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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Published: January 31, 2017 by Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: 
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.
Let me tell you a quick story. We alllll know how much hype has surrounded this book this year. It felt like everyone was talking about this book for months leading up to its release, and for months after. I'm sure, then, you understand my trepidation when it came to reading it. Of course, it has such a lovely cover that I had to buy it, but once I purchased it, I began to wonder if it really interested me anymore or if it was just the hype. Was I ever really going to read it? Then, I did a twitter poll at, like, 1 AM and asked what I should read next. I was on a serious  contemporary streak, but I threw this book into the poll on a whim. And what do you know? The vote rested heavily in Caraval's favor. My mentions were blowing up with people telling me I absolutely HAD to read it. I decided to trust twitter and crack 'er open.

It was an incredible decision.

I had to work in the morning, so I was not planning on reading an ENTIRE book that night, but that's what I did. I could not tear myself away from this novel or its characters. It was the book I didn't realize I needed, but luckily, my tweeps had my back.

What really kept me engaged in this book is that you never quite know who to trust or what is real. It was riveting. The gears in my head were turning the whole time trying to puzzle out the truth, and I could not wait to see how everything played out.

Of course, one reason I adore this book so heckin much is because of Julian!!!! I began to fall in love with him the moment he was introduced, and as I got to know him more, I straight up plummeted. There's an air of mystery surrounding him, but he's also kind and willing to actually give pieces of his life for Scar. He is my new book boyfriend and I will fight all of you for him, okay? I think my one complaint with this book, without giving any spoilers, is that I don't love where his story ends up. The way he is characterized in the end made everything we learned about him throughout the novel seem kinda superfluous. I really hope we get to see more of him in book #2 though because I need it.

This novel was an absolute roller coaster of emotions. One second I was wearing a toothy grin and the next I was getting misty-eyed and the next I was swooning. I just felt so connected to this story and absolutely engrossed. I couldn't tear myself away from it while I was reading, and now I can't tear my heart away from it weeks after having finished it.

My rating: 
5/5 stars
One of my favorite reads this year! 

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