Caraval by Stephanie Garber

SynopsisWELCOME 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.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval! No grander show on land or by sea.

I am so annoyed with myself for putting this book off for as long as I did. I’ve wanted to read it for ages but I talked it up in my head so much that I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my own expectations. I was wrong! I loved everything about this book. I loved the characters, the world and I love the way Stephanie Garber describes everything with such glorious detail. Normally I’m not a fan of overly descriptive books but in this case it adds so much. The way she describes everything, the surroundings, the people and all the aspects of this magical world. It drags you in and does not want to let you go.

Nothing is what it seems in this story and even though you are told this with a warning when Scarlett first enters, it’s very easy to forget. You find yourself trying to guess who is sincere, who is lying and where is Donatella. The relationships in this book are wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. The love Scarlett has for her sister while at the same time being unsure if her sister loves her the same is both wonderful and sad. The feelings she develops for other characters ( no spoilers here!) and the outcome of these relationships both make you smile and then cry all within a few pages.

I could basically go on forever about how much I loved this book but I won’t. If you’ve been putting it if like I did go read it, it as good as you think. Now I must go buy Legendary!

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