“Caraval”~ Ivy’s book of the month (April)

A few days ago I read one of the best books I’ve ever read. It was so good I finished it in a day and a half (I read it so fast I’m having to reread). I have been ranting and raving and fangirling nonstop about Caraval for days and I’m sure my family and friends (cough *Em* cough😏) are probably utterly sick of it, but for those of you looking for a book to get obsessed with, here’s your chance.

caraval cover

my rating: 9/10 ❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀❀


Scarlett 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 far-away, 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 (a.k.a. kidnaps) Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend (yes yes, so much kidnapping). 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. As it turns out, not all at Caraval is as it seems, and the lines blur between reality and magic.

Yes, I know you are signing into the library website right now to be the like the 60th in line to place a hold on Caraval 😉

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I’ve been on a streak of good books recently, but Caraval is by far the best.

The only thing better than reading Caraval would be experiencing Caraval.


the writing:

OH MY GOSH THE IMAGERY 😍 I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with as good of imagery as this. Jk, good doesn’t describe it. Amazing describes it. Caraval is like a magical version of Venice. It’s like I’m at Caraval with the characters. I’m a very visual reader and this was heaven. Garber’s descriptions make me want so badly to be there for a day and experience the magic and eat the food and buy the dresses.  If you’ve read Caraval, you’ll know what I mean. It was just so enchanting, like the first time you read Harry Potter and you would die to be Hermione for a day.

the characters:

Scarlett, first. She was kind of a neutral character for me. I couldn’t really connect to her and she was not the feministic type. She was kind of a downer and always relied on the guys around her. At the same time, she was plucky and very determined and turned out to be the unexpected heroine in the end. Tella would have been the much more obvious heroine since she was a lot more brave and reckless, but I like that the author made Scarlett the hero in the end.

At the same time, she drove me crazy.

Me throughout the whole story:




Me: Yes! Buy the dresses and the dreams in a bottle!

Me: Good job, Scarlett.


Me: Explore! Have fun!

Me: NO don’t explore in the sketchy dark staircase


Me: Stop pushing away the dude you’re in love with 😒

This was me throughout the entire 300-something pages of the book.

Julian: he was the perfect character at the beginning. Scarlett kept calling him a scoundrel, and he was sort of scoundrel-ish but he had a big heart. He followed through with his promises and was funny and helpful and a life-saver. . . literally. In the end, he kind of fell flat though since PLOT TWIST! HE’S NOT The JULIAN YOU THOUGHT HE WAS, HE’S A CARAVAL PERFORMER💔

there goes my favorite character 😒

Ughhhhh in the end it’s like you don’t know if half of what Julian did was actually him or just the role he had to play in the game. It made it sort of better for me when it turned out he was only supposed to take Scarlett to the show and ended up voluntarily staying with her longer, but really? You don’t know if how he acted and who he was was all lies. Ugh.

On the flip side, Tella seems pretty cool. She’s definitely the more obvious heroine since she was witty and sassy and strong even though she didn’t play as big of a role as Scarlett or Julian. I like her, though. She seems like a good character. I wish she played a bigger part in the story.

The ending (SPOILER ALERT):

Okay, so although I absolutely love the rest of the book, the ending sort of fell flat for me. I admit that it was probably just the Julian thing. That made me mad. I feel like the author was shooting for a happy fairytale ending, and yeah, Scarlett and Tella finally got freedom from their father, Tella encountered the real elusive Legend, and Scarlett and Julian got back together. It was hopeful, but I feel like a lot of Julian’s character was lost since the whole leadup to the climax was what defined him for me, and then by the climax, PLOT TWIST, it all goes down the drain when you figure out he’s an actor. I would have been so, so much happier with the ending if the author only kept Julian the same. I’m not saying the ending is bad, though. All of the other loose ends are mostly tied up. I’m not saying the ending was bad, because it’s not. It’s just not as gratifying as I wanted it to be, especially compared to how magical the rest of the book was.

caraval cover

Q & A

Did I like it? I LOVED it. Caraval is beautifully written, addictive, fast-paced, and exciting.

Did I love it? Yes, only the ending fell short for me.

Would I reread it? I’m in the rereading process 😉 it’s one of those books that is SO detailed so you have to read it twice to get the full effect

Would I purchase it? FOR SURE, this is a book that I really REALLY want on my bookshelf.
Who would I recommend it to: anyone who wants to read a book that feels more like a dream.

Caraval was such a magical book. Magical is such a perfect word to describe it. Everything about Caraval was magical. It’s a book that leaves you wanting more. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to wait and wish for the sequel 😂 good job hanging in there while yours truly geeks out

Love always,

P.S. Have you read Caraval? If you haven’t, YOU MUST or i will stalk you down and make you read it. If you have,

16 thoughts on ““Caraval”~ Ivy’s book of the month (April)

  1. OMG I really want to read this now!!! I skipped past the spoiler alert part, because this sounds too good to not discover the ending without reading!! I promise I will read it before find out where I am and force me to! It sounds incredible! How did you find out about it? Ahh, I’m getting so excited just thinking about reading it!! If there is a sequel let me know!! Thank you for the book recommendation, Ivy! I could not be more thrilled to read a book!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YOU HAVE TO READ IT!!! Caraval is amazing, I’m completely fangirling out 😂Actually, I found out about Caraval on the library website through new releases because I’m that book geeky 😂 I’m so excited you’re excited haha 😂 can’t wait to hear what you think after reading it!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard a lot of mixed thoughts on Caraval, but I still really want to read it. And bad Ivy! You had all these spoilers about the poison food and Julian being a Caraval performer! I didn’t even read the part where you alked about the ending! *wags finger* XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I was reading other bloggers’ reviews and there was a LOT of controversy but yanno I still loved it anyway 😄 hahahahaha sorry girlie!! I didn’t think that through, I should have put all the spoilers in one section😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 😂😂 The Poison Ivy thing; I feel bad laughing! This book has been so hyped over lately, and I NEED TO READ IT! My friend read it and told me (and like everyone else lol) every day at school, how amazing it was. Omg I think I’m going to buy it today, this book just seems so amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YOU TOTALLY NEED TO READ IT!!! I’m probably really really annoying, I talk about Caraval so much, I literally cannot get over it 😂 it’s definitely worth buying. . .tell me what you think after you read it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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