Reviewed ♠ Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Goodreads Blurb

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. 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.

My Review

Friendly advice: Do not read this book before going to bed, because you will simply end up neglecting your sleep, unable to let this book and this story out of your grasp, not even for a few hours.

In fact, in my case, I was in such a constant state of anxiousness, I kept turning the pages until I regretfully reached the end of this book, without even realizing it.

This story was so well-thought and well-written, the characters so truthful, some being so lovely and some others so loathsome, it was incredible. And, the book, of course, soon became one of the best I've read all year, seemingly effortlessly.
Meaning that everything took place so fast and the turns and plot twists were always around the corner, taking you by complete surprise, even if you were already suspicious of the ever-changing nature of Caraval and its players.
And, towards the end, when everything starts being slowly explained and things become clearer, it gets even more intriguing to go back and read the book from the beginning, seeing in new light all that took place and finally starting to make sense of it all.

As for the characters, Scarlett is amazing! She is who most people would be under similar circumstances. Confused, distrustful but brave and intelligent enough to keep going and trying to solve one riddle at a time, no matter how hard the situation. She is definitely my favorite of the two sisters, despite the fact that their strong bond makes me deeply envious of their relationship, and the fact that this is the kind of love I have never experienced and, sadly, do not expect to do so, anymore.

Concerning Julian, the mysterious sailor that whisks Tella and Scar away from their small isle, and introduces them to the mysterious and thrilling world of Caraval, all I can say is this:
I think I found myself a brand new book boyfriend.
One that made me feel all the things the heroine was feeling (yes, it is that much of a well-written book), and one that possibly even won me over even before we reached the half of the book.

And, of course, I couldn't not mention that ending. So mysterious and yet so revealing, and making me crave the second book in the series long before it is published.

From what the author herself has said, this is not the first book she has ever written.
However, after that introduction to the book industry, I am definitely going to be hooked and faithfully read everything she writes from now on.

All in all, there is nothing better than to be so immersed in a book, and read it so fast because the pages and the story are flowing so smoothly, that you find yourself unable to put it down. How not to give all the stars in such a book? Or, more accurately, a tear drop inside a star inside a sun!

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