Caraval by Stephanie Garber *Spoiler Free* Review



Young Adult, Mystery, Romance and Fantasy


“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.”


I don’t really want to discuss the main characters, because what I have to say about all of them can be said in general. They felt flat to me, their motivations weren’t clear to me. They said what their motivations were, but then they did something else. I didn’t feel the sisterly bond between Scarlet and Tella, we were told that the bond between them was strong, but I am not convince. Tella annoyed me the most with her actions.


The plot didn’t felt like it was crafted well, like it wasn’t done yet. I can see the potential in the plot and the story, but unfortunately it didn’t get to its full potential. I missed the world building in here and it didn’t feel like a circus to me, as it was sold. I was just making up the surroundings myself because there wasn’t much I could go from.


The ending was surprising. I thought the ending was better than the rest of the book, but it still didn’t feel complete to me. I am curious to see what will happen in the next installment. The ending did feel rushed a bit and a lot of thing were happening, but I enjoyed it.


Overall I was disappointed by this book. It is really hyped up and it didn’t live up to it in my opinion. I see the potential of it really being a good book, but it didn’t fulfill that potential. The characters felt flat and I missed the world building. With the ending I was pleasantly surprised and, as of right now, I am curious to see what will happen in the next one. But it might also happen that I lose interest in the next one. As of right now I am willing to give Stephanie Garber a second change, since this is her debut novel and I would love to see her grow in her writing.

Overall rating: 2/5 stars

Have you read Caraval or will you be reading it?


2 thoughts on “Caraval by Stephanie Garber *Spoiler Free* Review

  1. I have a lot of the same thoughts as you do. The most annoying part was how the book kept on saying that Scarlett and Tella had this big unbreakable sisterly bond but it was never actually showed. I will be giving Garber another chance though because I found a lot of potential in her writing and this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the telling was more visible than the showing. And I will be giving her another shot as well, I hope she will only grow and surprise us with her next installment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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