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Caraval by Stephanie Garber- 2.5 stars

Aren't those covers just stunning?
I am in love with all of them. And the book was good. Not fall out of my chair good, but good!

GoodReads synopsis:
Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world...
Welcome, welcome to caraval -Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 seing 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 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. 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.

The pros:
- the book is action packed. Every new chapter brings on a new adventure, setting or character.
- the book relies heavily on dreamy like descriptions, prose, and a heavy dosage of romance. So if you like that... 😉
- the story flows. It is interesting and it is captivating. The game is not so much a game, it is more like a quest. There are clues to be found along the quest and every clue has a cost. There are also secrets, many many secrets that unfold as the story grows.
The cons:
- the character building is poor. Scarlet's character is built well. You truly get to know her. But the same cannot be said about the other characters. Julian was a main character, we read about him just as much as Scarlett and yet, towards the end, we still know nothing about him.
- ya fantasy is my ultimate favorite genre, and that is what caraval is advertised as. But in all honesty it is much more a somewhat twisted romance book than anything else.
- it reminded me of the Night Circus, and if you read my review on that book you know I am not impressed with authors that do focus more on world imagery than character and story building. That being said, Caraval did a much better job on building its story than The night circus did.

I really don't know what else to say. I haven't struggled to write a review in a long time. The book was entertaining enough, I enjoyed the pace and I enjoyed the story. But when I was done I put the book aside and was immediately ready for another. It is forgetful. It did not live an impression.

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