Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Book Review | Long-form | Rating – 5/5 | Genre – Young adult Fantasy

A while back and for another blog I created long ago, I wrote a review for the acclaimed young adult book Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Recently, I found that very review and realised there was so much that I still wanted to say about this book.

So here, is my new and improved review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live. 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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Like so many of my books, I was given this by a dear friend of mine. I was immediately drawn in by the book cover which I absolutely loved. To be honest, I will admit from reading the blurb, I wasn’t entirely brought into reading the book straight away. However, as my friend had already read the book, she recommended I give it a chance. This was a very good decision!


  • Mixing up historical fiction: much like many of my past reviews, I’ve already said how I’m not a fan of historical fiction. However, this book is one which mixes up the genre – instead using the genre as a backdrop to the mysterious narrative.
  • Mysterious and full of suspense: from the moment the book starts it is full of suspense, Scarlett is in constant fear of her father who immediately beats her in the opening chapter. It’s from this point that fear of her father re-appearing always pops up throughout the book. There were so many times I was put on edge.
  • Interesting characters: most of the mystery revolves around who the characters actually are. Of course, there is the mystery around the man behind Caraval – Legend, with the reveal being pleasingly surprising. I found more enjoyment though watching the revealing of Scarlett’s love interest the sailor.


About the author…

Stephanie Garber is an American author of young adult books. Her debut novel is the one which I’ve just reviewed, and for a first novel I’m incredibly impressed! Besides the rest of the Caraval season, I can’t wait to see what else she has coming up next.


If you hadn’t noticed from the whole review – I absolutely adore this book. It’s so beautifully written and spins a mysterious narrative with such ease.

What makes it even better, there are two more books in the series. I for one can’t wait to find out how the story continues.

If you’ve read this book before let me know what you think.


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