Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber!

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*ARC provided by Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review*
This was Stephanie’s debut novel and oh, what a debut it was. It has almost been 6 months since I read this baby and my mind has yet to release its tight grip on it. I think back to this spectacular work of art constantly and I will continue to do so as I wait for the sequel to land into my hands.
This novel started off absolutely intense which might have been my demise right then and there. Stephanie managed to captivate my entire being from the very first words to even after I had already finished it.
This story follows two sisters who are granted an invitation to a private island where Caraval, run by Legend, takes place only one a year. One of them, Tella, goes missing as soon as they set foot into the island and it’s up to the other one, Scarlett, to find her before it’s too late. The bond between sisters was tested time and time again and it was nothing short of intense. I loved witnessing the love that they had for each other and the various ways that they showed it. I also loved drooling over a certain male character, Julian, that accompanies Scarlett in her mission. I am completely obsessed with Julian and I have no shame in admitting it.
The format of this novel was beyond gorgeous. There were letters included plus a couple invitations, that I was jealous of since they weren’t for me, and it is divided in 6 days. (Caraval lasts 5 days.) Technically I got to tag along so I didn’t begrudge it… much. There were some unique aspects of this story that I still can’t help thinking of ways to bring them to life. The twists and turns took me by complete surprise that I had to take some moments for my mind to catch up. As soon as I thought I had this bad boy figured out, I was proven how dead wrong I was.
Thinking back on it, the amount of hatred that some characters sparked inside of me was so unbelievable that they should minus well have been real. With that said, a lot of them sparked immense sympathy within me and it’s heartbreaking to remember why. I wanted to gather them all into my arms and never let a bad thought even enter their mind. The characters were beyond unique and unforgettable.
As you can see, I was turned into a yo-yo by the words of Stephanie Garber and I thank her for it. That cliffhanger has had me going crazy from the moment I closed the book and I was crying nonstop in the last few days of Caraval. This story was beautifully tragic and a wonder all around.
I have interacted with Stephanie quite a few times on social media so I feel like I’m writing a friendly love letter to a special friend. I so wished I had been a part of her release party, I was so CLOSE to being there, but I had to send my spirit instead; I am so proud of her and how far she’s come. I can’t wait to talk nonstop about this baby to everyone finally getting the chance to read it!

5/5 Legendary stars!

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