Caraval Review

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Early copy courtesy of NetGalley (released 31st January 2017)

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

I was lucky enough to be sent an extremely early e-copy of one of the most hyped up book releases of 2017. Let me start off by saying that the hype is well and truly warranted because this was probably one of my favourite books I’ve read all year. I’ve never read a book that deceives the reader so much. You feel almost as lost as the characters in the book and things aren’t revealed to the reader, until they’re revealed to the character which makes this story so much more exciting. Stephanie Garber has managed to involve the reader like no other book I’ve read before.

Caraval is written from Scarlett’s point of view. Scarlett and Tella are sisters but they couldn’t be less alike. Scarlett’s wish of being invited to Caraval is finally granted and she gets three passes to join the game. And this is what the reader manages to forget time and time again throughout this book: “It’s a game!” I found that no matter what was happening, I believed it and kept forgetting that the majority of what was happening wasn’t real.

When Scarlett finds the secret location of Caraval, she makes a harrowing discovery. Her sister has been kidnapped and if she doesn’t find her in time, she could die. Scarlett would die for her sister and the hoops she jumps through to try and get her sister back, certainly shows that.

It’s very difficult so say much more without ruining any one of the hundreds of plot twists, lies and deception that takes place in this book, so I will say no more; except the fact that it will have you on the edge of your seat throughout, you will not be able to put it down and you will be questioning everything you’re told. 

Your opinion on characters will change so many times throughout the book, as new information comes to light but I found myself loving every single one as they all bought the exact personalities and excitement the book needed.

I cannot wait for the sequel to come out…which is quite frustrating as the first one isn’t even out yet but this book certainly does not disappoint. This is one of the only books I’ve read that I would love to see as a film. Usually I’m content with imagining new worlds in my head but bringing this to life on the big screen would just be sensational. When January comes…pick up a copy because this book is incredible!

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