Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval Cover
Caraval Under the Dust Jacket
Caraval Map


Stephanie Garber

Series no. #1 of 2
Edition: Hardcover, top hat under the dust jacket
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 402
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Source: Borrowed from Mam
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.0/5
Avg. Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | Author

Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea!
Stephanie Garber


Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett and Tella have never left the tiny island of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is an elaborate performance. But she quickly becomes entangled in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak.

And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

In Brief

Caraval has magic, mystery, and a squeeze of romance. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you guessing until the very end, then this is definitely worth a try. My mum said this was a good book when she gave it to me and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. In fact, I loved it way more than I expected I would.


What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you.
Stephanie Garber

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I’m Doing the 30 Day Reading Challenge in June!

The above is a video of the 30-day Reading Challenge that Little Book Owl undertook. There are links in the video’s description to the 30-Day Reading Challenges others did before her but this was the first video I watched.

What is it?

The idea is that you read every day for 30 days – whether that’s 1 page or 100. As far as I can tell there aren’t any other rules unless you set some of your own, for example, maybe you won’t count graphic novels. I have decided not to set any additional rules for myself this month.

The 30-day challenge can be really useful if you’re out of the habit or, if like me, you never had one in the first place but want to create one. Despite the fact that I am reading more than ever than before, I’m still reading in fits and bursts. Often a week or two will go by with minimal or no reading. So I thought I’d give reading for a month with just a commitment to read at least one page per day a go. At worst I’ll get through 30 pages, at best I might burn through a few novels! (Psst, I’ve even roped my boyfriend into trying this with me and he doesn’t read much at all!)


I’ve done a little prep by picking out some books that are relatively new to my shelf and/or that I’m really eager to read. This was to try and eliminate me standing by my bookshelf for hours trying to decide what to read. I’m still in the throws of the Series Crackdown Readathon until the 4th of June so there are some books that appear in both TBRs. The books I plan to read next month are: Read More

The Beginner’s Goodreads Reading Challenge

The Beginner’s Goodreads Reading Challenge


First, here’s a look at my reading stats for 2016.

It’s an incomplete list as I did do some reading towards the beginning of the year (a failed attempt at tackling my ever growing TBR) that I never logged. I will probably add those books to Goodreads at some stage but probably won’t put in the dates as I can’t remember what I read at the beginning of 2016 compared to what I read during 2015. But, it does show what I’ve read since the holiday to Lanzarote I mentioned. In fact, 6 of the 7 books were read on that particular holiday.

When you compare it with someone, for example, Leah @ Girl vs Books’ Reading Stats (197 books in 2016), my measly 7 books pales in comparison. As in my reading pile is a man on the moon and everybody else’s read piles are planets. In fact, Leah read the equivalent of every book on my shelf and some last year.

Big Goals, Little Reader

This year Leah has set her goal to 150 books and 100-200 book goals feature frequently on my Goodreads dashboard. What I try to remember when I see these huge goals is that often they’ve been doing this for a while. They spent time getting really good at it. Who knows, maybe they don’t watch TV? I feel it would be like a couch potato attempting a marathon with zero prep (but probably not quite as hard if I put my mind to it). So with that in mind, I set my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge to a realistic (maybe?) 20 books.

20 Books

Why that particular number? Read More

Series Crackdown Readathon: TBR!

Series Crackdown Readathon: TBR!

First Ever Readathon

As I left work last night, I made the snap decision to take part in my first ever readathon the Series Crackdown Readathon hosted by The Book Moo. It’s a 10-day long readathon that started yesterday (26th June) and will run until the 4th of June. The idea is to read some of the neglected series’ on your shelves. I am super bad at starting and even worse at finishing book series, which means that I have plenty to choose from.

So, after they are totally let me count Caraval by Stephanie Garber – my current read – as a book towards the readathon, I jumped on board. (Caraval is technically part of a duology, OK?) I’m a slow reader so I don’t know how many books I’ll actually get through. But, let me show you what I’m planning to try and read:


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Meet My Books [Bookshelf Tour]

Side 2 Lower 2
Side 2 Upper
Side 1 Upper 1
Side 1 Upper 2
Side 1 Upper Middle 1
Side 1 Upper Middle 2
Side 1 Lower Middle 1
Side 1 Lower Middle 2
Side 1 Lower

Here is the full list of the books currently on my shelves as seen in the above photos. You can’t see all of them because my shelves are triple stacked  – there’s a whole row of books you can’t see on a few of the shelves. My bookshelves are currently organised alphabetically except for my Harry Potter Collection, The Mortal Instruments series and The Gallagher Girls series. My hardbacks and series where I have books in hardback and paperback are separate from my paperback books. I’ve read the books in bold at least once. Read More