Caraval

Caraval

eBook - 2017
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Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett's long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor who she has just met, 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.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2017
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (416 pages)

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d
Doobie2_0
Aug 04, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, but Scarlett was getting on my last nerves.

AL_KATI Jul 03, 2017

Quite a beautiful novel that brings to mind "The Night Circus." I've heard a movie might be in the works, and this would make a gorgeous film.

m
morrisaurus
Jun 12, 2017

This was absolutely one of the best reads I've had in basically forever!!!!! I could not put it down and often found myself up late into the night turning the pages to see what would happen next. I ABSOLUTELY recommend!!!!!

g
goddessbeth
May 18, 2017

This book had some hits and some misses for me, so for the sake of a quick review I'm just going to list them out.

I really enjoyed:

The setting, which definitely felt magical and otherworldly, with an interesting juxtaposition of Renaissance Italy politics and rustic charm and Victorian fashion.

Scarlett's unique perception- she's a bit of a synesthete, seeing emotion as colors. I've never read this from a character before, and gave a sense of how vibrant the world is to Scarlett, despite being abused and isolated.

Scarlett's fiance. Not to give too much away, but he made a nice midway point between "not exactly a gentleman" and "not exactly a villain"- rather close to what I assume a lot of people would actually be.

The twists. I did struggle with Scarlett's utter idiocy (see below) but it serves a purpose.
Not only is she growing as a character and learning to take risks and trust herself and thinking analytically instead of just reacting, it allows for some fun twists.

Julian.

The cover, which is prismatic and gorgeous.

I didn't so much enjoy:

Scarlett's father never felt like a fleshed-out character, but some kind of bogeyman. His reasons for abusing his daughters is explained from Scarlett's perspective, but since she's a flawed narrator, I wanted to see a bit of what must have been a complicated and self-justified logic from him. Or maybe I'm overthinking it and he's just a bully.

Sometimes Scarlett was SO DUMB. She did grow, and it's totally justified, but there were a few naive moments where I just had to put the book down because I wanted to shake her. It disconnected me from caring about anything else, plot-wise.

I didn't feel like Donatella was fully realized. Definitely Scarlett's perception of her isn't fully the truth, but most of the time she was more plot device than character. Given the cliffhanger ending, this might be totally rectified in book 2.

Overall, I liked it. I will likely pick up book 2, because I'm curious about what happens next and I want to get to know Donatella (who, to be honest, feels much more "me"). And because I want more Julian. I recommend it for fans of fantasy YA with a dash of clean romance.

t
twhitehead24
Apr 22, 2017

I really like "Caraval". Legend, the master of ceremonies of the game, used a scavenger hunt to lead Scarlett to her sister. Along the way, Scarlett has to learn to trust a man to help her. Trust comes hard for Scarlett since her father has beaten her and Tella, her sister, down since her mother left. Scarlett, who is betrothed to another she has never met, meets Julian. Julian's goal was to get her to the island and then walk away. Once Julian met Scarlett, leaving was no longer an option. His goal turned to helping her find her sister and get to know Scarlett along the way. The way to the end was not easy. The ending left you craving immediacy for the next book. Cannot wait to read about what Tella supposedly promised Legend. Hmmm!

o
obtusata
Apr 17, 2017

Interesting, likeable characters, lots of twists and mystery, hard to put down.

r
Rebole
Apr 10, 2017

This book was ok for me. I love the magic and the intrigue of the game of Caraval, but I expected more. I found the main character, Scarlett and her sister Donatella a tad bit annoying. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either. I tried to understand them, expecting their characters to develop as the story continued, but I was disappointed. I still want to read the next book.

m
MelissaYAReader
Apr 05, 2017

I loved the magic and the mystery of this story. In many ways it reminded me of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. While I did find Scarlett to be a bit annoying in the beginning of the novel, and found it irritating that she ignored the warnings she was given, I did like how she developed over the course of the story.

Adventure, fantasy, mystery, and magic--this book was a winner for me. I just wish I could read it again for the first time.

c
Carolshasta
Mar 29, 2017

Tedious and unconvincing. Could not finish.

r
RobSager
Mar 21, 2017

Don't let the magical island setting fool you -- there's nothing laid back about this absorbing tale that's part smoldering forbidden romance, part rescue mission. Yes, it's set on a fantasy island, one readers would probably love to linger on if first-time author Stephanie Garber would let them. Garber doesn't linger on the details of world building -- or even let the characters sit down for a meal (do they ever eat?). Still, the fast pace does have the advantage of keeping readers fully immersed in the mystery as much as the main character, Scarlett. What's real? Who are the performers and who are the other players? Why is Scarlett's sister the one kidnapped, the one tied to the prize? How much danger is she really in?

Caraval is a zip-through read once you hit the halfway point, with more than a few eye-opening surprises at the end.

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KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“No one is truly honest,” Nigel answered. “Even if we don't lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

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

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