rhia reviews: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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.27883214

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.

My Goodreads rating: ★★★★

I did really enjoy this book. It was so hyped that I was worried it was going to be a disappointment, so I’m really glad it turned out to be quite good.

That said, there are things I don’t like. Julian, for one – he’s just creepy af for the whole book – and the ending is crazy, it’s just plot twist after plot twist and feels a little convoluted.

But the writing is good and the setting is wonderful. It’s a shame this book seems to be trying way too hard to capture the magic of THE NIGHT CIRCUS – which it really doesn’t.

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