Caraval ( Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber
“She knew she could walk away, but she’d spent enough of her life fearing the risks that accompanied the things she wanted most.”
Scarlett’s life has left her in a protective position over her little sister from their horrible father. When presented with the opportunity to finally go to the elusive Caraval she is hesitant to go, afraid of the consequences of a run away trip. That is until she finds herself thrust into the life changing Caraval despite her reservations. She is told it is just a game, but the lines between reality and fantasy blur. As she frantically spends her time trying to find her sister, who has been kidnapped as part of the game, she learns more about herself than she has ever before.
Caraval was a whirlwind of metaphors, similes, and a story of love and endearing loyalty. I spent the first half of the book cringing at every comparison that Garber gave in the book. Somewhere at the halfway point, she either stopped dramatically emphasizing on the poetic writing, or I was so immersed into the story or dulled to the writing by then to notice. Here’s what I believe though. You’re meant to initially be swept away by the magical world of Caraval and slowly become bitter towards it, no longer seeing the glamour it held. If that’s true, then bravo, because it worked on me. As soon as Scarlett began to really get frustrated with Caraval and all the game really offered to the players was probably when I started noticing the lack of constant metaphors. Honestly though, I have now read this book twice and the second time around I really just accepted the magical way the story was written and paced.
The romance of the story seems so rushed, considering that it happens over just a few nights. Nights that didn’t actually have too much interaction between Scarlet and her love interest. So if you dive into this, don’t expect instant love, but shortly there after.
The World Building
The world building was spectacular as I found myself falling through a rabbit hole into a brand new wonderland where anything is possible. A world where you bargained with secrets. And what happens in Caraval, may very well stay in Caraval, but the experience and your decisions will haunt you for the rest of your life, whether good or bad.
The first part of the book, I almost quit because I was very annoyed with Scarlett as a character. I was very happy to see her get a little bit of spine and come around by the end. In fact her character ARC isn’t that drastic but I could really appreciate how she became aware of what she wanted and desired rather than what she thought was best for her and/or her sister.
Daya – Legendary