I had been waiting for MONTHS for Caraval to come out, and I was not disappointed! I loved it! Caraval is a game where the audience plays too. Ever since she was young, Scarlett wanted to see Caraval in person with her sister Tella. When the opportunity presents itself to flee from their abusive father, Scarlett and Tella make their way to the island that hosts Caraval, but end up separated. Scarlett’s main goal is to find her sister and get back home in time for her arranged marriage, which she hops will give her a better life away from her father. Caraval rides the line between magic and reality and Scarlett is told again and again that Caraval is just a game, and warned not to get too swept away. That seems feasible…until Tells is kidnapped as part of the game. In order to win, she must find Tella with the help of handsome Julian, the sailor who brought her to the island in the first place. Who can she trust? What’s real and what’s not? Scarlett will soon find out…
“Glittering mist swirled around vibrant green mountains – all covered in trees – that rose toward the sky as if they were massive emeralds.”
Caraval was such a magical read. It was compared a lot to The Night Circus, which is one of my favorite books, so obviously I knew I needed to read it! I loved Caraval so much that it also made it’s way into my favorite list! It was really beautifully written, and I loved the characters. Scarlett can be naive, but has good intentions and a heart of gold. All she wants to do is protect her sister and create a better life for the two of them.
I really loved Julian, and I loved him and Scarlett starting to develop feelings for each other. It was a slow simmering romance, as Scarlett is engaged to someone else (although she’s never met him) and she doesn’t necessarily trust Julian. The way they bantered and worked together was adorable! I just loved it!
I still can’t believe that Caraval is more than 400 pages, because I flew though it! The pacing was perfect. Nothing felt slow, and everything I read compelled me to keep reading! If I hadn’t had to work in the morning, I would have finished it in one sitting. It was that good! Finishing the book felt like stepping out of a really pleasant dream, and I was torn between wanting to hug the book (I was emotional, OKAY?!) and start it over again and re-read the entire thing.
I really felt swept away by the story and I loved that. I felt like I was at Caraval, and I pictured everything so clearly. Ms. Garber certainly has a way with words! I loved her fantastical imagery, and I really liked that Scarlett associated emotions with colors. I’ve heard that the book has already had rights picked up to be made into a movie, which is amazing. I think Caraval will be so beautiful on the big screen, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out!
Overall, I really just can’t rave about the book enough! There was nothing I didn’t like. Every sentence, every twist and turn, every piece of magic was perfect to me, and I really can’t recommend Caraval enough. If you’re a fan of The Night Circus like I am, definitely pick this one up! If you’re looking for an escape from reality – a story you can get completely lost in, this is the book for you! I cannot wait for book two!
**What do you think? Did you read Caraval? Is it on your list?**