Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

by Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
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 . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Every now and then, I come across books that just immediately leap at me, whether it's their title name, cover art, or even some early buzz from some of my favourite authors. For Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL it was all of the above. The first time I came across the title was through one of Raincoast Books' TEENSREAD preview events, where it was one of the more spoken of titles from the evening. It was a book who's premise gave me goosebumps and had not only myself, but other book bloggers as well, completely captivated. I recall being all a-buzz over Caraval, and when an early copy was offered for review, I leaped with joy!

“Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or performance. It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world.”

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is not, in the very least, your typical YA fantasy title. It's not a book that's going to fall under the same radar as any other, and it certainly isn't going to be predictable. When immediately diving into Caraval, I was easily pleased with the feeling of what I was stepping into was completely unknown and would be a complete surprise. It felt like it was part "The Selection", "The Night Circus", and "Through the Looking Glass", but with a lot more sass and far more strength to it's progression. I immediately became invested in Scarlett and Tella's tale, and the overall idea behind Caraval - the dangerous game known by all. I absolutely enjoyed the way the game played not only the characters in Stephanie Garber's debut, but also played me as well. The game of wit, magic, trust, and even romance was completely unpredictable and kept me on my toes from beginning to end.

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

Overall, Caraval by Stephanie Garber was a magical wonder! I have no doubt that Caraval will be THE talk of the bookish world for years to come with it's unique plot, it's stunning characters, and beautifully lyrical writing. It's a must-read!

5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.


  1. I love reading all the review for Caraval. It's getting me so excited for my preorder!?

  2. I think this is the hundredth review I've read about Caraval. All of them have been so positive and I can't wait do read it. Thank you ☺

  3. Sounds so amazing. Every review I read for Caraval is glowing, can't wait for my pre-order to go through.

  4. I entered your January 2017 book release giveaway because I'M DYING to get this book. I think it's safe to say it's my most anticipated release OF THE YEAR ♥ Yeah! I just fall for magical books like this one, and as I read nothing but amazing reviews, you can imagine how high my hype is. Plus, I'm stalking Stephanie's Twitter like crazy, because every picture she posts about the editions are fantastic - UK and US. I'm intrigued by the special relationship these two sisters have, and of course, the whole concept of Caraval and the trials of that mysterious game. So, so glad you enjoyed this book, Wendy! Hope I get the chance to have it and read *coff, coff, devour* it :D Thanks for your review!

  5. I've been dying to read Caraval as well this year. Hopefully I could buy a copy for me. such a wonderful review you got there. :))

  6. Love this review! This is, again, one of my most anticipated releases from this year. I still haven't gotten around to reading it though, I think I'm just overwhelmed by so many books that I want (NEED) to read next :)

  7. Super cool cover and I have this book on my TBR :D
    Super great review! :)

  8. been hearing lots of good stuffs about this lovely one. but I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive home. :((

  9. Loved the first few pages of an excerpt online!! And the characters do sound very unique, as does the premise, but what's important is that you were invested in them immediately!

    Lovely review! :)