Caraval by Stephanie Garber follows sisters Scarlet and Tella, who live on an island they have never left with their abusive, ruthless father. Scarlet has an arranged marriage coming up and her hopes for seeing Caraval are seemingly over, until her invitation comes in the mail. Caraval is a once a year performacne where the audience participates. With the help of a sailor they just met, Tella comes up with a plan for them to go to Caraval. Once there, Tella is kidnapped by the organizer, Legend and whoever finds her first is the winner.
First of all I hated the father. His punishments were so horrible and the fact that he used one sister to suffer the consequences of the other was just disgusting.
I loved the sisterly bond that Scarlet and Tella had. You could tell that they genuinely loved each other and would do anything for the other. The ending had me in tears a little bit.
I liked the character of Julian. I think he added something extra to the story. I would love to have a prequel of Julian’s story and what happened to him in his life before meeting Scarlet and Tella. The book goes into his history some but I would love a complete book.
I enjoyed the romance in the story but I wish there was more of it. It was just one of those sweet, non rushed romances that had you rooting for them. At least I was.
I loved the whole Caraval experience. It reminded me a little bit like Wonderland, where everything isn’t how it appears and there is a whimsical, magical feeling to it. I loved imagining what everything looked like as I was reading.
I liked the overall plot. Things seemed to just flow and everything moved at a good pace. There were a lot of things going on throughout the book but I never had a hard time following along, which sometimes happens when I am reading something with a lot of things going on.
The mystery aspect was really well played out. There were times when I thought I knew who Legend was and then something else would happen and I would think it was someone else. In the end I wasn’t expecting what happened at all. There were some surprises and then surprises on top of those.
I am very happy that there is going to be a sequel and I’m excited to read that. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for these characters and to learn more about this world.
I gave Caraval 5 stars on Goodreads and very much recommend it.