ARC Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

CaravalCaraval by Stephanie Garber

Published by Flatiron Books on January 31, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 401 Format: ARC Source: BEA

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

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.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and 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.

I acquired this ARC from the publisher at Book Expo America. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.


Filled with mystery, deception, romance, and more, Caraval by Stephanie Garber is bursting with vivid imagery, a well crafted story, and enchanting characters. With gorgeous writing and a brilliant world I was captivated from start to finish. I’m so so thankful that I was able to grab this at Book Expo America and the hype for this one while intense is extremely deserved.

Honestly the writing in this book is out of this world. The rich descriptions paint a stunning picture from character to setting and the vibrancy is unreal. Perfect pacing allows both the action and quiet moments to shine through and the story flows smoothly together, each plot point no matter how small makes an impact. Even though it’s her first book, Garber truly nailed it.

Caraval itself is a brilliant web of mystery woven by a master manipulator. Coordinating a massive game within the Isla de los Suenos, Legend brings actors and participants together in a high stakes quest that any seeker would find worthy. There were so many twists and turns and I adored how history played a significant role in the narrative. Plus the entire setting was so well developed that it felt like its own character.

Scarlett is passionate and caring, hesitant of breaking rules and trusting others. Despite Tella disappearing early on, the sisters’ bond is on full display. The two of them look out for each other no matter the cost and it made me (for just a second) want a sister of my own. As far as Julian’s concerned I’m obviously in love with him. He’s outgoing, intense, and oh so dreamy. He and Scarlett complimented each other perfectly.

Overall Caraval by Stephanie Garber was a delicious morsel of a book that I could not put down. Scarlett and Julian were a delight to discover and Legend’s Caraval was so utterly unique. I’m so impressed with this debut and look forward to anything Garber writes in the future. I highly recommend this one to every single person and hope everyone loves it just as much as I do.

So are you hyped for Caraval yet? Already had a chance to read it? Ready to fall in love with these wonderful characters? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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