Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Note 1: This kind of contains spoilers.

Note 2: This review/discussion will not showcase my thoughts objectively because I’ve just finished this book and I’m still very raw and distraught from the end.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber. 

I’ve linked the Goodreads page, I’m not summarising.

Because of school, I hadn’t read a book in a while, and if you’ve been reading this blog actively, you’d know how much I missed reading. And, man, how much Caraval reminded me of how much I love books.

I finished the book within a span of a weekend. Bear in mind, I have an exam on Monday. Guess who’s failing. But if I do, it’ll be worth it. Because, damn. Stephanie Garber – you really screwed with my head.

So initially, as I was starting out, I found that the plot of the book was pretty similar to the plot of the movie ‘Nerve’. I mean, they’re pretty similar. Trapped in a game, which is also an illusive world where you could get lost. Main protagonist is a rather timid girl pushed out of her comfort zone and made bolder. Companion is an unlikely male who knows more than he tells. Also, unlikely make companion has been a part of Caraval before. And I also initially thought that Dante was like the guy who looked like Machine Gun Kelly in Nerve. And of course there are other more minute similarities, but I’m not getting into those.

But that’s where the similarities really. Because after a point, the plot really twists and turns, as it does to my fragile heart. The plot was pretty well thought of. I have to give Stephanie Garber that. And believe me when I say I did not see certain twists at all. I haven’t been surprised by a book lately this much, so reading this was an experience and an adventure on its own.

Although, I did find the start a little too slow for me, and the end was a bit rushed, like I was a bit confused as to what was going on while the truth was being revealed.

The characters. Scarlet’s character development = [insert red 100 emoji]. I mean, I was kind of proud of her by the end. Like you tell ’em girl. Show ’em who’s boss.  And I swear I felt so much pain for  Scarlett at the end when she realised that it really was all a game.

Donatella impressed the fuck out of me. Like I swear to god I did not see that coming. Like that was some seriously extensive planning and strategising. I, quite like your sister, really underestimated you.  And some brilliant acting for certain scenes. ALSO, I really admire Tella for her faith in Scarlett. Like it’s kind of extraordinary and beautiful.

I kind of liked Julian. So I understand completely what Scarlett felt at the end. Being deceived and lied to is one of the most painful things to go through. But Julian overall seemed like a good guy, I guess.

The father of the girls. I won’t even waste my time, space and energy on him. He was disgusting and vile and pathetic. And if he was the kind of person who turned into an abusive monster when faced with crisis or adversity, he didn’t deserve his wife or his daughters.

There’s really not much I have to say about Legend. It’s not a good or bad thing, just I don’t have any feelings for him yet.

Something I really liked was the world of Caraval, the island and the city. It’s beautiful. Despite the fact that it’s an illusory and very ‘all that glitters is not gold’. It’s a much better carnival/circus world than the one in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. And before you say it, I know the books are completely different. It’s just that the core ideas of both the places is the same, and I prefer this one.

Another thing that really got to me was Scarlett after she was faced with all the revelations. And I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the things she felt, I honestly felt them too. Like the sensation of being stabbed, and then being told that it was all a lie. I felt it too. I really did.

And the last thing I want to mention is the battle with female objectification. Specifically what Scarlett was subjected. I have to say, the author handled it pretty well. And made it explicitly clear that Scarlett, and all women by extension, are not things to be bought, sold and used. Like thank you woman (author). Because I don’t often see YA Lit that deals with this. And I’m grateful that this does.

And the actual last thing. THE END. The letter sent by Legend. Holy fuck. I spent the moments after I’d finished the book just trying to figure out what the bargain was. I was going back pages, hoping to spot something I’d missed. But no luck. I guess, the author just wanted us to go mad after the reading that last page, like those in the tunnels.

And so yeah, that’s all I got. Basically go read this book. Preferably now.

+ Much excitement for the sequel!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

so yeah that’s all i got more now.

i know i suck at outros.

ALSO, i’d be super interested in discussing the parallel between the internet world and the world of Caraval, as brought out by the plot similarities to the movie Nerve.

agree or disagree or both or neither,

tell me in the comments below





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