Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Book Review)

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Page Count
: 402

When Caraval was released last year, I remember it being all the hype. People compared it to the Night Circus, which is one of my most favourite books in the world and therefore set standards very high. I bought one of the UK mystery hardcover editions very early on, but then soon realised that the hype was just too much and there was no way I could possibly enjoy it as much as I might have if I hadn’t heard a thing about it before. So, I waited and let some time pass to allow my brain to forget some of the things it had learned and I think that was a good call.

First of all, Caraval still wasn’t close to the Night Circus. Magic was there and it might have still been very intricate, but I feel like the focus of the story was less on enchanting the readers, but more on creating drama and putting all the characters in constant peril. As a whole, I still very much enjoyed the book. The story in itself was absolutely fascinating, but my issue was more along the lines of the characters.

Scarlett and I have a difficult relationship. I appreciate her undying devotion to her sister. I like that she has principals she is unwilling to relent on, but some of her behaviour just didn’t add up. Her past is tragic and I very much understand her mistrust in others after the abuse she has suffered from her father. However, she kept making the most naive decisions and wasn’t cautious with her trust at all. After a while, I was just constantly frustrated with her choices and and the people and things she chose to believe in or not believe in for that matter. Also, she constantly criticised her sister, Tella, for being impulsive, when literally none of her actions were thoroughly thought through. Speaking of Tella, she didn’t have the benefit of being present much in the story, but despite her overall motive of wanting to save Scarlett from a life in misery, she just still seemed utterly selfish to me.

I hear that the second book, Legendary, has Tella as a main character and that it is supposedly better than Caraval. I am definitely curious about how the story continues in the sequel, because Caraval was full of wonderful twists and turns and revelations. I call bullshit on anyone who claims to have predicted everything that happened in that book, because I am usually very good at spotting those kind of things and there was no way I could have guessed all of those twists.

In the sequel, I hope that we get to go a little bit more into detail on how Caraval actually works and that we get to find out more about Legend. I like a mysterious villain who may not be a villain at all.

 

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Liked the story more than the characters, if that makes any sense.

Have you been enchanted by Caraval? Is it a book you’d be interested in? Let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Didn’t Click With

Okay, you know the drill by now. I am participating in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s theme is “Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With” so, let’s do this!

top-ten-tuesday

(again I just want to remind you that this is not really a ranking, but more of a “numbering”)

1. Quentin from the Magicians Series by Lev Grossman

I’ve talked about this series in the past days because I am currently reading it and I mentioned that I just don’t like any of the characters very much. They are all pretty miserable and a drag, but since Quentin is the protagonist, I chose him.


2. Eadlyn from The Heir (Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

22918050I just do NOT like this girl. For the matter, I didn’t liker her mother much either, but seriously? Eadlyn is a spoiled brat with not a trace of empathy in her body. If the book hadn’t ended with a cliffhanger, I wouldn’t want to continue the series with her as main protagonist. But since I am too curious to stop now, I will have to.


3. Sutter Keely from The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

sutterI like that the book isn’t like every other teenage story out there. It is a lot more cynic than that, but I just did not click with Sutter (not even when he was portrayed by Miles Teller in the movie …). He drinks way too much, is an immensely selfish person and is not nearly as funny as he thinks. Maybe I was just really disappointed with the outcome of the story though …


4. Harriet from Geek Girl by Holly Smale

13621089What is that girl’s problem with being called a “Geek”? I would embrace the heck out of that, but she is just embarrassed about it and let’s it drag her down. Also, she’s too naive for my taste.


5. Greg from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The book was fine, but I just really couldn’t connect with Greg. He was mopey and in complete denial. Why couldn’t he just say that the others are his friends? What on earth is so bad about caring?


6. Bianca from The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

As much as I like the message behind the story, snarky Bianca is not my kind of person. Her voice definitely wasn’t for me.


7. Teresa from the Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

Seriously? What was the point of that girl? She was supposed to be Thomas (to whom I also couldn’t really connect) soulmate or something but she was barely even there. In book one she was basically in a coma most of the time, in book two she has a couple appearances and in book three the end? Come on!!! If that was her sole purpose and I was supposed to be sad, you should actually have made her do something important during some point in the series before.


8. Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

Everybody seems to love Lola or at least prefer her a lot over Isla, but I am not one of those people. As much as I love the series as a whole, Lola was way too eccentric, selfish and also a bit annoying. I clicked with her the least of all three girls.


9. Laurel  from Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

18140047Maybe it was the fact that her whole story was pretty much an identical female version of Charlie’s story from the Perks of Being a Wallflower or maybe it was something entirely different. But I did not really enjoy her as a protagonist. But for the record, I didn’t exactly bond with Charlie either …


10. June and Day from Legend by Marie Lu

I’m sorry, okay! I know how many people love this series, but I just can’t. It’s totally not for me and I did not like either of them very much which is probably the reason I never read farther than volume 1 in the series.

 

 

 

What are some of the characters you just didn’t click with? Leave a comment and let’s talk!

The Day The Doctor Met Robin Hood

Another post where it’s important that I use River Song‘s catchphrase: Spoilers! The following post isn’t really a review as much as it is a gathering of my thoughts about Doctor Who‘s Robot of Sherwood, so if you haven’t watched it – do not read on!

I’ve always liked the legend of Robin Hood and I always enjoyed Doctor Who episodes where historical figures or even fictional characters appeared. Robot of Sherwood was no exception, although I didn’t like it for the main plot, but for other reasons. Here are my thoughts:

  • The bickering between the Doctor and Robin Hood (Tom Riley) was hilarious! I loved it so much and it was the main reason I liked the episode, because I found the robots rather boring. Lately, they always try to build up some sort of unfortunately obvious mystery and then rush the conclusion in the end. The titles really give away a lot in my opinion. So, I just didn’t care very much for the Sheriff‘s plan – I liked watching the interaction between the other characters though.
  • I know it’s silly, but I missed Danny in the episode. Into the Dalek was such a great set up for him and now he wasn’t even mentioned, well except indirectly by Robin when he said goodbye to Clara.
  • Speaking of Clara and Robin – weren’t they cute together? She was absolutely infatuated with this legend she’s always loved and finally gets to meet and I think he was fascinated by her as well. We all know his big love is someone else, but I liked their little flirtation.
  • Again with the Promised Land … I start to dislike those little sneak peeks, because we don’t get any more information. I hate not knowing what’s going on, and of course they can’t tell as everything at once, but a little progression in the information output would be helpful.
  • The Doctor momentarily stopped believing that everything can be possible and hurt Clara by asking her, when she started to believe in the impossible. She’s his impossible girl after all! Still, I like seeing a grumpier, darker version of the Doctor, who can nonetheless be funny.
  • The promo for next week’s episode Listen looks creepier than the past ones, which makes me really excited! Also, I like that I can’t yet imagine what I should expect from something called “Listen”.

What was your opinion of Robot of Sherwood? I still can’t believe that Robin was played by Da Vinci’s Demons Tom Riley – I barely recognised him!