ARC Review: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 Pages
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever
Utter perfection.

An exquisitely crafted story that lures you in by the title alone, Caraval is a story of intrigue and love like no other. This is definitely a book I'd recommend!

Scarlet will do anything to protect herself and her sister, Donatella, from her cruel father and even goes so far as to accept an arranged marriage with a man she's never met. Ever since she was a little girl, Scarlet's been fascinated by Caraval, a game filled with magical performers, a place of revelry and dreams and delights at every turn. When Donatella is kidnapped as part of the Caraval performance, Scarlet must play the game to find her sister.

Caraval was everything I wanted it to be and more. It's alluring and mesmerizing throughout. Stephanie creates such amazing concepts, and I love how deeply she explores and develops the magical components and the world of Caraval.

The game of Caraval itself is rife with mischief and danger. I loved the clues, the people, the places, the intrigue of it all. You can't trust anyone or anything in the game, especially your own eyes because they'll deceive you the most.

Stephanie's writing is so lyrical and captivating. Her way of describing things is unique and vivid and unlike any book I've ever read. The imagery is equally lovely. The story is fast-paced and layered with interconnecting subplots and strong themes.

Just as the Caraval performers make participants question what is real and fake, so does Stephanie with the readers. Readers begin to question their perceptions because the second you think you know what's really going on, Stephanie pulls another twist you never see coming. I was constantly surprised by the turns this book kept making because you can't rely on anyone or anything you think you know.

Scarlet is the protective older sister who'd do anything to save her sister. Her determination and love for her sister were evident, and I really love their relationship. Donatella, Tella for short, is the carefree younger sister who just wants to experience everything life has to offer.

There is a romance, one I cheered for throughout the novel. I won't say who the two are, but once you read, I'm sure you'll be as attached to them as I was!

Caraval was a magical experience, and I felt I was really in it. Stephanie has created a masterpiece that I think will take the YA crowd by storm. I highly recommend this to all readers who want to be dazzled and potentially tricked, someone who wants to keep guessing until the very end.


I loved Caraval so much, I'm offering you lovely readers a chance to experience the magic! Enter the pre-order giveaway here. International. One entry per household. 
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Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. I am so incredibly excited to read this!! Great review :P
    Kariny @ kariny's boox frenzy

  2. What a wonderful review! You've made me want to read this book even more! It sounds so captivating and magical and divine :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

  3. Great review!!! I've been excited for this book for months and I already pre-ordered the book myself. I definitely shared your post with my friends though :D you're awesome for hosting that giveaway!

  4. I want to read this book so much! I love stories about magic.

  5. This sounds like an amazing book. I love to be able to guess at things.

  6. Great review! I can't wait to try this! :D

    Lauren @ Always Me

  7. I want to read this book mainly because it sounds really amazing and I haven't read many books focused on a dark circus and with these kind of vibes!

  8. I loooooved Caraval. It's seriously one of the best books I've read recently, and I cannot wait to have a finished copy in my hands <3

  9. I don't know if I would play the game bc I haven't had the book to read!
    But I'm so excited and want to read it ASAP!!

  10. I've heard so many good things about Caraval, and I love fantasy stories, so this is right up my alley!! It sounds fantastic, I'm actually really looking forward to listening to the audiobook as I love audiobooks XD

  11. You have such a beautiful writing style! I've been vacillating on whether or not to read Caraval, but after your review I think I will give it a shot!
    Neko @

  12. one of my anticipated books of the year

  13. Thank you for this giveaway! :) I've heard so much about this book.
    Marie @ KookBookery

  14. I would like to read this because I am seeing it EVERYWHERE and many are giving it such glowing recs. I would like to think I could buck up the courage to play the Caraval game...

  15. So ready to play & win the game XD

  16. I am super excited for this book. I really really really want to read it!


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