Caraval Book Review

Photo credit-Jessica Valentine

Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

About this book:

What happens when you live on an island with an abusive, mafia boss of a father, a little sister who needs you to survive, and a pending engagement to a man you’ve never even met?

You write a letter to Legend, the master of Caraval, of course.

Scarlett Dragna has lived her entire life trying to protect her sister Tella from their abusive father. Every year since her mother died she’s written a letter to Legend, asking him to come perform on their Island.

This is the last year, she’ll write though, because in a few weeks she’s marrying a stranger.

To her surprise, Legend actually responds and sends her three tickets to come to his private island and participate in Caraval. Despite her longing to go, Scarlett decides that risking her father’s wrath and destroying the engagement that might just get her and her sister a ticket to freedom, isn’t worth it.

But when a rogue sailor, working with her sister, kidnaps her, she’s taken to Legend’s mysterious island anyway.

Things get worse when Tella goes missing on the first night of Caraval. Now the only person she can trust is the sailor who helped kidnap her. She has only one choice to get her sister back, play the game that is Caraval and win.

Photo credit – Jessica Valentine

What I loved:

I loved the mystery, the slight Gothic feel, the romance. Honestly, there wasn’t much I didn’t love about this book.
The romance aspect was spot on. Sometimes amazing, young adult books are bogged down by too much teenage angst, too much drama for drama’s sake. This certainly wasn’t the case with Caraval. Scarlett’s character, though struggling with trauma from her past, grew so much through the course of the story. Instead of pushing people away, she learned how to love and trust the right ones. There was a lot of redemption for certain characters as well.

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

What I didn’t love:

The fact that the second book isn’t out yet bothered me… It bothered me a lot. 😉

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Let me sum up:

Caraval was an amazing book, full of unique plot twists and fully developed characters. I read it over the course of two days, couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it!

“Briefly, Scarlett let herself imagine what it would be like to go to Legend’s private isle, to play the game and win the wish. Freedom. Choices. Wonder. Magic.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

What are you reading?

Also, the gorgeous pics of Caraval, my sister took those. You can see more of her and my brother’s work on Lightstock:






About Britta Valentine

saved by grace, writer of young adult fiction, and drinker of copious amounts of coffee

4 comments on “Caraval Book Review

  1. I’ve heard mixed things about Caraval but it’s made me curious!

  2. I’m intrigued! Thanks for the review!

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