Caraval – Saturday Discussion

“No one is truly honest,” Nigel answered. “Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.”
Stephanie Garber, Caraval


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 seeing 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.


Eden: I waited so long to read Caraval and God was it worth the wait. From page one I fell into the spectacular world that Garber crafted and even now I’m grasping to pull myself back. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said about this book before but there is one thing I know for sure: we need to watch out for Stephanie Garber because she’s going to be a hell of an author to watch. 5/5 stars. 

Caitlynn: My expectations for this book were met 100%! I heard so many great things about this book from the ARCs and it totally lived up. Everything in this book was top notch and just what I needed. 5/5 stars!

Jenn: Wow. This book threw me through a loop. Seriously, this was everything I could want in a book. It had sisterly love, female empowerment, and fantastical elements. What more could a girl ask for? Garber did an amazing job with this story. Now, I just can’t wait to read the second book in this series! 5/5 stars.


Jenn: So, Caraval. Thoughts?

Eden: It was so fucking good.

Caitlynn: Was is worth your wait? Because, you waited so long to read this book.

E: Omg, yes. It was so worth the wait.

J: It  was so hard to wait to read this for the book club.

E: It really was.We got it in the mail and Jenn had to tell me to stop reading it. Because, I opened it and I was like, “Look, It’s ready to be read.”

E: Can we talk about the relationship between the sisters? Because, when everybody was reading the ARCs all of these book bloggers continued to talk about how it’s sisterly love. That was the big part to it. As I was reading it I liked that she was going through everything for her sister. Then the end came and I hated her sister.Then the very end came and it made me so happy to see the sisterly love again. I thought that Stephanie Garber did such a great job of creating this relationship of doting older sister and petulant little sister. Specifically because they both rely on each other in equal amounts, That surprises you because you don’t expect the younger sister to be able to do that.

C: There were a lot of points that I didn’t like Donatella. I despised her. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the big sister. But, everythign she did I felt irritated by her and I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why she would do that. Although, it did surprise me at the end that she did come through. That’s exactly how my relationship is with my sister where it’s so much anger and then finally, “FINE. I like you.”

J: What Eden and I were talking about regarding the sequel was that she would like to see it from Donatella’s perspective. Whereas I said that I would hate it because I did not like the kind of person she was .It wasn’t even her actions so much as her personality and how she interacted with people especially her sister.

E: My thought was that we got surface level of Donatella.

C: We didn’t even get surface level Donatella. We got Scarlet’s perspective of Donatella.

E: So, I was hoping that if we could get a point of view from Donatella we would get more.

J: But, I feel like Scarlet’s perspective of her sister is going to portray her in the best light that she could. Because, when we’re looking at someone’s perspective of their self they are going to be much more critical. Where her sister sees her as her whole world. So I don’t know that I would like her any more with her perspective.

E: But, then the question comes, how much of it was acting?

J: But, it wasn’t the acting. It was their reactions after everything came out and just her personality. Also, who Scarlet described her as growing up. So, I really enjoyed the relationship and the drive in this book. However, I  would like to just see it from Scarlet’s perspective again.

C: I’m really excited for the second book to see what their mother has to say about this. Because, I feel like as shitty as their dad was that he was trying to protect them from something.

E: I don’t think so. I think he was a controlling crazy ass..

C: I don’t disagree with that. But, I think there has to be a bigger issue than that. I feel like they’re going to meet their mother and it’s going to be terrible.

E: I hope there isn’t a bigger issue as to why their dad is the way he is. Because, then it gives the idea that everyone who is an abusive piece of shit has to have some awful thing happen to them for it to happen.

C: I think that’s just the fairytale ending that I want. I want there to be something that happened that made him to be the person that he is. I don’t think it’s going to happen.

E: I would like to see more of Aiko, the artist girl, in the next book.

[Cue us all getting distracted by Caitlynn’s dog.]

E: I don’t remember what I was saying.

J: Me neither. However, I loved the idea of Caraval. I enjoyed that it was idealized to be this super magical place where your greatest dreams could come true. Where that was more of just a facade. There was a man behind the curtains in a very Wizard of Oz kind of way. I really appreciated that. There was no real quick fix to the situations.

E: Yeah, I also liked the idea that there’s no such thing as a wish unless you’re wholeheartedly needing or wanting that thing more than anything else in your life. It’s not like a real wish.

J: I enjoyed that it was a cast of characters behind the Caraval. So, it created a kind of world that seemed very reminiscent of carnival culture and acting troupes. So, I felt like you got a lot of personalities in a short amount of time but you were able to enjoy each of them. So, I’m excited for the next one where I’d like to see more of that. That’s why I would love to stay with Scarlet’s perspective.

E: That’s what I was going to say about Scarlet’s perspective a minute ago. Scarlet’s perspective can give us so much more insight into the world  and give us a bigger idea of what there is. I would also like to see Scarlet’s insecurities and doubts go away a little bit. Scarlet had so many doubts. In the first couple of chapters of the books I got fed up with Scarlet a little bit because she was being so annoying about it. That’s obviously her character so she can’t just do it. That was something that I liked to be able to see that change. From her being super insecure and doubtful to less insecure and more sure of what she wants.

E: Did you expect the ending?

J: Yeah.

E: You expected it to go exactly like it did?

J: No, not exactly.

E: I don’t mean like who lives or who dies. I mean like the thing with Legend.

J: I didn’t predict every detail but I did see the big ones coming.

E: I am really excited to learn more about the world in the second book. I just want to see more. We got so much of this world but there was still more that I wanted. Overall thoughts?

C: I loved it.

J: I loved it. Also, I enjoyed the relationship in this story. A lot of times they feel tacked on and not necessary. But, this one felt natural and I appreciated it. I think it’s partially because the main focus was on her sister so the story didn’t become only about the romantic relationship. I just really loved it.

E: I agree. When I read it I wasn’t bothered with the idea of this becoming a romance. There are times where I’m not into it. But, in this situation it was so organic feeling.

C: Another question, are you guys excited for the movie?

J: Hell yeah!

E: Yeah!

C: It’s going to be such a good movie I can’t wait.



3 thoughts on “Caraval – Saturday Discussion

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