Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Kait's Bookshelf Caraval

Each year on Veteran’s Day I find myself reflecting on my freedom and how grateful I am to the many men and women who have dedicated and given their lives to defending that freedom. I am so grateful that I can walk into a bookstore or library and pick up a book on just about any topic I please and educate myself. I can learn, read, and write what I please without fear of persecution or harm. It’s not lost on me how many other people, especially women, are not so fortunate in many parts of the world. So I would like to dedicate today’s post to Veterans, particularly my brother who is currently serving. Never forget.

Today I’ll be reviewing Caraval by Stephanie Garber, which I’ll admit I have been drawn to for some time by its magical looking cover. Caraval is a YA book that tells the story of Scarlett and her younger sister, Donatella (Tella). The two sisters live under the watchful eye of their abusive father and ultimately flee to a mysterious island where a magical game called Caraval takes place once a year.

Caraval lasts for five nights and the winner receives the ultimate reward – they can choose one wish to be granted by the elusive Legend, magician and master of Caraval. Of course in order to win Caraval, you must find and solve the clues that lead you to the end of the game, obey the rules of the game, and most importantly remember that it’s only a game…or is it?

I was drawn right into this story. I loved the contrast between Scarlett and Tella. They were complete opposites, which I think many sisters will be able to relate to. This book is another great example of why I love reading YA. It had everything – adventure, the courage of youth, excitement, hope for the future, and relationships – oh, that “first kiss, butterflies in stomach” feeling! The descriptions of this magical world were detailed and vivid, allowing me to experience Caraval right alongside the main characters. It was the perfect book to pick up in these last few days of fall, with leaves falling, crisp temps, and magic floating about in the air.

I enjoyed Caraval so much that I ran out to pick up the sequel, Legendary. So look for that review to be coming in the next few days!

If you enjoy magical reads the likes of The Night Circus, then I think you’ll enjoy Caraval.


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