Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 407 (US Hardcover)

Publication Date: 31 January 2017

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“No one is truly honest. Even if we don't lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”

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.


First off, I want to say how fabulous this book is! Plot twist after plot twist, this book kept me guessing from start to finish! Every time I thought I knew what would happen, a curveball was thrown at me and something completely different occurred! Caraval is strangely addicting and I could not get enough! I struggled a bit in the beginning to get into it, but I ended up enjoying it immensely. I had my qualms about the main character, Scarlett, and don't even get me started on her irritating sister Tella *sigh* but the story is so good, that I can get past them. I must admit though, that Tella is one of the, if not the main, reason why I'm not giving this book a five-star rating. She is so inconsiderate, rash and just downright annoying but she appears in fairly small doses and for that I was grateful!

I really enjoyed the development of Scarlett's relationship with her pseudo-nemesis turned friend turned possibly something more Julian. Julian has such a sassy arrogance about him that you just had hate to love, but seeing how the two interact is nothing short of entertaining. I also love that nothing and no one in this book are quite what they seem and that air of mystery and wonder never leaves; you're constantly wondering when the other shoe will drop!

The writing had a nice flow to it; very simplistic and easy to follow, though some of the wording was…interesting. Some lines were quite whimsical, which I suppose works for the setting/plot of this book, but gave me a bit of a hard time. Overall though, the writing makes the book quite the page-turner and you won't want to stop once you start!

Caraval was such a fun, suspenseful and exciting read! I'm usually able to figure out exactly where a story is going to go but this book proved me wrong at every turn.  I was a little apprehensive going into this book because of all the comparisons to The Night Circus it was receiving, a book that I love A LOT. I must admit though, I was not disappointed! Definitely an easy-going and enthralling fantasy read!

Have you read Caraval? What about The Night Circus, a book that Caraval is constantly being compared to? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time,



3 thoughts on “Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

  1. OOPS haha if Tella bugged you so much I hope that you will still enjoy book two! Apparently it’s supposed to be about her and Legend!! So I’m interested in what you’ll think about it! I loooooved Caraval though, even though I didn’t feel THAT invested in Tella or Scarlett but everything else was just HEOIHWOHFEO)UIULGWEFOQWUHIEÖHOF *heart eyes*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh I know I’ve been secretly hoping that book two won’t be told from Tella’s perspective but based on the ending that definitely won’t be the case 😂🙃I felt the same way! I wasn’t super in love with Scarlett but the story was AMAZING 😱🙌🏼I can’t wait to see what happens next!

      Liked by 1 person

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