by Stephanie Garber
Flatiron Books, 2017.407. YA Fiction
Scarlett and her younger sister live on a remote island with their abusive and controlling father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her with a duke, and she feels like it is her only hope to protect herself and her sister from her father. But it also seems that her dreams of attending the games of Caraval will soon be over. This year Scarlett’s invitation arrives, and with the help of a sailor Scarlett and her sister escape to the island where the games will take place. As soon as they arrive though Tella Scarlett’s sister gets kidnapped, and the terms of the game are whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has to remember it is only a performance, but she must find her sister before the five nights of the game are over her sister may disappear forever.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. My most favorite aspect of the book was the growth that Scarlett went through. Because of her abuse she was initially very timid and unwilling to take control of her future, and over the course of her story she begins to learn how to be willing to try different possibilities even though the outcome may not be the most ideal. I also really enjoyed the dynamics between the characters. I specifically liked the complexity of the relationship between Scarlett and her sister Tella. As a sister she loved her and would do anything for her, but there were also those points where Scarlett was ready to throttle Tella because of her willingness to plunge into everything head first. Overall a very compelling YA read.