Tuesday, 28 February 2017

REVIEW: "Caraval" By Stephanie Garber // ENCHANTING AS HELL BUT WHERE DID MY SANITY GO?


Page Count: 407 (Hardback)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance.
Publishing Date: January 31st, 2017
Rating: ★★★★☆/4/5

How do I start off telling you guys about my experience with this beauty?
I wasn't planning on reading this. Not at all. I was having a horrible, horrible reading month, and I had most definitely developed a case of reading slump...Then I picked up "Caraval" at the library, and I was somewhat excited about reading for the first time in days!

And it actually only took me three days to get through it, and I think I might have shed a tear for the simple fact that reading didn't feel like writing essays on Photosynthesis and the Carbon Cycle anymore...yes, I had it that bad.
This was basically me for three days straight, and I've never been happier about it!

Image result for book slump gif

Therefore, I can't say that the review that follows is not a teeny-tiny bit biased due to the fact that this book literally salvaged me from the ashes of my own failure hahaha. Enjoy....

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.

Enchanting as hell...But where did my sanity go?

That basically sums up my experience with "Caraval". While I loved the idea behind it - the whole notion of this magical game where nothing is what it seems and you're playing mind games with yourself the whole time...I also found myself going a bit crazy at times, alongside the characters.
The writing style, the narrative and the descriptiveness of this story, made the world truly come to life, and it was a magical world that honest to God charmed me, and made me believe in it.

However, there was a lot of going back and forth on 'facts', which was a source of much frustration on my part. For example, we have one of our main characters Julian, who is kind of that typical 'player boy', shrouded in mystery and helping our main protagonist along.  Meanwhile, a little steamy romance brews between them in the background...

We don't know much about Julian at all since the the whole book (with the exception of the epilogue) is from the point of view of Scarlett, our main protagonist, and so we the readers know as little as she does.

Except, we do learn things down the lane...only to have Julian contradict himself and his supposed reasons for being in Caraval a few chapters later. Once or twice, I was good...I was OK with it...but when it bloody happened over and over again, I was ready to leap into that book and counsel him a bit until he bloody figured out his own cover story!

I get that it's part of unraveling the mystery, but boy!!! did it make me MAD™.

I actually kind of #shipit???

I know...the earth has stopped turning and children are screaming in the background.
Me actually liked a romance in a YA fantasy...This is honestly one for the books; I proudly proclaim myself a hater of them all, and whine at every opportunity at the unnecessity of it...yet here I am, a teeny-bit frustrated, but still having enjoyed the romantical aspect of it.

The reason being is the fact that the romance didn't overshadow the main points of the plot, and mostly didn't reduce our main character to a blubbering loved-up mess that suddenly forgotten she has like a trillion messed up shit going on on the sidelines, while she wastes time drooling about his honey eyes...

The romance in "Caraval" wasn't that kind of romance thank god. It was slowly budding and developing in the background; it was subtle and casual, and then there was also a bit of the 'pretend relationship' trope in there and SIGN ME UP for that any day of the week, honestly...

It was just cute, and just the right amount of 'not too much in your face'...

The way that the book wrapped up has me intrigued where the sequel will take the characters, and their relationships hehe, and I'm hoping that with the revelation made in regards to Julian (*rolls eyes* kind of saw it coming but ohhh well), there will be less opportunities for frustrating occurrences and dialogues. 

The plot twist that I'd rather pretend didn't happen...

This book delivered quite a few impressive plot twists, and usually, I'm a fan of them. They excite me and I love realizing all the clues that were left in the text beforehand and tracing back how it all led to that point...

However, by the last 100 pages of "Caraval"...There was this one plot twist, that kind of erased all of the magic and the atmosphere of the story prior to it. It was kind of like someone teasing at Italian gelato ice-cream flown in straight from Italy, for 300 pages straight, and then by the last quarter, you realize they're just talking about the cheapest supermarket watery-vanillas they could find. 

It was a tad underwhelming, confusing and just felt like the author wrote a plot twist that wrapped up the story neatly while still having a dramtic *gasp* moment...In my opinion though, the gasp was more for the fact that the author actually went with the 'plot twist' that was actually quite obvious in my opinion, and didn't contain much depth or logic to it.
It literally erased the whole point that the game was leading up to, and nothing that occurred had a consequence because of this plot-twist...It was literally all a game though, I suppose.

The Epilogue then hints that we still don't have all the peaces to the puzzle, and that there IS more to the whole story...but for now, I'm still doubtful, and not a fan of how the story was wrapped up. 

Give me more of Legend or I will scream!!!

Legend is the guy behind Caraval. There's a whole history behind him that's told in "Caraval", while we never get too close to him, and never learn anything from his own mouth. Basically, he's the biggest mysteries of all, and I want a piece of it!

Personally, I am hoping that the second book will focus in a lot more on Caraval itself, and consequently, Legend too. 
He just seems to have so much potential as a character, and one that wasn't too deeply observed in this book. 

While the Epilogue seems to have hinted at the second book being from the POV of Donatella (am I the only one that kind of hates her?) , I'm still holding out fists that we'll get it from Julien, or maybe even Legend himself (that would be a literal heaven for me!)


That wraps up my main thoughts about "Caraval"! Now tell me down in the comments below if you've read it, planning on reading it, or have decided to pass up on it? Tell me if you've like it/are excited to read it, or are you turned off by all the hype? Talk to me about that and more in the comments!

All the love,
-Sam. 












2 comments:

  1. I definitely want to read this book but a lot of people say it messes with your mind! I'm willing to get enchanted though!

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    1. I can't say that it doesn't mess with your head hahaha, but there is a certain enchantment to it haha.
      Thank you so much for your comment! -Sam .x

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