Caraval by Stephanie Garber – YA F GAR (Fantasy)
What It’s About: Caraval is a place. (There’s even a map!) It is also a game. And it’s a band of players led by the mysterious and somewhat sinister Legend. But most of all, Caraval is magic! Scarlett and her sister, Tella, have been requesting an invitation to Caraval for years. And at long last, one has finally arrived! The trick, of course, is how to escape their angry, abusive father. Tella convinces an enigmatic sailor (Julian) to whisk them away but even though Scarlett has been dying to go for years, she fears her father’s retribution. No problem! Tella and Julian simply drug her and sail away. But once they arrive at Caraval, things definitely do not go as planned.
Roben’s Thoughts: I devoured this book in five hours. Caraval has a little bit of everything – romance, mystery, and magic. Though you must always remember – people, places, and things are rarely as they appear – so the story definitely keeps you guessing. Who is Julian? Can Scarlett trust him? And if she can’t trust Julian, who can she trust? What has happened to Tella? Is she safe? Just keep reading and – most of your questions will be answered. J I liked Scarlett and found her struggles rang true. Caraval is the perfect summer read; a good book to “escape” into. Plus – it’s the first in a planned duology. So if you like it, there are more Caraval games and adventures to anticipate.