Guest blogger: Savana from The Biblio Life with Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Savana's Instagram pic of the 
prize won from Glimpses's of Me giveaway
Hello sunnies 😎

Another Sunday another wonderful guest blogger! who is excited? I am! 

Our Guest Blogger this week is the lovely Savana at The Biblio Life! I met this wonderful girl after she won a giveaway I hosted on my bookstagram. After that we started chatting and I have grown to love her as a person and as a bookstagramer. Her feed is stunning! 

Savana's favorite read in 2017 was Caraval by Stephanie Garber and she has kindly agreed to share her review of it here in Glimpses of my Books.
One of the many beautiful things about books is that there is a book for everyone. As the saying goes "If you don't like reading you haven't found the right book yet". I say that because although I don't think Caraval was terrible, I did no love it. I gave it an average 3 stars. If you would like to read (reread) my review click here 

pic provided by Savana
Before we get to Savana's review, here is a little Q&A with her and the many ways in which you can go follow her after we are done!

Hi Savana!
Tell us a little bit about you before we go into bookish questions… Where are you from? Have you always lived there? Provided you don’t think it is rude, how old are you? What are your hobbies besides reading? We will not ask for home address and phone number at this point 🤣

Hi everyone! I am so excited to have the honor of being a guest blogger this week, thanks for having me! I live in California right now and will be 25 very soon 😊I’m an Army brat, so I’ve lived all over the place! I intend on staying in CA as long as I can though, I absolutely love the ocean! Hobbies (beside reading of course) include surfing/swimming, horseback riding, kayaking with my grandma, binging Netflix until I can’t keep my eyes open, and bookstagramming! I mean, you already have my home address - but you can share it if those individuals you share with promise to send chocolate and books ASAP! ;)

- When/What got you into reading?

Honestly, I’ve been reading since I can remember. It was the one thing that my parents really pushed and supported when I was younger. When I was 5 years old I was reading at 2nd/3rd grade levels, and that only continued through the years so needless to say I’ve always been great in English/Literature classes, but I am horrible at math and science!

- We know what your favorite read in 2017 was now, but what were your top 3 2017 book releases?

Hmm. That’s a tough question because I didn’t read many new releases this year. I’ve just been trying to catch up on my own shelves! I’ll answer this way – My top 3 favorite books that I [actually] read this year (excluding Caraval) in no particular order were:


The Apprentice Witch by James Nichol
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
The Checkmate Duet series by Kennedy Fox (all of them…so that puts me at 8 faves I guess)

- Do you have a favorite genre?

I have always loved fantasy, any sub-genre of it too if that’s a thing. I’m really getting into NA Romance lately!

- Is there a book you really did not enjoy reading this past year? Which one? Why?

Honestly I’ve had a pretty good year of reading…the only one that comes to mind that I’ve been trying to finish since March and still have not gotten back around to is Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Unpopular opinion time – the book is boring and drags on for too long, I just can’t convince myself to finish it. That being said, I haven’t officially “DNR’ed” it just yet.
--stick with it girl!!! I promise it gets better. The two books that follow are AMAZING--

- Do you have an all-time favorite book or book series?

Immediately the Inheritance Cycle comes to mind. The first book in that series is Eragon and they’re written by Christopher Paolini. The series really solidified my love of fantasy as a youngster! A movie was made based on the first book which was horrible in case you’re wondering so don’t watch it because it horribly represents the books. Another would be Harry Potter of course. Those books were my childhood!

- How about a favorite author?

Oh man…well if you take into consideration everything I’ve answered so far, I’d say that my top favorites include J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Garber, Christopher Paolini, J.R.R. Tolkien is one I’m adding here, and the two ladies Brooke Cumberland and Lyra Parish that make up the author pseudonym Kennedy Fox! I can’t choose just one…sorry not sorry!

- The bookstagram world has exploded with bookish merch this past year, are you into any of it? If so, share us some of your favorite companies. --Our head blogger might hold it against you if you answer yes and forget the best bookish shop on etsy. Just saying! 😉

Am I into any of it? Pfft. Take a look at my bookstagram account and see for yourself! I am absolutely obsessed with bookish candles, and I’m in love with bookish props too like the absolutely gorgeous hand-painted letters crafted by the lovely Anne who runs this blog – Oh by the way this is in no way sponsored by the host of this post who is the mostest 😉 I just really love her work and there was no knife-to-the-throat-holding here! I also have waaaay too many bookmarks now, and book sleeves? Oh, and art prints. But candles are my main obsession. Yeah, you could say I’m into bookish merch!

- Last but not least, where else in this big wide web world can we find you?

I am making some changes to my blog at of the beginning of 2018, but I am active daily on Instagram! I also have lots of rep codes on IG for some lovely bookish shops, so definitely check those out too! The link to my blog is www.thebibliolife.com and the link to my bookstagram is www.intsagram.com/thebibliolife/

I also have a twitter associated with my book stuff, however I am not very fluent on the platform just yet. That link is www.twitter.com/thebibliolife .

Pic kindly provided from Savana

The review:

I can confidently say that Caraval was my favorite debut novel of 2017. I was very hesitant when I found out about it back in January because of how hyped up it had gotten on Instagram (if you’re there, you know the hype I’m talking about which can be very misleading sometimes). The cover was gorgeous, and I think if you’re sane that’s the first thing you’ll notice about it! My concern was that Stephanie Garber was an author I’d never heard of before, and it gave off a very “dark carnival” vibe which I’m not super into. But, I’ll just admit right now how very wrong I was in all of my assumptions! I gave it 5/5 stars which is uncommon for me.

I buddy read this book with my boyfriend, which also turned it into an entirely different reading experience that I really enjoyed because I had someone to discuss it with as I made progress. There are points where you just HAVE to talk about it because the plot twisted in a direction that was completely unexpected, or a character said something that hinted toward an idea you hadn’t yet considered. Our opinions varied quite a bit, so it was interesting to compare notes and get to chat about what we thought was coming next – P.S. We were usually wrong. There are constant twists and turns, characters come and go when you least expect it and it is so fast paced that even the slow parts keep you on the edge of your seat!

I enjoyed that the first few chapters focused around introducing the main characters: Scarlett, Tella, their horrible father, and Julian the dark and mysterious sailor. They also really gave a great backstory to the sisters’ history and their individual personalities which play a huge role in the remainder of the plot. World building and background are two very important factors to me when reading, especially when trying to get to know a new author through a debut book. Garber does a fantastic job with imagery throughout Caraval too, and it really allows for your imagination to run wild! If you’ve seen the map of Caraval anywhere on Instagram, you know it’s not a huge place. The city itself is rather small, however with Garber’s vivid descriptions and colorful painting through words it seems so much larger and grandeur than it looks drawn out. The magic and mystery of this new realm was brought to life in my head thanks to how beautifully Garber writes.

Another factor that helped this book get 5 stars from me was that it was finally a YA novel featuring a strong female lead where the main theme was NOT romance. There’s no maidens quibbling over princes or young girls chasing suitors…Scarlett is a strong willed and feisty protagonist that is focused on her sister and their future(s). She fights for what she believes in, and although there are trials she faces and a secondary romantic theme, it’s not prominent and I LOVE THAT.


Without getting into details, which I try to keep out of my reviews as best as possible to not ruin anything…I can tell you that this is a quick read and a roller coaster of emotions with an ending that will leave you asking “Why?” Fortunately for anyone who is only picking it up now, you only have 2 months to wait for the next installment rather than the excruciating 10 I’ve already had to suffer. If you like mystery and intrigue with a fantasy twist, characters that are well developed, and beautiful worlds to discover in your head, you’ll absolutely love Caraval. P.S. There is no “circus/carnival” theme to this book however misguiding some make it seem. 100% a high recommendation on my list.

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