By: Stephanie Garber
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Bang Bang Rating:
Scarlett has dreamed of the Caraval circus since she was a little girl. She mailed the ringleader, Legend, every year hoping to get a ticket only to learn that the Caravel was no longer touring. Days before her wedding, which she reminds us of 30 times, Scarlett finally receives an invitation for three. While Scarlett sees this as an adventure before her wedding, her sister Dontella sees this as a way to escape their abusive father.
Because Caraval will coincide with Scarlett’s wedding (are you tired of me mentioning the wedding? Well get over it because you’ll hear about it 50 times if you read this book) she’s reluctant to go but Dontella and her new guy friend (who’s extremely hot) force Scarlett to attend.
Once at Caraval, Scarlett is mesmerized by the tents, the hot brown guy she’s traveling with, winning the game to get the wish, her clothes that change for some reason, trading with things other than currency, her flimsy gown that she always seems to be wearing around all the men, secret passages, and the hot brown guy who’s constantly flirting with her.
Caraval had such potential to be cool and mysterious but it’s weighed down with tropes-the girl who thinks a man will save her, her sexual sister who knows otherwise, her hot guy, and the villainous father. The uneven writing is also a problem. The dialogue was not particularly dynamic but it was peppered with metaphorical language. This book also failed the Bechdel test-every conversation between two women were about men. This was a shame because the sisters had a great relationship but it was never explored. Finally, the info dumping at the end didn’t help.
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