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Garber, Stephanie. Book - 2017 Teen Fiction / Garber, Stephanie, Teen Book / Fiction / Fantasy / Garber, Stephanie None on shelf No requests on this item Community Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover image for Caraval

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Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, 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 who she has just met, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


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Okay read submitted by zixyxuan on July 19, 2017, 2:05pm After finishing this book last night and sleeping on it, I'm deciding to knock my ratings down 0.5 stars, which means it rounds down to 3 stars on Goodreads.

Here's what I actually liked about the book:
The fantasy realm that Garber created was very original compared to most of the other fantasy stuff that I have read recently. I liked how she included the magical potion that allowed you to only see the important aspects of the game in color and the dress that morphs into your emotional state.

That being said, there were many aspects of this book that I found to be problematic:
1. For some weird reason, Scarlett (the protagonist of the novel) see emotions in colors. This was just way too fluffy and cheesy for me. For example, she hates the color purple and it is synonymous with terror and fear of her abusive father. At first, I thought there was going to be a magic component related to this ability, but sadly no, she just emphasizes everything with her flower talk. It was honestly really hard to stop myself from rolling my eyes 20 pages into the book.

2. I honestly didn't feel attached to any of the characters. I thought that Scarlett and Tella's father just woke up one day and decided it was okay to mentally and physically abuse his children for absolutely no reason (or...because his wife left him, but that's a pathetic excuse). Scarlett was kinda boring as a protagonist because she didn't have any distinctive personality. Without the fantasy elements of this story, this book is just about a girl trying to find her sister and experiencing a dash of first-love.

3. The love interest. Julian honestly didn't do anything except play a game with her. Can't two people honestly be friends without romantic lust getting in the way? And we really need to stop with this YA insta-love, extremely attractive male companion cliche. It's so overused and makes me dislike the characters more.

4. The rushed ending. I mean come on! Why do authors keep doing this? (beginning of spoiler) One second Tella jumps off the balcony to her death and she is revived in like five pages? And all the deaths that occurred throughout the novel was all just fake. The characters all come back to life and the story concludes in a neatly wrapped box. Mind you, this all happened within like 10 pages. The only thing that would make me want to continue this series is Tella's story from the epilogue. I want to see what bargain she decided to make with Legend for her sister to play the game. Plus, Tella is much more vibrant of a character than Scarlett. (end spoiler)

I enjoyed reading this, but still had problems with the plot and characters.

Overall rating: 3.25 Stars

Great Read! submitted by tlexcen on June 17, 2018, 10:13am 4 stars! I didn't over-analyze, just got caught up in the story, the magic, the puzzle. Fun read and I cannot wait to read book 2 "Legendary".

Such a good book submitted by i'm a blobfish on June 21, 2018, 8:52pm A really good book about a girl named Scarlett. Scarlett and her sister have never left their home on a relatively unknown island and their cold, controlling father. Scarlett is to be engaged soon, but before that, she wishes to go to the caraval. After writing numerous letters to Legend, the ringleader of caraval, she receives 3 tickets to caraval. A mysterious sailor appears and says he can take Scarlett and her sister to the caraval. But at the caraval, you should make so to not confuse what is real and what is fake. Jump in to this amazing book and find yourself captivated by the story and the plot. And want the sequel? It's Legendary!

Cover image for Caraval

New York : Flatiron Books, 2017.
Year Published: 2017
Description: 407 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


Festivals -- Fiction.
Kidnapping -- Fiction.
Arranged marriage -- Fiction.
Sisters -- Fiction.
Treasure hunt (Game) -- Fiction.
Contests -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.