Book Review

Caraval : Book Review

|Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything |
After some consideration and reading other reviews of Caraval I have decided to drop my rating to a 3.5 or rounding to 4 star. I realize now that like the premise of the story of Caraval, I got swept up in the magic which caused a lot of oversights on my part.
Here is the Goodreads synopsis of Caraval:

Remember, it’s only a game…
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.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Sounds pretty magical right? A mysterious game that travels and changes every year while you have no idea who the Master Legend is and you’re trying to break his riddle and solve the game to win the big prize. Shoot, I would play the game if it were real!

Based on other reviews I have read I know a lot of people do not like the style of writing this book contains. The kind that makes you feel like you could walk on top of a cloud because you’re light as air and in such a dream like state you forget what you are actually reading is a lot of metaphors that sometimes don’t make any sense.

For example:
“Something about him made her feel perilous shades of silky black.”

I, personally, love this style of writing. But it is not for everyone. I honestly don’t even understand this statement. I have no idea how you can feel like a color, let alone a perilous shade of that color? Why is the color in peril? Also, I’m fairly certain silky black is still just black, it being silky makes no difference to the actual shade of black because their is only the one shade.
Even with the discrepancies I still like this style of writing because it makes me feel like I am part of the story. Even if I don’t know how a color feels clearly the character does and I want to experience what they experience so if that means reading nonsensical metaphor statements, so be it. I don’t want to be too harsh about the style of writing because I still thought it was a great story.

About the story though: while it was a great story I thought the execution could have actually been better. There were some scenes where I was confused as to what was happening that could have been explained better to expand on the world of Caraval. There were also a lot of aspects that were not fully explained that left me questioning just about everything about Caraval. They’re told they have to stay inside their “hotel” during daylight hours and can only travel about Caraval during the night. But why? The only explanation we get is its “more magical” at night. I want a real reason. I want more expansion of this magical world and why it is magical and not just copouts of “I’m a Caraval performer so I can’t tell you”

Also I realize thinking about it now I at first really enjoyed the romance between Scarlett and Julian, I thought it was light hearted and cute and fun. He challenged her to see beyond her realm of everything is embarrassing or disrespectful and it caused her to grow into a more confident and brave young woman. But thinking back on it now I realize how much of this was insta-love. The span of Caraval is 5 days and by the end of being with this stranger for 5 days she finds herself madly in love with him. That’s an incredibly short amount of time to feel such a strong emotion towards someone you barely know. ALSO I find it incredibly ironic now that Scarlett has the audacity to lecture her younger sister about falling in love with Daniel in the same amount of time and how it was not okay to fall in love with someone you just met WHEN SHE LITERALLY JUST DID THE SAME EXACT THING but is too blind to see it because she got so wrapped up in playing the game when she was warned not to!

I now see how many emotions and reactions I actually had towards this book after having a day to process everything. I still really enjoyed the story and can maybe look past the crazy insta-love plot hole enough to still give it 4 stars. With all that being said, I am still extremely excited to read Legendary and see where the next Caraval adventure takes us.

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