Oh my goodness! What an amazing book I have just read! (Note: The summary does not do the book justice… you’ll just have to go read it!)
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quiet what it seems.
Scarlett and Tella have 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.
When the sisters’ long awaited invitations 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 an elaborate performance. But she quickly becomes entangled 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.
Before I read this book I had many negative thoughts about it, many thoughts against it. As soon as I read the summary on Goodreads I was in shock at how similar it sounded to ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. As you know ‘The Night Circus’ is my all-time favourite book, so I felt offended…offended! I was absolutely infuriated – a friend and I were talking about how it would probably just be a cheap copy with some different twists and stuff.
Despite my pre-hatred for the book, I was intrigued to read it so I could prove my assumptions were right, (not because I had fallen in love with the cover or because I was slightly interested. Nope, definitely no.)
While the rest of the universe had gone suddenly dark, the grand house blazed with light
I would just like to clarify with my readers, I have never been so wrong about a book! Caraval was amazing. My heart is bursting with my love for it on so many different levels.
The writing was extraordinary, literally extra-ordinary. I never thought I’d describe a writing style to be seductive, but it really was. I don’t know if this was because of the characters or it was just the rosy golden atmosphere that perfumed the whole story. Every line was a beautiful description, whether it was an emotion or an outfit or Caraval itself – it was so vivid. Normally when an author overdoses a novel with too much description, you can tell. It makes your tongue tired and your mind frustrated but with Caraval although I noticed the descriptions (observant writer here) it didn’t take away from anything AT ALL! Everything that Stephanie Garber wrote was a flowing river of golden water, and it all connected together perfectly like a complicated pattern of canal systems shimmering in a magical sunset!
Every window shimmered with illumination, turning the flower boxes below into cradles full of stardust.
The characters? I fell in love with all of them. More specifically, Julian was my favourite ♥ They were just as vivid as everything else in Caraval, maybe even more. Characters that make you care for them as if they were real and make you frustrated as if the consequences are going to effect you also…they are good characters.
The citrus scent from before was gone.
And oh, the romance! What a romance that was weaved through the story. It left me confused and enthralled and hanging onto the pages with desperation. It wasn’t cliche at all. If anything it made you think, and then you were making assumptions and it was so exciting to see it all roll out slowly before you! And can I just say how much I SHIP IT!!! (Sorry I’ll keep my inner fangirl under control now…hehe)
Now the air was syrupy and thick, still much sweeter than the air on Trisda,
However, there were a few things that kind of proved my assumptions about ‘Caraval’ and ‘The Night Circus’…little things though. It’s either my paranoid brain or a huge coincidence, but I noticed things like a character that was covered in tattoos like a character in ‘The Night Circus’. The way Caraval is described is very similar to how The Night Circus is described – with sweet smells of caramel etc. Scarlett’s manipulating dress like Celia’s in ‘The Night Circus’ – but with slight differences. A clock shop in both books and there were some others too…
Despite this, I don’t think it took away from the overall story as I personally believe, now, it’s a very original idea – maybe she was inspired my Erin Morgenstern! I just found myself thinking at some points,
“Where have I heard this before?”
and then replying to myself…
“Oh yeah! The Night Circus!”
yet Scarlett only tasted bitter.
But after much debate with Me, Myself and I – I’m giving this book a brilliant and well-deserved 5 stars because you know what? I finished this in 2 days and I loved it! It made me feel great and it’s put me in a beautifully creative and imaginative mood! I think I’m going to go draw some fanart now! Happy reading!
It took seven years to get the letter right.
the first sentence from
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
~ The World is Quiet Here ~