Caraval

Author: Stephanie GarberCaraval_final cover (1).jpg

Pages: 407

Genre: Fantasy, magic, YA, romance

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.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27883214-caraval


Thoughts:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Valuable advice to not just the characters. The story of Caraval sweeps you up quickly, and doesn’t let go easily. While I enjoyed reading it, it wasn’t until after I’d finished, that I started to see all the faults. The intense plot distracts you from the rest of the book, it seems.

So. I’m not exactly sure what to think of this book. I like it, but then I go through it again in my head, and it’s back in a negative light. But, I definitely enjoyed it while I was reading it. It was a very fun experience. I want to make that clear. (Also, look how pretty the cover is??! That was what piqued my interest in the first place)

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.”
― Stephanie GarberCaraval

When I look back on it, and go through plot, characters, setting, it all seems to go pear-shaped. Firstly, plot… (Let’s get the negative bit over with) It seemed like a good idea at the beginning. It sounded very promising, up until the crazy twists and turn. By the end of the book, I actually didn’t know what was going on. Details kept being changed, and more things added in, until the villain was no longer the villain at all. It was a bit hard to keep up with. After I’d finished, I did manage to sort out what was happening, but was still left wanting more. Luckily, there is a second book! Even after this little complaint, I still want the next one. Surely that must mean something.

“No one is truly honest,” Nigel answered. “Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”
― Stephanie GarberCaraval

Ok next: characters. The facts; interesting on the outside, very little development (except for one). Again, it’s like a thin layer of good book on the outside, but when go deeper, you discover it’s actually not that good of a quality book. The main character, Scarlett, started out as likeable, if a bit on the cautious side, but that’s not a bad thing. (I can be pretty cautious sometimes too) But once the male character was introduced, the interesting, well-told story-line, kept getting interrupted by the old fairy-tale belief that she needs to be saved by him.

Blah, blah, blah.

Come on Scarlett, you can do better than this!! (I don’t know if you can tell, but I really enjoy books with strong female leads…) By the end, once everything was twisted around, she started to become a little better, but her sister, on the other hand, was interesting all the way through. Tella had her own beliefs and plans, and didn’t wait for permission to implement them. While this became annoying in some ways, we do need some complications other than the climax. So characters were a mixture of interesting, well-thought-out, confusing, and annoying. There’s just so much happening in this book!

It’s almost as if Garber has tried a little too hard, and added in too many aspects, and that makes the writing messy. For example, it was a confusing concept to begin with, and then magic is involved, and then double-sided characters, and then on top of that, Scarlett has this random ability to sense feelings in colours. It’s so random. This little talent is not introduced, or explained at all, it’s just there, and pops up in random points in the story. I found that a little strange.

“Shades of the rich ruby love she’d felt during the game mixed with hues of deep-indigo hurt, turning everything just a little bit violet.”
― Stephanie GarberCaraval

All, in all, I’d say it’s the perfect young adult book, designed to keep people reading. A great setting, what started out as great characters, and an enjoyable read, until you start filing through it in your head. I think, by my rating policy, I’m going to give it 4 stars. The writing structure could definitely have been better, but I would certainly still recommend to people. If you have read it, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them all below in the comments. 🙂

Rating: star_rating_4_of_5

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Hello again Bookworms!!

I apologise for being really inactive on my blog at the moment. I’ve really only been posting reviews, and wrap-ups, which is alright I guess, but this year I really wanted to post bit more. So, here I am, doing a little life-update.

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My friends and I spent a day in the city yesterday (Brisbane), and bought a couple of books, as well as some other little things from the mall. Also during the trip, we stopped in at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), which is what the pictures are of above. I just love the atmosphere at GOMA, and each of the art pieces. Many of them, because they are more modern, are a bit hard to understand, but with the right attitude and reading the statements above each piece, you can really appreciate them. And they’re all nice to look at as well.

After we left GOMA, it was time for a little shopping along the Queen St Mall, stopping in to shops here and there. Along the way, the topic of books was brought up, and after that, we just couldn’t stop. Since starting this blog, and my bookstagram account, I’ve heard of so many new books, and whether they have good reviews or bad. And so, yesterday, I passed on some of my newly-found wisdom to my friends. I convinced them to read some books I absolutely loved, introduced them to some new ones, and they did the same for me. All in all, it was a good fun conversation, that lasted for quite some time.

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Once we started looking in stores, and found the book section however, I found that the conversation would have probably been best to have after shopping. This is because, we found every. single. book. that we spoke about. And did I have enough money to buy them all? Nope. I had to force myself to look the other way while I purchased my one novel, leaving all the others behind. Don’t worry though… I will be back…

Now onto the exciting part!! While the rest of the day had been lovely, there is just something magical about bookstores, isn’t there? And especially this bookstore. In the hour we had to kill before catching our train home, one of my friends pulled up google maps, and searched for local bookstores. (What great bookworms we are!!) And the closest one that came up was Archives Fine Books. After she said the name, I realised that I had actually been there before, and basically just started walking there straight away, no hesitation at all. Here are some pics:


Who could resist going there??! Definitely not me! If anyone’s ever in Brisbane, be sure to check it out. (40 Charlotte St, Brisbane City QLD 4000)

And there we go, my little life update is just about over. Other than shopping in the city, I’ve been camping, so there’s been very little time for reading. I’m still not even halfway through The Goldfinch, so I’d best get onto that. The April Wrap-Up is looking a bit bare at the moment.

Have fun reading!!

~Isis~

 

 

March Wrap-Up

Hey everyone!! You know what time it is… school’s over and it’s holiday time. March is over, so let’s get on with the Wrap Up!!

I had a relatively good month for reading in March, although not all of them were good. In total, there were seven books, one of which was below the 3-star mark. But it wasn’t all bad, because seven books is pretty good for four weeks!! And I bought a few as well. The books read in March include:

Quite a selection of genres, including early sci-fi, realism, classic, and adventure. I’ve got to say; I didn’t enjoy Dracula as much as I thought I would. It went on for too long, and I just got very bored of it. And I also realised this month that I hadn’t read the original Alice in Wonderland. I thought that I most definitely had, but it turns out that was the book written after the movie. And boy, is there a difference! I won’t go into too much detail before the review, and I’ve got nothing against Disney movies, but they either missed a lot of details, or got a lot of things wrong, because the movie is barely the same story.


Haul:

Okay, time for the haul. Don’t you just love market book stalls? Especially when books are $3.00-$5.00 each!! The haul was nothing special, but it felt so nice to buy a few from the local market. And I even found books I was looking for. All up it was 3 books, and 3 pop-vinyls, including:

  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • Renegade’s Magic – Robin Hobb
  • The Golden Fool – Robin Hobb
  • Jareth figure
  • Miss Peregrine figure
  • Severus Snape figure

Releases:

And last part of the wrap-up, the releases. Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to read different types of books, and as a result, have fallen a bit behind in the more popular young adult books. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s possible I could miss some of the releases for the month, because I might not recognise the series. I’ll try my best though, to list the big ones coming out. Here are April’s:

  • Legion – Julie Kagawa (Talon #4)
    • I really enjoy Kagawa’s books, including the Iron Fey, and her Immortal Rules series, but what annoys me is her tendency to take forever to release the next book in a series!! So, finally, here is number 4 in her Talon series. If you like young adult, mixed with fantasy and dragons, you’ll like this one.
  • Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer
    • This book is going to be a new retelling of Cinderalla, and it sounds really, really interesting. It’s also got some very high reviews on Goodreads, so should be a pretty good read… (see what I did there…?)
  • Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
    • I’ve only just heard about this one, so can’t really tell you much about it. It’s another fantasy, young adult, first-book-in-the-series, which also has some very good reviews on Goodreads.
  • Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray
    • This one’s like a science fiction, fantasy mixture that’s set in space, in the future, but sounds like it has some pretty cool ideas in it. I might read this once it’s out…

And there we go; all done for March. Gee this year is moving quickly. It’s already holidays for me, and it feels like I only just started. Don’t forget to go check out my Instagram page if you would like a new account to follow. I’m starting a new theme for April, which should be interesting. Have a good day, and until next time everyone!