Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is so different from anything I have ever read. It is hard to describe this book since it is so complex, but basically, it is about a girl who must save her sister by completing the game of Caraval. I loved the sisterly bond between Tella and Scarlett and how they would do anything to protect each other. I also really enjoyed the scavenger hunt-like elements in the book and all the challenges that Scarlett must face. There are so many layers that really make the story come to life, something that can be difficult in novels like this one.

Review: Caraval by Stephanie GarberTitle: Caraval (Caraval #1)
Series: Caraval #1
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

❀ Ideal Main Character

Scarlett is the ideal main character for Caraval. She is so intelligent and able to solve each puzzle so quickly. If I were in Caraval, I would definitely be out by the first night. Scarlett is also so compassionate and really only does things for other people. She is so determined to win the game and save her sister and is so sweet. This girl also knows how to get what she wants, which was actually pretty funny at times.

❀ Beautiful Setting

One of my favourite things about this amazing fantasy book is the beautiful setting. While the ARC that I have doesn’t include a map,  I really felt like I knew this world. Stephanie Garber has honestly thought of everything, even the way time works on the island. Her descriptive writing style makes the world believable and will make the reader feel as if they are in the game as well. The world of Caraval is definitely among my favourites.

❀ A Complex Story

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a complex story about a mysterious game with a main character who is selfless and intelligent. The setting is so vivid and makes the whole story even more believable. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out!

About Stephanie Garber

Image of Stephanie Garber

I’m the international and New York Times bestselling author of Caraval.

When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings.

To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval is out now (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in thirty foreign territories and the movie rights were picked by Twentieth Century Fox.

candid cover avatar

About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

21 thoughts on “Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

  1. Kelly says:

    So many amazing reviews for this book so far…I don’t think I’ve seen a negative one yet! I just got an ARC of it, and I’m so excited to dive in! I’m so happy to hear that the world in this book is beautiful – I love world building, and it’s one of my favorite part of novels such as this! Your review has really made me want to start this like right now!

  2. Antonela says:

    I entered your January 2017 new release giveaway because girl, I NEED THIS BOOK ♥ Seriously, I read nothing but amazing reviews, and I just want to devour it as soon as it’s released 🙂 Looks like a magical and intriguing journey, the kind of story I fall for 😀 So glad you liked it that much!

  3. Jaime Lynn says:

    I am so glad you finally got to read this one. I had the pleasure of reading it a few months ago, and it was oh so pleasurable! I cannot wait for the next book of this series, because I can only imagine just how amazing it will be!

  4. Luna & Saturn says:

    This book is definitely the one we’re most anticipating for 2017. Glad to know that it doesn’t underperform at all. It’s great that the female protagonist is intelligent – she has agency. Love your review of Caraval!
    ~ Pendragons 

  5. Katelyn says:

    Great review! I’ve heard such great things about this book. The story line does sound very complex but it seems very unique and interesting. I can’t wait to read it ASAP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.