundancy, but I managed to overlook it gradually. Overall, I'll keep an eye out for Stephanie Garber, because this debut certifies she has storytelling skills. Even though Caraval has been pitched as The Night Circus in different and refreshing clothing, it is far from the lovely and slow-burning tale of Celia and Marco. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly believe it deserves at least a skimming. It's an enigmatic story from start to finish and the epilogue assured I'll read the sequel. Color me intrigued. ENJOY! <3

  • Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
    2019-04-10 10:59

    4.5/5 - This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the BooksI had high expectations and low expectations stepping into Caraval. Everyone who's read it has been gushing over what a masterpiece it is. But then it was also endlessly compared to The Night Circus. Confession: I didn't like The Night Circus, so I was concerned that I just wouldn't be the target reader for Caraval.  Within the first few pages, it was clear that I was going to fawn over it."Remember, it's only a game..."Is it just a game? Is any of it real? Like the players, it certainly didn't feel like a game judging by the amount of times my heart rate increased. I loved discovering new clues alongside Scarlett, stumbling into roadblocks, and overcoming seemingly life threatening obstacles. I haven't been swept away in such a carousel of a story in a long time and am delighted I got to experience such an adventure in Caraval.Stephanie Garber is a beautiful writer. Her sentences strung together so fluidly, painting a fitting picture for the Caraval world she created. Scarlett, Tella, and Julian jumped off the pages straight away. She wrote such a strong opener with well developed, three-dimensional characters; I was sucked in immediately and had no choice but to stay up and read until the small hours of the morning.The twists were clever and not too over the top, bringing the final chapter to a satisfying conclusion. I believe there is a sequel planned, but I felt a good deal of closure with the ending as it is (but I am definitely going to be first in line to step back into this world!)Caraval may end up being one of the biggest YA books of 2017. And rightfully so!Thanks so much to Hodder & Stoughton for giving me a copy to review through NetGalley!It's out Jan 31, you don't want to be late! (Book Depository / Amazon US / Amazon Canada / Amazon UK)

  • Lia Bonnibel
    2019-04-09 03:59

    Our futures are only predictable because as creatures of this world we are predictable.I really did want to like this book. I really did want to dive into a magical and dark adventure with Scarlett and Tella.Sadly for me, I didn’t enjoy it the way I thought I would, and this adventure turned out to be a little school trip to Boredom Land, with one heck of a frustrating main character. And don’t even let me start on her sister.The premise is good, though it has its little flaws right from the start. The writing, for one, has a dull and chanting rhythm. There are a few nice quotes here and there, but nothing remarkable. Dialogues and attempted bantering included.Gosh, those dialogues. *shivers* I’ll have nightmare for days.The characters are infuriatingly undefined. Their personalities and traits are smudgy on their borders. They all read the same way, they all look and talk the same, and they lack of substance, insomuch that, still now, I can’t understand what the deal was with a lot of them.Scarlett is not that bad, but if I had to tip the scale in favor of a concrete judgment, I’d say she’s an easily forgettable character. Sometimes I found myself wanting to jump into the book, grab her by her shoulders and give her a vigorous shake because, holy crow, her obliviousness got on my nerves more times than I can count. She’s really insecure and timorous, yet patsy and judgy to the point of aversion. To an extent, I see how her father’s abuse has a part in all of this. Yet, as someone who’s supposed to be the tough and motherly sister, I feel like she’s way too immature and naïve, too ready to give away her feelings to those who don’t deserve it. Still, I’m not holding any of this against her, because poor Scarlett is basically an unconsciously willing victim of circumstance.Tella, on the other hand…She's so flipping selfish and dumb. I really hope Scarlett will grow some balls and tell her off. Oh, scratch that, just give her a well deserved noogie. Julian, Mr Love Interest, could not be there and I wouldn’t notice, or wouldn’t care. I probably would have liked him more if he wasn’t always trying so hard. His purposes and aims are so conventionally confined into the “typical mysterious good-looking guy” category, and his flirting is so bland that you can’t even go past the fact that he’s just another pretty face in another unpretty book. I’m not even gonna waste my words on Legend and all the *sarcastic air quotes* mystery that surrounds him. Fuck you, you old fart. Give me my money back.Luckily enough, the plot is probably the thing I liked the most, even if I probably hyped this book too much in my own head to the point it took me exactly 270 pages to feel the reader’s high. The setting is gorgeous, I got to give it to the author. Had she wrote about flowers and dresses and a whole another kind of circus-like place (one where, supposedly, Scarlett is a badass and Tella is participating in an Erasmus program in Grunland), I would have fallen hard for it.I wish she’d focused more on describing the surroundings, giving more space and a proper background story to more secondary characters, instead of going on, pages and pages, about feelings and stuff.However, I loved the way everything merges together and gives the story, its performers and the entirety of Caraval, this Venetian, carnivalesque freak-show kind of halo. Alas, things started to get interesting when I was already too far into the book and already too oriented towards a negative outcome, so I probably didn’t even enjoy it as much as I could have.I kind of was expecting that ending, to be honest. It’s the kind of book that requires something shocking, that leaves people with their mouth agape. Well, it should do so, at least.🙄

  • Emma Giordano
    2019-04-10 10:14

    2.5 stars. I unfortunately was not a big fan of Caraval, which is very disappointing to me considering I was really excited for it!Pretty much, everything about this book fell short for me. Every character was bland and annoying with no personality. The romance had absolutely no substance in my opinion, I never felt any chemistry or understood why they got together other than the fact that they were basically one of the only people available to the other. The setting of Caraval was so much less magical and whimsical than I anticipated, and even the darker portions of the performance weren't dark enough! The tagline is "It's all an elaborate performance," but it felt nothing like a performance at all. It felt like one big, wishy-washy scavenger hunt, not the *amazing, adventurous* experience we're lead to believe.The magic system itself really irked me. It felt like a bad case of "This happens because !*~.- m A g I c -.~*!" with very little explanation as to how the magic works. I don't feel there were many limitations, and the restrictions that were present weren't all that clear. The magic system was severely underdeveloped in my opinion, which is a big issue for me as a reader. There definitely were points where I was more interested and entertained by the story (thought those only occurred when I could block out at least a 3 hour uninterrupted period, which is not typical for my audiobook listening) but overall, it was a tough book to get through. I don't often consider putting books down, but there were times when I questioned why I was still listening and contemplated not finishing it.Ultimately, this book felt very juvenile for me (that is not to say books intended for younger readers are not as good!) but I tend to enjoy more mature YA novels. That being said, I can see why there is so much hype for this book, especially within readers younger than myself. I think younger Emma MIGHT have enjoyed it more, considering I don't look at books the same way I did at 17. I'm not sure if I'd read book two, I'd have to see how I feel about this story around the time it comes out. But considering I felt Caraval would have fared better as a standalone, it just doesn't seem like this series is for me.

  • sana°¤°
    2019-03-29 03:55

    I've read 62 pages and I've had enough of this shitty cringefest. I dnfed this weeks ago and can't stand any of the one dimensional characters, especially the muscular, hot and swoon worthy dude who KIDNAPS the MAIN CHARACTER!!! *swoons* wow so hot!!! fuck this abomination of a with my girl Alyssa who also dnfed lmao.

  • Melanie
    2019-04-08 03:06

    This story was so magical, so whimsical, and so perfect. I was skeptical, because I'm pretty much the only person on Goodreads that did not like The Night Circus, but this didn't remind me of The Night Circus at all. Well, at least the 15% I read before I couldn't force myself to read more. I mean, I can see where people would draw the parallels because of the plot, but the writing in this is much more reminiscent of The Raven Boys or Heartless. The prose is the epitome of lyrical, with descriptions that were nothing short of magical, and I devoured it all with a smile on my face.“It looked like a storybook come to life. She peered down at bright pointy rooftops, moss-covered towers, gingerbread cottages, gleaming gold bridges, blue-brick streets, and bubbling fountains, all lit by candled lamps that hung everywhere, giving an appearance of time that was neither day nor night.”Can we talk about how this is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel? I am seriously shocked, because this is not the writing of a new or amateur writer. She has perfected her craft, and made just a really addictive and impressive first story. God, the writing was so good. The descriptions were perfection. I understand this might not be for everyone, but this world consumed me and I didn't want to leave when I turned the last page. I know this book is about a magical place, but it truly ended up being a magical experience that I'm not going to forget anytime soon. The plot of this has a perfect thriller tempo, too! Yes, I've been raving about how magical and lyrical this book is, but I have to emphasize that the pace is fast, too! Each chapter holds a new mystery, and I felt so compelled to never put this book down. Caraval truly is a fast and magical journey that I can't help but recommend everyone take! Caraval is a magical game that is played once a year. Not everyone can go, but the lucky ones are sent tickets, and once they arrive they are able to choose if they'd like to watch the game or actually play the game. Scarlett has been writing to the master of Caraval, Legend, her whole life in hopes to acquire tickets for her and her sister, and after all these years she finally gets a letter back.And the sibling love in this is so amazing. My brother and I are really close, and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Scarlett's devotion to her sister warmed my heart completely and I loved reading about it. Also, seeing them pick each other over boys is my freaking jam. This book also tackles the hard topic of parental abuse, emotional, mental, and physical. This topic is so important, and doesn't seem to be in much YA, unless it is the center of the story. So many kids grow up being abused, yet, it doesn't become the center of their life. Seeing Scarlett realize she is not the value of her father's rage was beautiful. We need more books that handle this issue, because Uncle Vernon and Harry Potter isn't close to being the epitome of an abusive relationship. Many parents can be manipulative, abusive, terrible, and it isn't the victims fault, ever. “People think no one sees all the nasty things they do in the dark. The foul acts they commit, or the lies they tell as part of the game. Caraval takes place at night because you like to watch, and see what people do when they think there are no consequences.”This book does border on unreliable narrative though, because as Scarlett is learning the rules of the game and the magic of Caraval, so is the reader. Caraval is a facade, it might be a beautiful facade, but it is still a facade. The reader is never sure if what they are reading is true, and that is because Scarlett never knows if what she is experiencing is true. I loved the mystery factor and thought it worked perfectly, but I can see where others might not like it as much as me. And the characters and players in this world are so wonderful! Scarlett was my favorite, and I feel like it would be almost impossible not to fall in love with her. Her sister, Tella, has a good heart and her actions were coming from a good place, but she was a little frustrating. Hopefully, in the next book, my love for Scarlett will carry over to Tella. Julian is the other main character you read about, alongside Scarlett. His character was so endearing and I absolutely loved this story-arc and twist(s). Not knowing whether to root and cheer for him or wish him dead was a unique experience to say the least! I loved this book. I loved it with my whole heart. I read this in one day; I couldn't put it down. This book is the definition of a sensory read. Please give it a try. I understand that not every book is for everyone, but this book is pretty close to perfection, in my eyes. I whole heartedly expect this to show up on my "Best of 2017" list, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. I'll be honest, between this book and Beyoncé announcing she's having twins, I feel like the world is trying to ease the blow of Donald Trump's next executive order.Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Steam | Twitch

  • Jacqueline
    2019-04-13 10:56

    4.5/5 starsVIDEO REVIEW: I have been seeing this book being praised for months now and finally, I understand where the hype is coming from. Magical and whimsical. This story just flies by and I loved getting deeper into it as the storyline progressed. I'm shocked at the fact Stephanie Garber is a debut author and this is only her first book because it was everything I wanted and more. I CANNOT wait for more from this author because my goodness this is only her first book and I'm already anticipating anything else she comes out with.SO happy to say the hype was real for me. If you can't tell I'm trying not to give too much away just because I feel like the less you know the better. This book does a great job at grabbing your attention and taking you through this wonderful book!

  • Stephanie Garber
    2019-04-13 08:01

    Hi all!!Thank you all so much for being interested in my book! For those of you who are curious, you can now get a sneak peek inside at the first two chapters on Entertainment Weekly! Happy reading!

  • Pouting Always
    2019-03-31 03:54

    Scarlett has been writing letters to Legend for years, hoping to see Caraval, a show whose magic she can't even begin to imagine. Scarlett's grandmother told her stories about Legend coming to their island and the life changing show he put on, but Legend doesn't go anywhere twice, and after an accident at one of his shows he stops doing shows for the public. Scarlett and her sister Tella have never left their home island and so seeing Caraval is just a dream for Scarlett. Her last letter to Legend is written around the time of her impending marriage and surprisingly this time she receives an answer. Yet Scarlett doesn't know how her and Tella can manage to get off the island to go to Caraval without their abusive father's wrath coming down on them. Tella meanwhile is plotting a way to escape from their father with a sailor's, Julian, help when she finds out about the tickets and becomes set on bringing Scarlett off the island with her. I was pretty into the book until about three fourth of the way through. The writing wasn't too bad and I liked the fantasy aspect plus all the action. I was very much into Julian also and he and Scarlett were pretty cute. I just think that the explanation at the end didn't work for me at all. The way things ended up playing out and all the coincidences that piled up through out the book just made it feel messy and not at all well thought out. I was enjoying the idea that everything is a game and the questioning of reality aspect but (view spoiler)[ when her father showed up with her fiance I started to feel incredulous and then the whole thing with their grandma and Legend and then the fact that Tella planned the whole thing(hide spoiler)] all seemed like too much. It didn't seem like all that convoluted back story was necessary to make the book work and it just ruined it for me. Also the explanation for things was pretty iffy and so I just felt turned off by the time I finished. It started off strong but it lost me there towards the end as things got more and more complicated without reason.

  • Anne
    2019-04-13 07:15

    Did anyone else see this while they were reading?So how do you pronounce this, exactly?In my head, I was saying it like Carnival without the n sound. Well, actually, I ended up trying out a few different pronunciations in my head (see example above), and eventually settled on that one...ish. Because, and I don't know if I'm the only one who does this or what, I've noticed that I kind of mumble stuff that I'm not 100% sure how to say. Yes. In my head. I'll mumble shit in my head.And you know what? It doesn't really matter, I was just curious.Moving on!Ok, this was fun. I'm not one of the screaming/crying fangirls of this thing, but it was a really cool little book.The premise is complicated, but in a good way. Scarlett and Tella are sisters living with an extremely abusive father. Tella is the wild child, while Scarlett is the proper one who tries to do the right thing. Both sisters are devoted to each other, though.Alright, Scarlett's relationship with Tella, and the stuff with their father is what initially drew me into the story. A couple pages and Bam! I'm sucked in, couldn't stop reading!But then the book takes off in a different direction, and there's also all the weird stuff about some sort of a magic traveling carnival, and some equally odd backstory about the guy who runs it. It was kinda confusing, especially at first!Like, there doesn't seem to be magic in their world, but this place is magic? And then there's the whole game aspect to it.I mean, is she at a magical state fair, or is she a contestant on some sort of Alice In Wonderland game show?It's purposely vague for a reason, though. There are all these little layers of mystery to the story, and it wouldn't work very well if it were spelled out to either the reader or Scarlett.But the bottom line is that she's got 5 nights to win a game with ambiguous rules in order to supposedly save her sister. Maybe. Because who knows how much of the game is real?Toss in a sexy sailor with mysterious reasons for helping her, a possible vendetta against her family played out during the game, being stalked by her sadistic father, and a wedding to the man of her hopefully dreams only a few days away? Well, it makes for a pretty interesting ride.The ending is nice and tidy, but there's also a teaser at the end that makes me want to see where this story is going. I'm not normally a fan of trippy stories like this, but this one was an exception. Very different.And I mean that in a good way. Recommended!

  • Ben Alderson
    2019-04-04 10:46

    O M GI NEED BOOK TWO...Some parts where a bit whishy washy in the sense of to many descriptions and the pacing for me, in some places where a tad off. BUT the twists and turns have left me jarred. I LOVED THE ENDING..

  • Ida
    2019-04-10 10:09

    Caraval might just be the most interesting and twisted book I´ve read in a long while. Update 19.10.17 The story follows two sisters voyage to Isla de los Sueños, after being invited to attend this years Caraval. Here, a mystery must be solved, but as every participant has been told repeatedly- It´s only a game! The story is captivating, drawing the reader in from the very first page. Stephanie Garber has created a lot of fascinating secondary characters and a magical setting, adding her attention to details makes it easy to picture the world of Caraval. After talking about the book with a goodreads friend, I realised why I didn´t love this book. The plot is great, and I haven´t read anything like it before, but I did have a few problems with the writing and her main character. Stephanie Garber has a keen eye for details, and spends a lot of time on descriptions, but some of them just felt off to me. Instead of creating a nice flow, they made me halt my reading. First off, the main character sees emotions as colors. This is never explained and I didn´t fully understand the meaning of it? "She could see the sting of her rejection in shades of stormy blue..." "… disappointed. It came in cool shades of forget-me-not blue."Second, she used a lot of random similes. "He tasted like midnight and wind" "It smelled like the middle of the night""The world tasted like lies and ashes.."..made her feel perilous shades of silky black." Because of the short timeline and their location, there´s not much world building or character development. While reading the first chapter, I thought Scarlett (the main character) would be a smart one. Someone who would weigh her options and make the best decision, but boy was I wrong. She turned out to be so boring and gutless. She spent too much time figuring even the most obvious things out, and let everyone else make decisions for her. We are repeatedly told how great Scarlett is, whilst being proven the opposite, add the "no-character-development" and you have a character that pretty much annoyed me throughout the entire book. I was also a bit disappointed by the ending. There were a lot of plot twists, but after building the suspense for so many chapters, I felt as if she chose the safest way to end things. (view spoiler)[ I think it would have made a bigger impact if everything didn´t end well, and Garber would have stuck to at least one of the "bad" things she kept mentioning throughout the story. Either left one of the characters dead, insane, or done something that would stick with you more than the current ending did with me.(hide spoiler)]It also ends with a bunch of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Amber Robertson
    2019-04-06 09:46

    TRIGGER WARNING: this one slipped my attention while reading, purely because I was bored, but I feel it is important to add that this book features parent x child abuse which isn't dealt with. WARNING: this review will be a rant, there may be unmarked spoilers. This is also a highly unpopular opinion so if you want to come at me telling me I'm wrong or didn't understand the book I will punch you in the nose from how mad this book made me. Also, there is a high amount of swearing, which I usually don't try to put in my reviews but I am so angry. (:“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."Caraval was a book I knew I'd hate, I wasn't even excited for it. Then shallow me saw the inside cover and had to read it. Even after Caitlin, who I share similar opinions with, was disappointed. Even after it was repeatedly compared to The Night Circus, which I also hated. So, big fuck you to shallow Amber for making me waste my time. If you haven't read the book and didn't adhere to my warning at the top of this review, I highly recommend you skedaddle because I am about to go into the characters. So, bye, come back if you hate this book. For a book where the only review I saw that wasn't a five was Caitlin's, the character's were so dumb and one-dimensional. They literally had to state everything that was happening. It was infuriating to read after the ridiculous description we had had to read of almost every item. This book would have beena lot shorter without the unnecessary metaphors for everything. It was tiring. But, anyway, let's talk about this shit storm of characters. First, we have the dumb ass, possible whore(not slut shaming just stating it could be a fact), and ninja turtle of a sister. Now, you may be like, 'where did the ninja turtle part come from?' Well, my friends, her name is Donatella. So, how did I picture this dimwitted sister the whole time?Much like this:A giant turtle with a purple eye band. Then add this gif - because for some reason we were meant to think that Julian and Ninja Turtle had hooked up. Moving on, we have the oh so romantic kidnapper known as Julian. Now, you may be like 'woah, a kidnapper?! Are we meant to like him?!' Don't worry, his brown muscles will distract from that. Nothing else matters because he has brown muscles and a solid chest. Have you forgotten he kidnapped the main character (who I am looking forward to shitting on next)? Me neither. The fact he never called Scarlett by her real name, favouring "Crimson" instead, really irked me. She corrected him once and left it. I've had people call me Amanda for a year, and I corrected them every single time, so it irked me that Scarlett was that weak of a character she wouldn't stand up for herself. Now, let's talk about Scarlett. Honestly, the most dim-witted character I have ever read. She was so stupid that it made this book a struggle. Her absolute inability to do anything correctly, the fact she couldn't solve the clues and the fact she was so hopelessly okay with almost everything was infuriating. Now, you may be waiting for a representation of Scarlett. I got nothing. I basically pictured her as an 'attractive' blob on legs. Oops. Add that to a blushing virgin and you have Scarlett, the girl who could barely look a male character in the eye. The plot was even worse. When you have a book with the preface of "it's all a game" and "nothing is real", it's going to be fucking boring when you try to add 6385923759 plot twists at the end that are dumbdumb. Everything about it had me spluttering in anger and sending Caitlin 80 billion messages. Honestly, I can't even begin to express my utter anger and hatred for this book. It is literally told over a week and somehow there's a fucking love story too. Don't even get me started on that shit. My notes for it are just: "this is so fucking DUMB" - exact copy and paste from my notes. Ugh, I am still so angry about this book, I don't even want to see it if I can't kick it 169238048 kilometres away from me. I also don't even want to get into the Legend shit that happened or the "oh no you've been fooled" or whatever the fuck happened.To make this even better, I just went through my friends ratings and I've rated it the lowest. So, here's for an unpopular opinion. I mean, I didn't even buy into the hype, how am I this disappointed?

  • Dorreh
    2019-04-23 11:05

    This book kept me genuinely interested. Albeit some minor character flaws, and mildly predictable occurrences. "Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game."Nice way to begin, isn't it? This book was like those drinks where you sip fantasy and breathe imagination. This book had bits and pieces that resemble 'The Night Circus'. It wasn't that the two books were similar, not really, but there was a connection like a world of magic, entertainment, and games that exists only within certain borders. I read the synopsis to caraval somewhere in 2015 way before it's publication date. I know they say never judge a book by its cover, I guess if you count the synopsis being on the cover as being counted, then I'm guilty as charged. But the idea was so intriguing, a place of magic and wonder and danger, where reality twists and turns, and even better, it's been the dreamland of an isolated island girl who has never left home? How could you not want to read it?!"The future knows what things we desire, unless there is something greater in our path that chases us away."I think I loved this quote so much I would have tattooed it on my heart, too bad I'm middle eastern and don't have a death wish. The book was melodic and beautiful, it had a poetic rhythm to it once they entered the caraval. It was a gorgeous creation of fantasy and a wonderful setting, and oh how I loved Julian! Perhaps he was the best part of the book. "She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out."Oh yes, that is exactly how you could feel about Julian!!!Scarlett and Donatella had a beautiful sibling dynamic, the protectiveness they tend to develop when they are left to fend for themselves. Oh and who doesn't absolutely love the added touch of an abusively powerful father and absent mother. While this book had all the elements to create the perfect heroine, this is where it came up short. Between perfectly placed opportunities, scarlet could have been the ideal character, abused but strong, loving yet untrusting of the world, and ultimately surprising. But she just wasn't. I mean yes I did like her, but I could have loved her you see. Between being indecisive and uncertain, she seemed to keep emphasizing a very false sense of caution. I mean if you were so worried about your sister getting lost in the caraval, why whisp away time playing into their hands. I mean yes, if a person is only mildly concerned, they will fret and then go on about whatever they were doing, but when you suspect her life may be in danger, wouldn't you be tearing the world in two to find them? I think mainly Scarlett's bravery seemed slightly more exaggerated than the reality of her actions. She wasn't the heroine I usually adore, but I did like her very much though. Overall the book was enchanting to say the least, don't let negative reviews keep you from tasting it's magic!

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-04-05 09:47

    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads3.5 starsAnytime a book is surrounded in as much hype as CARAVAL, I try to go into reading it with lowered expectations. BUT.Said hype seldom stops me from actually reading it. Not b/c I'm a lemming, but b/c curiosity. *shakes fist at curiosity gods* That being said, beyond the pretty, pretty cover and the quote, "It's only a game," I had no prior knowledge of the contents when I first cracked its spine. The concept is intriguing: two sisters, raised by an abusive father, run away to play a game whose winner will be granted a single wish. That's oversimplification, but I don't want to spoil you, so that's all you get. *orbit gum smile*The problem is the execution. A lot of new authors make the mistake of browbeating their readers with key details:1. Ever since their mother abandoned them, Scarlett has felt responsible for the well-being of her younger sister Tella.2. Above all things, Scarlett desires escape from her father. But only if the escape provides safety and security.3. Tella is reckless.But instead of these ideas being vocalized once, then reinforced by demonstrations, we're simply told (over and over again) by an increasingly fretful and exasperating Scarlett. And once Scarlett gets to her destination, it only gets worse, b/c we know the things she repeatedly tells us are untrue. Little to no world-building. The only things we know about Scarlett's world are:1. It has magic and that magic is a tricksy fae sort of magic.2. The part of the world that Scarlett and her family live in is conquered (by we-don't-know-who) and travel is restricted. But this information feels more like a plot device to explain Scarlett's inability to travel freely than actual world-building.Ringmaster's island is more developed, but it felt like a Stardust/Diagon Alley/Disney mashup, so MEH.Then there's other weird stuff like how Scarlett assigns colors to emotions, an obvious sign of her own magical ability, which is never addressed. We just get a lot of very specific shades that mean very specific things (sometimes nonsensically), except for when the colors don't mean anything at all . . . But are still very specific, which is confusing and a little bit weird.Cerulean blue . . . Apricot orange . . . Saffron yellow . . . Primrose pink. OR if you're familiar with my peeves, blue blue, orange orange, yellow yellow, and pink pink. *flares nostrils*BUT.By the end, I had either grown immune to Scarlett's fretting or she'd calmed down--I can't be sure which--and I wasn't quite as annoyed by her as I'd been for the first three-quarters of the book, which allowed me to appreciate the ingenuity of the tale. SO. Although I don't think CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber comes close to living up to the hype, I don't regret reading it, and I'll probably read the next book. Garber is clearly capable of dreaming up not-your-ordinary-story, she just needs a bit of polish. Recommended. Ish.

  • Korrina(OwlCrate)
    2019-03-28 09:10

    This book was just so much fun! What an absolute magical and visual delight. It took so many twists and turns, it really kept me on my toes and made me want to devour the story. Absolutely loved it.