THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MY TBR HAS FINALLY BEEN ACHIEVED!
The book I had been waiting over a year to read. Has finally been read.
The book that has been staring at me since I bought it in January. Has finally been opened.
The book that everyone talks about! Has finally shown me all its secrets.
I am no longer oblivious.
I know the truth.
I finally know.
I can finally see the light.
In other words, I finally read Caraval by Stephanie Garber!
Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her 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 faraway, 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. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
I DID IT! *Wooping sound of applause*
It is also the third book I have read this month! Talk about accomplishments! Anyways, after months of avoiding many reviews (due to spoiler mishaps…) I read it. Gobbled it. And savoured every turn of the page. The amount of hype around this book was crazy. People loved it! Others not so much.
What I Liked:
Scarlett Dragna: She is honestly my new fave! A lot of people have complained about her naïvety and bad decision-making, but I saw her as someone else. She lived a sheltered and fearful life. Her father was abusive and controlling, most people wouldn’t come out of those kind of situations all strong and ready to fight. No, she was a girl still learning how to navigate the world and find a way to trust people again. I thought she was great! I adored her endless love for her sister and her courage against all the things that went wrong during the game. She was insecure, yes but she was also intelligent, caring and brave!
Julian: Come to me, sweetheart. My brooding and mischievous man. He honestly brought the best humour and charm to the story. He might not be the most honest and moral person, but he is a good guy. He is, as I like to say a good-bad boy. (Opposite of the bad-good boy, of course) He is also 🔥🔥🔥
Legend: Welp, I was not expecting that.
Colourful Feels: I absolutely loved the fact that Scarlett’s feelings were described in the form of colours. If she was angry or sad or worried, her emotions would take the form of colours. Like a mustard yellow or an angry red. Death is purple! I found it amazing especially because it reminded me of an old documentary where this woman could see people’s words in colour. (It was probably fake, but it was entertaining!) The colours really added to the beauty of the novel as you could associate an emotion or experience with something visual, not an expression but a colour!
Hispanic Influence: Favourite aspect of the novel, right here! There were multiple uses of Spanish words used in this novel, I was so happy! For once I didn’t have to use a glossary or stumble on how to pronounce those words because I already knew how! There wasn’t a lot of cultural influence, but I appreciated the names and people that were touched by it! *eyes Julian, who in my eyes is definitely Hispanic of some sort* EVEN WHEN YOU TRANSLATE THE WORDS IT GIVES SO MUCH INSIGHT INTO THE SECRETS OF THE STORY! See: La Serpiente, Castillo Maldito
Sense of Magic: The whole setting and writing mixed together gave off this wonderful and mystical aurora. Garber did an amazing job of creating the magic in the story that just sucked me right in and made me feel all tingly! It reminded me of the first (and only) time I went to go see a circus and going into the tent and just feeling the excitement, fun and mischief! Also, I need one of those dresses Scarlett was wearing! That is a NEED!
Mystery! Mystery! Mystery!: This book keeps you guessing. You may think you know things, but you don’t. You may think you have it all figured out, but you don’t. Well at least I didn’t! The mystery keeps you in suspense and on your toes all the time!
The Letters: I really liked the letters. 1. I think they added an authentic feel. The images of the letters showed the writing and personality of a character. It was better than just having a whole section in italics, instead it was an actual image. 2. They are misleading little buggers!, OR ARE THEY??? It depends, I guess.
Romance: 🔥🔥🔥 At first I thought it was going to be insta-lovey and while it sort of is, I did not mind it too much. Actually, my first thought was that the sisters were going to fight over the guy and love triangles were going to start popping up. Luckily, that didn’t happen. The chemistry between Scarlett and Julian, was cute and fun. He being so forward and joking and she being more closed off. Although their romance comes to be in 5 days, you could say the magic of Caraval really brought them together!
Action: It’s not a bloody, battle kind of action. It is action that involves running around, getting thrown off course by the plot twists and mysteries that pop up while others have been solved. It is an ongoing suspense that keeps you going and your mind racing!
Epilogue: 😵😵😵😵😵😵 I KNEW GARBER WOULD NOT LEAVE THAT QUESTION UNANSWERED! 😵😵😵😵😵
What I Disliked
Honestly, I cannot think of anything other than sometimes the story dragged in places. Not long enough to stop me from reading though!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was afraid the hype would damage the reading experience for me, but I’m very happy I enjoyed it. I liked the characters, the setting, I mean I don’t think I would ever actually be smart enough to win Caraval, but I’d give it a go! There are many twists and turns, some you might see coming other that you simply cannot! (Unless you have a mind like Legend’s, of course) I achingly anticipate the next instalment, there are so many things that could happen, so many possibilities!
Rating: 5 / 5 stars (It’s on my “Favourites” shelf!)
Recommend: Look people, how could you not read this book? It’s great!
If for some reason you have not read this book and after reading this you feel inspired to, I have one single piece of advice…Remember it’s only a game.
Truer words have never been spoken.