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Caraval ~ Stephanie Garber

July 4, 2019

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Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

ISBN: 9781250095251

416 pages

Source: Barnes and Noble

So, sometimes you’re just not ready for a story. And then, you just become ready when the time is right.

I originally read Caraval when it first came out, about a year and a half ago.

I had a hard time with the lack of structure, at first, and perhaps that’s the nature of the story set up. The entire premise of the book is confusion and mystery, putting the reading in the position of the protagonist as she figures out what on earth is going on in “the game”.

I also thought I knew what the big reveal was going to be which was apparently the plan from the beginning because that ended up being the wrong (but common) assumption.

The protagonist, Scarlett, I’ll admit, was part of the problem but the rest of the characters made the magic (Haha literally) happen. I’ve been trying to embrace characters who are not absurdly strong and always on top of their game. Scarlett was a challenge in that area. She second guessed herself at every turn and the lack of self confidence was tedious to say the least.

But, ok, I really did enjoy it more, this time and I think it’s largely because the book (and its successors) has been out for a while so I knew things would get better. About three quarters of the way through the book, things get grittier and start making more sense, pulling together a lot of that aforementioned confusion and mystery.

I will say that while I enjoyed Caraval itself better on my second pass, I think I’m mostly fond of it for setting up the rest of the series. All in all, Caraval is good, not great, but if you take the entire series as a whole, rolling book, it’s like a slow burning start that bursts into awesome flames with the seconds and third book {which I’m trying to save for their own reviews so now I have to end this review before I say too much. 🙂 }

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