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Caraval Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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New York Times Bestseller
Entertainment Weekly Top 10 YA Novel of the Year
#1 ABA IndieNext Pick
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
CBC Teen Choice Book Award Finalist
Teen Vogue Best YA Book of 2017
Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year
Amazon Best Book of the Year
BuzzFeed Best Book of the Year
ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List
“The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus in this tale of two sisters enmeshed in a deadly game. Grade: A-” ―Entertainment Weekly
“There are elements of Neil Gaiman fantasy, Wizard of Oz, and Hunger Games killer competitiveness in Stephanie Garber’s debut. But what’s most impressive is how original her wondrous Caraval really is. Garber creates a world brimming with energy, mystery, surprises, backstabbing, and even some unforeseen romance.” ―USA Today
“Spellbinding.” ―US Weekly
“Caraval is The Night Circus Jr., with a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a sprinkle of Fantasy Island. If blood and madness, ‘shameless curves and immoral promises’ entice you, well, come to the cabaret.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“A magnificent debut, and a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This twisty, terrifically fun page-turner is ideal for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and fantasy novels where relationships between sisters drive the plot, such as The Hunger Games. A must-have fantasy debut for high school collections." ―School Library Journal
“Caraval sweeps you into a treacherous and romantic world that takes center stage in this story of two sisters and their longing for more.” ―Justine
“A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love and betrayal. I lost myself in this dangerous, enchanting world―and never wanted to come out.” ―Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember In the Ashes and A Torch in the Night
“Enchanting and mysterious, Stephanie Garber's Caraval is a story rich with sumptuous detail, beautifully written.” ―Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Caraval shimmers with magic. This is an inventive, delightful tale with several aces up its sleeve." ―Marie Rutkoski, New York Times bestselling author of the Winner's Trilogy
“In a book where nothing is at it appears, one thing is certain: Caraval is the darkly enchanting adventure you’ve been looking for!” ―Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken and Paranormalcy
“A decadent and enchanting tale. Caraval will sink its teeth into you, and you will not want to leave.” ―Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“A tale of sisterly devotion painted in colors of cerise and shimmering gold. If you ever wondered how it would feel to step into a living dream, here's your ticket.” ―Stacey Lee, critically acclaimed author of Outrun the Moon
“Stephanie Garber doesn't just dazzle―she makes me believe.” ―Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Lady Jane
“Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. Immersive and engaging . . . destined to capture imaginations.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Readers invested in the sisters’s fates (not to mention the outcome of steamy will-they-or-won’t-the? tension between Scarlett and Julian) will hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Garber’s darkly beautiful and brutal magical world is the star here, full of luscious details that invite readers to linger.” ―The Horn Book
“An enchanting mix of mystery, romance, and magic, this immerses readers in its gorgeous setting with lush prose. The setting is a captivating blend of beauty and danger . . . the chemistry between Scarlett and Julian is intoxicating. Readers will want a return ticket to this one.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Rich, vivid scene-setting and descriptions make for entertaining reading . . . a colorful, imaginative fantasy with some steamy romance for good measure.” ―ALA Booklist
About the Author
Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she's not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. Caraval is her first novel for young adults. She would love to hear from you on social media.
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“It looked like a storybook come to life. She peered down at bright pointy rooftops, moss-covered towers, gingerbread cottages, gleaming gold bridges, blue-brick streets, and bubbling fountains, all lit by candled lamps that hung everywhere, giving an appearance of time that was neither day nor night.”
Can we talk about how this is Stephanie Garber’s debut novel? I am seriously shocked, because this is not the writing of a new or amateur writer. She has perfected her craft, and made just a really addictive and impressive first story. I hope and pray she wins 2017's Best Debut Goodreads Author award, because she is so deserving with this masterpiece. I'm in awe of her talent, honestly.
God, the writing was so good. The descriptions were perfection. I understand this might not be for everyone, but this world consumed me and I didn't want to leave when I turned the last page. I know this book is about a magical place, but it truly ended up being a magical experience that I'm not going to forget anytime soon. Caraval is the first book I gave five stars to in 2017, and it is so very deserving of that title.
The plot of this has a perfect thriller tempo, too! Yes, I've been raving about how magical and lyrical this book is, but I have to emphasize that the pace is fast, too! Each chapter holds a new mystery, and I felt so compelled to never put this book down. Caraval truly is a fast and magical journey that I can't help but recommend everyone take!
Caraval is a magical game that is played once a year. Not everyone can go, but the lucky ones are sent tickets, and once they arrive they are able to choose if they'd like to watch the game or actually play the game. Scarlett has been writing to the master of Caraval, Legend, her whole life in hopes to acquire tickets for her and her sister, and after all these years she finally gets a letter back.
And the sibling love in this is so amazing. My brother and I are really close, and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Scarlett's devotion to her sister warmed my heart completely and I loved reading about it. Also, seeing them pick each other over boys is my freaking jam.
This book also tackles the hard topic of parental abuse, emotional, mental, and physical. This topic is so important, and doesn't seem to be in much YA, unless it is the center of the story. So many kids grow up being abused, yet, it doesn't become the center of their life. Seeing Scarlett realize she is not the value of her father's rage was beautiful. We need more books that handle this issue, because Uncle Vernon and Harry Potter isn't close to being the epitome of an abusive relationship. Many parents can be manipulative, abusive, terrible, and it isn't the victims fault, ever.
“People think no one sees all the nasty things they do in the dark. The foul acts they commit, or the lies they tell as part of the game. Caraval takes place at night because you like to watch, and see what people do when they think there are no consequences.”
This book does border on unreliable narrative though, because as Scarlett is learning the rules of the game and the magic of Caraval, so is the reader. Caraval is a facade, it might be a beautiful facade, but it is still a facade. The reader is never sure if what they are reading is true, and that is because Scarlett never knows if what she is experiencing is true. I loved the mystery factor and thought it worked perfectly, but I can see where others might not like it as much as me.
And the characters and players in this world are so wonderful! Scarlett was my favorite, and I feel like it would be almost impossible not to fall in love with her. Her sister, Tella, has a good heart and her actions were coming from a good place, but she was a little frustrating. Hopefully, in the next book, my love for Scarlett will carry over to Tella. Julian is the other main character you read about, alongside Scarlett. His character was so endearing and I absolutely loved this story-arc and twist(s). Not knowing whether to root and cheer for him or wish him dead was a unique experience to say the least!
I loved this book. I loved it with my whole heart. I read this in one day; I couldn't put it down. This book is the definition of a sensory read. Please give it a try. I understand that not every book is for everyone, but this book is pretty close to perfection, in my eyes. I whole heartedly expect this to show up on my "Best of 2017" list, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Scarlett and her sister Tella live with their cruel father on a small remote island. Not only is he a cruel man, but he is a powerful man and they are desperate to escape his clutches. Scarlett thinks by going through with an arranged marriage she will finally be free of him. Then just days before her wedding a letter arrives with three tickets to the fabled Caraval. A yearly dramatic performance/game in which members of the audience can participate, if they so desire, with the winner receiving a magical prize.
Scarlett has long dreamed of going and even written letters to the head of Caraval, the mysterious Legend, in order to obtain one of the coveted tickets. With her pending marriage, Scarlett has put aside that dream for the safety of herself and her sister within the sphere of her soon to be husband. Unbeknownst to Scarlett, Tella has arranged for a sailor to take them to the mysterious place where Caraval is held. Upon their arrival Tella is kidnapped by Legend and Scarlett is forced to play the game in return for her sister’s life. Player beware, not all is what it seems at Caraval.
Ms. Garber had me guessing throughout the entire story, I never really knew what was going to happen. Just when I thought I had everything figured out she would throw another curve ball. In addition, I loved how she pulled the reader into Caraval so that you too forgot, “it is only a game.” She did a suburb job with the story line and just think this is a debut novel. I am sure we have lots more to look forward to from her.
On to the not so happy stuff. I almost hate to mention this because I loved the story so much, but I really missed the world building that I feel is so necessary to a great fantasy novel. Just this one missing detail caused me not to put this novel over the top. Still, I can see this book appealing to so many different audiences. The story is good enough that I think it will transcend into genres other than just fantasy or young adult.