Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★★


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..


Okay, I know a lot of people are giving this book high praises and even comparing it to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but I wasn’t blown away by it. I wasn’t blown away by the Night Circus as well so that might be a factor. Basically this is about a magical show that comes to places once a year and you either spectate or join the game and if you win you get a wish. Of course there’s magic inside the ‘carnival’ and there’s a whole different set of rules and people speak in riddles and stuff and there’s clues and everything.

I don’t know, I just don’t think this kind of story is for me. I don’t know if I’m right in saying this but the magical realism part of it just doesn’t do it for me and the whole mystery part of the grandmaster and the whole thing just irritates me to no end. I know there’s supposed to be a little sense of madness throughout the whole game but instead of making it appealing to me it just feels too ominous and it clouds the whole magic/fantasy aspect of it for me. I have no exact words for it but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting it to. I gave it three stars as opposed to two just because the description of the place sounds beautiful and the writing is pretty good but other than that this was okay for me.

Has any of you guys read this yet? If so, I would love to know your opinions about it, maybe I’m just missing something 🙂

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★★

  1. northernplunder says:

    Okay so here is the thing.
    Whilst reading this book I really loved it, like couldn’t put it down loved it. But then after when I came to type up my review notes I was just well y’know what actually …it was kind of just an average good read? I dunno like I’m looking forward to reading the sequel but Caraval has its faults and could be a lot better

    Liked by 1 person

    • tornpagesandroses says:

      I kinda wished I felt like that throughout the whole book 😔 I just remembered being weirdlt disturbed by everything for some unknown reason but at the same time I wanted to know what happens. Maybe I’ll read the sequel but it definitely wouldn’t be my immediate to-read for sure.


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