Caraval Book Review


Number of pages: 407

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 1

I think this is the only book I will give a chance before it has been reviewed by people who I share similar opinions with. I’m sick of going into books with rave reviews and hating them with every fiber of my being (though it does make for a nice review). If you don’t want to endure the usual ranting, I hated Caraval. You might like it, but my job here is to give my honest opinion (which I would always do anyway). If you would prefer a scale of how much I hate this book, I am three sentences into this review, and my blood is already boiling.

Let’s start with the writing. I have seen Caraval compared to The Star-Touched Queen, a book where I loved everything except the main character, but they are nothing alike. The writing in The Star-Touched Queen is beautiful and lyrical, while the writing in Caraval is severely lacking. Much like Caraval itself, the writing has moments of beauty, then it seems to forget what it was doing entirely, revealing the unoriginal simplicity beneath.

Next we have the characters, and man are they annoying. Here’s a secret, if you have to keep explicitly stating you’re true desire, and people with weird truth magic tell you said desire is not you’re true desire, chances are it’s not you’re true desire. It is not the poor reader’s fault you’re insta-romance that you keep trying to deny exists, yet could not be more obvious if it announced itself, is taking up too much of you’re already pitifully small head space. Scarlett and Donatella are supposed to love each other with all of their hearts, yet Scarlett does not do a single thing to convince me that she truly loves her sister more than herself and her new love interest. Everything she supposedly does to save her sister feels emotionless and fake. If you truly want to find your sister, your thought process should not go from “I have to hurry and find my sister” to “but look at this random guy I just met’s muscles” a second later.

If someone knows what I have to do to find the plot of this 400 page novel, could you please tell me, because I’m at a loss. I swear 50% of this novel is Scarlett talking about Julian, 40% of it is random filler/fluff, and 10% is stuff actually getting done. That means this book probably should have been a novella, not an insanely boring novel that I had to skim read the majority of to even finish.

There’s also this strange and mostly useless plot device where Scarlet sees emotions as colours occasionally. It is never explained, and useful roughly one time. Why introduce something you will never explain or use? I know that Synesthesia is a condition where you see colours as emotions, but it seems like something strange to add to randomly disrupt the plot/ add in strange metaphors.

Overall, I hated Caraval with a passion, earning it 1 star out of 5.

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