Guest Post: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I’m excited to feature a guest post by my bestie Jill! We met as interns, and now she works for Simon and Schuster. She has great taste in books, musicals, and ramen, and enjoys everything dinosaur related. You can read a bit more about her on her lovely blog, Jurassic Impressions.

27883214.jpgWhat It’s About: Scarlett has spent half her life protecting her little sister. Since their mother left, Scarlett has given up on dreams, but she won’t let her Donatella do the same. Just when Scarlett thinks she’s finally found freedom from her abusive father, she gets unwillingly swept into a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend Caraval, an immersive, magical contest with a priceless reward. But Caraval, and its creator, Master Legend, are as steeped in dark rumors as they are in magic and Scarlett is determined to get out as quickly as she can. But when Donatella is kidnapped, Scarlett’s plans are derailed. Surrounded by shimmery things and slippery people that shift before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if it really is—as the players claim—just a game.

Why I liked it: Scarlett was one of those rare YA heroines who pulls off vulnerable and strong. She lets herself fall in love, but it doesn’t stop her from being her own person. I’m really picky about YA romance, and if it doesn’t feel like it’s part of the story or if it’s too over-the-top, it’s gag-reflex-city up in here. But the romance in Caraval is so good. It sneaks up on you. It’s sweet, and just a bit steamy, and oh-so-swoony. Garber’s twisty narrative only reveals itself as Scarlett solves the clues and uncovers the dark truth. I found myself guessing, and second-guessing, and re-guessing what I was sure was right only to be wrong again.

Audience: YA

Read if you liked:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


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