Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the next big YA fantasy books; Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. I am already really super psyched that I got a chance to read this ARC from NetGalley and even more excited to find out that Stephanie Garber’s favorite place to go is Disneyland. If she wants to be my new bff, she totally can be.
As we all know, Disneyland has always been quite fantastical with its magic and stories. Caraval, is quite fantastical as well and I loved every page of it. From the beginning you know that Scarlett and her sister are in for the adventure of their lives when they both get an invitation to attend Caraval. All their lives they have heard stories of Caraval and the infamous man Legend that runs the show. Their grandmother used to tell them stories of her grand purple dress that she wore to Caraval and the magic and the intrigue that she experienced. Scarlett hoping to make her sister happy for her birthday, starts writing to Legend in the hopes that he will send them tickets to attend the world renown show.
I have to admit, the title Caraval did not rope me in. I actually had this sitting on my kindle for months and finally after much hype from this book decided to read it. Why oh why did I wait so long?
I may have waited a few months to read this, but Scarlett waited seven years to hear back from Legend. He gives her three tickets, one for her, one for her sister Tella and one for Scarlett’s fiancée. But, rather than taking her fiancée, the mysterious sailer Julian, kidnaps (with Tella’s help) Scarlett and they sail of for the island of Isla de los Suenos where Caraval is to take place. Scarlett never would have left willingly as she has a father that is punishing and cruel and would have hurt Tella because of it. Their father is evil and awful and supremely hateful.
Their journey to the island ends up with Tella no where to be found and Scarlett heading into a game she hadn’t realized could quite possibly make her completely insane. She has to find a way to traverse this complicated and tricky game with a man (Julian) that she doesn’t trust. She may not like him, but she does seem to like the fever that comes every time this man touches her. What Scarlett comes to find out is that the whole objective to the game of Caraval is to find her missing sister. Clue after clue is supposed to bring her closer to finding her sister and she only has five days to do it. And with the magic that Caraval weaves, it is quite easy to fall into its clutches.
Her adventures will lead her on a merry chase with a cast a characters much like the characters in Alice in Wonderland. Who is mad? And is Scarlett mad as well? What is real, and what isn’t? When buying a dress can you truly barter with two days of your life? Can you buy items with your secrets and can your secrets buy you time? Who is trustworthy and who is lying? Will Scarlett be willing to give up everything to save her sister? Even love?
What a simply divine story this turned out to be. Scarlett although a bit of a stick in the mud in the beginning blossoms into so much more. I adored Tella and cannot wait to see what happens in their next adventures should the author continue this series. They writing was quite well done especially for a debut novel. The story had just the right amount of surprise, mystery, magic and of course love to make this YA story one that I will certainly add to my collection.
This one releases on January 31st
Pre-order it here: Caraval by Stephanie Garber