Once Upon A Book – Charlee Rae's Book Reviews

"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"

Caraval by Stephanie Garber


I rated this book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

I won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Remember, it’s only a game………

Scarlett and her sister, Tella, dream of the day they can get away from their powerful, yet cruel father. An arranged marriage has Scarlett believing this may be her last chance to escape and taker her sister with her. After failing numerous times to get an invitation to Caraval, the once a year performance full of magic where the audience participates in the game and the winner is bestowed with the prize of one wish, she sees the marriage as the only way out even though she has never met her future husband. A week before her wedding however, an invitation arrives. Her father would never let her and her sister go, so with the help of a stranger, they are whisked away to play the game…..but are they actually playing, or are they being played?

I can’t even begin to stress how much I loved this book! I have read plenty of stories that I liked and enjoyed, but when a book captivates you, gets you lost in its pages, and takes you on an adventure, it’s beyond enjoyable. It’s an experience. And what an experience it was! The characters were well developed. The sister’s relationship was at the forefront but there was also some romance. Not enough to overpower the story, but just enough to add a romantic element that made the story even more alluring than it already was. Scarlett is a sweet and dutiful sister and Tella is a bit of a wild one. But it was the relationship between Scarlett and Julian that stole the book for me. It was sweet and complicated. Honest, yet deceitful. Endearing but frustrating. Legend is and remains a very mysterious character, but Julian! Oh Julian. Even with everything we learned, he is still an enigma to me. I’m hoping we continue to learn about him in the next novel.

As far as the plot, it was wonderful. A magical fairytale full of action and so many twists that my heart could hardly stand it. In Julian’s words, no one is who they seem. And he is absolutely right. The author did an outstanding job of describing everything and creating a beautiful mystery that you got immersed in. There were some predictable moments, but for the most part, I felt as if I was playing the game right along with Scarlett and trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. It was harder to figure out than I expected. All I did know is that everything was so enchanting, I didn’t want it to end.

This would definitely be considered a YA fantasy, but don’t let that deter you! All ages will enjoy this mesmerizing tale of two sister who are looking for some magic in their lives…..and seem to have found it. I know I did. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the author and to Flatiron books for giving me the opportunity to read this. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Total pages: 401, paperback

Available on January 31, 2017 through Amazon at the link below:


Available on January 31, 2017 through Barnes and Noble at the link below:



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This entry was posted on December 14, 2016 by in Books I've read and tagged , , , , .
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