Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber (ARC)

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Format: ARC
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Number of Pages: 407
Date Read: February 3, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★☆


Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, 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, 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. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.


I would like to thank Macmillan International Sales for sending me an ARC for review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Caraval was a fun and magical read but with the few problems I encounter while reading it, I can’t give it 5 stars.

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The things I love about this book:

  • A great mystery. I was so intrigued about what was happening throughout the book and I’m invested to keep turning on the pages.
  • It has a magical elements which I really love.
  • The characters were nice.
  • The writing style was beautiful.
  • Full of twists and turns. You’re really not sure of anything really. You just have to keep reading.
  • Also, let me tell you the cover is gorgeous and the design inside the book was so pretty.

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Things I don’t like:

  • Julian calling Scarlet “Crimson” felt forced to me. He doesn’t really need to call her that, it’s not like it’s her nickname or something. And I think in the very beginning Julian called her Crimson instead of Scarlet which is weird and cringy.
  • I know I said that the writing was beautiful and the mystery was great but oddly enough,whenever  a chapter ends, instead of continuing, I found myself closing the book for a bit and i’ll stop reading it for a minute. I don’t exactly know why.


★   ★   ★   ★   ☆

About The Author

 I’m the international and New York Times bestselling author of Caraval.

When I’m not writing, I teach creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where I’ve been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings.

To help pay my bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between, I worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative for an energy consulting company, and as a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. I also spent years working with youth; I worked as a counselor at space themed summer camp, volunteered at a school for deaf children in Mexico, and I took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. But out of everything that I’ve done, writing young adult novels has been my favorite job.

My debut YA fantasy novel, Caraval is out now (Flatiron Books/Macmillan—US and Hodder & Stoughton—UK). Caraval has sold in over twenty-five foreign territories and the movie rights were picked by Twentieth Century Fox.


Find me on the internet:


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