Caraval Review

Image result for caraval by stephanie garberAuthor: Stephanie Garber                                                                                                Rating: Image result for clock image no backgroundImage result for clock image no background (2)                            Pages: 407
Genres: Fantasy YA, Romance                     Goodreads

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Sadly, I was really disappointed with this book and the hype surrounding it.
WRITING            

The writing was quite beautiful and whimsical; this really allowed such beautifully vivid imagery. The style really suited the story and created a magic but dark vibe. Despite this, sadly at times the metaphors were confusing and didn’t make sense, they seemed to be intended to sound pretty and whimsical, but were not entirely thought out, they were obvious bullshit.

“Tella’s expression fell like a doll Scarlett had dropped.”

Further, the way colour was used to describe feelings (metaphors) didn’t seem to be the best choice, I understand there may be some people who actually think like this, but for the large majority of people who don’t,  it just further added a disconnection from Scarlet’s overall feelings and personality. And rather just reads like Scarlet is constantly informing us how the sky is red red, for no particular reason. Making it seem (probably unintentionally) lazy. I believe this is easily where Scarlett’s lack of personality stems from.

CHARACTERS

Scarlett was a basic and uninteresting character whose primary characteristic was her concern and loyalty to her sister and her ability to not make up her own mind on anything. Despite this, we were still constantly only ever told about this loyalty and were never shown any indication of this being true. Just like Tellas supposed “Wild” personality that we hardly saw a glimpse of.

Her attraction to Julian vice versa also seemed out of nowhere, because she had such little personality, I struggled to see where Julian’s appeal for her came from.  Oh and why did she like Julian? Because he was hot, obviously no need for any depth there. Even the few small details we learnt of Julian eventually feel on its head and by the end, we really didn’t know what of his character was true and what was not.

As for Her father, he lacked any motive 95% of the time, his abusive nature, killing off random people, why? Nothing, he’s just evil.

There was not a character I could name who had a glimpse of personality (Okay maybe Dante had a bit of potential)

WORLD

The world within Caraval was intriguing and unique. The writing allowed us to image this magical, and slightly dark, almost Victorian style SET-UP, and the vivid descriptions of a “wooden mansion sprawling towards the sky as its wooden beams still grew” and “ A fifty foot tall iron fence that seemed to curl around it, formed into shapes both vulgar and innocent” in captured me instantly, I felt if I was there in this magical, enchantingly brilliant place. It was interesting and so beautiful to read about.

But that’s until we are told of what is outside of Caraval, it was lost beneath it. Although this was not the main focus of the story it wasn’t very clear. We were told of kingdoms and islands but that was all that was given. As for magic, we were not clearly told if magic was only within Caraval, or throughout the world, if it was practised by many people or just a limited few. I would like to think this will be more clearly addressed within the next book, but perhaps it would have been smart of the author to have used our world, over a made up, undeveloped fantasy world.

PLOT- SLIGHTLY SPOILER SECTIONS

I honestly don’t even want to go here. The plot was so reliant on plot twist after plot twist, and by the end, it seemed everything was turned on its head and became overall, completely confusing. Scarlett throughout this scavenger-hunt so easily stumbled into clue after clue. Plot twists would reveal themselves, to then be completely wrong, everything you thought was real, wasn’t and soon I felt deceived, everything I had read was a ploy. I felt like I had just read a story that ended with the main character waking up from a dream. Yes, it was that disappointing.

Overal, I can’t say I would rule of Stephanie, Prahaps I might give the next book a chance after all this is a debt and there is still so much more room for improvement. Thus, don’t feel disheartened by my review, I can see this easily being a quick, enjoyable read, if you don’t give it too much thought.

 

 

JULY TBR

GOODREADS TBR SHELF: To keep up to date with any changes in my tbr, because yes, I’m bad at committing to it, feel free to check out my goodreads TBR shelf.

2017 NEW RELEASES

COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN

(Currently reading)- A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)I’m not even sure if I’m ready for this. This month, I’ve already prepped myself for when I finish this book. A lot these books have been recommendations (for fans of ACOTAR), So please excuse the Fantasy saturated tbr. Check out the first book here.

 

 

BAD ROMANCE

Bad Romance

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape. 

 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiralling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

I find I am hard to please when it comes to contemporary, I think ya romance just reminds me how I’m probably too old to read it. It kills me when I’m introduced to a character who can’t even kiss the guy, I feel like I may as well just go watch an anime.

The thing is the type of contemporary I’ve always seemed drawn to is the dark and emotional stories with a lot of depth and hard-hitting themes; like mental illness or, bad relationships. I’m a sucker for contemporary based on bad, or abusive relationships (ones that end with the to character separate of course), it feels so morbid but heck, I hope Bad Romance fills that void for me.

INTO THE WATER

Into the WaterA single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

 

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

Reading adult fiction, I kind of have this weird perception of it being all about boring, slow topic that relates to people years above my age; like being an accountant or living in a retirement home.  As for thrillers, all I can think of is terrible mainstream movies. Why does my mind do this to me? Recently I came to the conclusion, I’m just going to do it. Is this a good book to start off with? I have no idea. But I do really enjoy Thrillers, I’ve just never read any other than middle grade.

ROAR

Roar (Stormheart, #1)

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aur

 

ora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honourable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters”.

I feel like I might regret this one, but when I read comments like Daenerys Targaryen meets Magical storm shit, I needed to find out. Perhaps something like this might be my saviour when I finish ACOWAR and begin craving more High Fantasy.

 

SPELLSLINGER

Spellslinger (Spellslinger #1)

There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your fourteenth year. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.

Magic is a con game.

 

Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope…

I think this might be one of my favourite covers…

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

 

 Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came.

 

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

 

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

After contemplating 5 different books, I decided to try out the first few chapter of a few, and choose from there. Daughter Of Smoke And Bone is an epic Urban Fantasy, and 200 pages in, there is still so much to learn, but I’m so far really enjoying it.

THRONE OF GLASS

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

What not better way to finish ACOWAR with another Sarah J Maas book. Throne of glass sounds like a kick ass story with a kick ass character and I can’t wait to begin this series.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) I honestly don’t understand why I never bothered to read Harry Potter. I’ve grown up with the movies and games more than I have the books (holy crap the games), even building Hogwarts on sims. It just seems so weird when I think about how attached I am to the series, yet I haven’t even finished the books. Why? I had always had the attitude as a kid that if I’ve seen the movie why read the book? I finished the first 5 books in 2 weeks (A few years back), but school and hsc had got in the way. So I’m really hoping I can bloody finish this series this year, who knows maybe in the future I might make this an annual thing.

THE  DREAM THIEVES 2#

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

The raven boys book 1-“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on 

 

St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

 

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. 

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Heck I love this series, Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing author and if you’re looking for some amazing literature, The Raven Boys is really worth a try.

 

BOOK UNHAUL- (Books I’ve had for so long, I’m reading to see if they need to be rid of)

CLOCKWORK ANGEL

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organisation of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I have actually read the mortal instruments but I couldn’t seem to make that same attachment to it as other people have. By the third book, my mind would find itself thinking about how I should re-furnish my bedroom, or wondering if there was something actually living in my aircon. I have avoided this book for a while, but the comments stating it is better than TMI and the era it’s based in, I really want to give it a chance before I start throwing it at a charity bin.

PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. 

 

 
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

 

And yes, I am being overly ambitious…

Everything Everything By Nicola Yoon- Spoiler Free Review

 

Image result for everything everything

Author: Nicola Yoon                                     Pages: 310                                                         Rating: Image result for bubble clip art NO BACKGROUNDImage result for bubble clip art NO BACKGROUNDImage result for bubble clip art NO BACKGROUND (terrible I know)
Genres: Contemporary YA, Romance          Goodreads

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has not left her home in 17 years. Even so, her life goes on happily and quietly until the blue-eyed boy like the Atlantic moves into the house next door. The crush emerges by instant messaging and is growing and complicated through an endless number of conversations, desires, vignettes, feelings, illustrations, dreams …
And it is difficult to return to the usual routine with all the noises that come from outside. Suddenly, Maddy is aware of the gossip of the birds and of the rays of sun that are glued by its shutters. And the more she tries to separate herself from the outside world, the more determined she feels to enter it.

Everything Everything was a cute but somewhat predictable YA NOVEL about a girl living with a condition called SCID. Maddy is unable to leave her clean and sterile home, as she is allergic to everything, but when the quirky guy next door moves in she suddenly craves more beyond the bubble she has been so adjusted to her whole life.

Everything Everything was a quick easy to read story. Nicola wrote concisely and simple, but effectively she seemed to weave chapters of MSG format and drawings well within the story. It made it more interesting and interactive and added elements to the story, without them being pointless and unnecessary. I really enjoyed her style and use of short chapter and it brought me back to primary school when I read books with drawings and picture in the margins (Andy Griffin for example). I particularly enjoyed Maddy’s Mini book reviews, they gave her more personality and were an unconscious way of showing her interests in reading without (*cough*Caraval*cough*) telling it.

Image result for everything everything book

The plot wasn’t perfect at times and could be predictable, I saw it as your classic YA romance/girl next door, thrown in with a girl who was facing an illness. Although it’s predictability at times was a bit meh. I still enjoyed the story and it still had it own unique and refreshing vibe.

Maddy was a likeable, easy to read character. You could see how her personality was influenced by the way she had been brought up, she was naive but smart and funny and being locked up inside for so long, she had become accustomed and accepting of her reality. Obviously, until she craved something outside her bubble.

“For the first time in a long time, I want more than I have.”

I also appreciate the fact that Maddy was a character of colour but it wasn’t constantly forced or mentioned for the sake of Diversity. Further, it was nice to see a character with a strong bond to her mother. In saying that there were a few unrealistic elements, like her lack of friends (the internet?) and at one stage she was buying a credit card off the internet for herself.

There were a few WTF moments in relation to the actions she made, at times they seemed very irrational for someone who should have known better.  It just felt unrealistic and like a bit of a plot device. like those moments in horror movies where the character is making these fucking stupid decisions and your just yelling at the screen the fucking smarter option but they’re to annoyingly stupid to realise. Okay, Perhaps it didn’t go that far.

As for Olly, sadly we really didn’t get to know him well, he was an interesting, quirky and very likeable character but we really only scratched the surface within his family life, social life and personality and didn’t get much behind the surface. In saying that the romance between Maddy and Olly was still, cute and although a bit fast, it felt authentic and very sweet.

See this is where the cheese and not so great message weaved its way in. I feel the message, although with good intent, was really not so great. The message we were basically left with was that it is okay to risk your life and health for love, which really isn’t romantic or at all something I’m okay with. I think there could be a better approach to this, and Nichola could have created a much more profound message.

Overall, Everything Everything was an easy to read contemporary romance, despite its flaws I would still recommend this to anyone who likes as classic, cute and slightly cheesy romance. Despite its message, it really gives readers a newfound perspective on the life of someone who basically lives in a bubble or with SCID’s.

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Book Blogger Newbie Tag

So because my lazy ass won’t post on my fucking blog, I though I start off with some easy shit and go from there. I’m hoping to get a review on Caraval up next…

 

1. Why did you start this blog?

I like books, also to discuss books and shit. So might be cool to make some friends and talk about books, because I’m so lonely, no one wants to read.

Image result for no one reads meme

Image result for lonely

 

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

-I can read books with my eyes closed

-I always put in A+ for effort, which is why I only do book tags (subscribe)

3. What are you most excited for about this new blog?

Being able to attempt to get my thoughts on books out there, particularly ones that I hate & seem to be loved by everyone. Hopefully my reviews will be structured enough to be readable (though don’t get your expectations to high)

4. Why do you love reading?

Its kind of like travelling, within your comfort zone, in your bedroom with pillows surrounding you. On a serious note, I guess I read to learn things, and gain new perspectives. Which is why I love deep books with messages or just stories that make you feel things. Reading is also a way of connecting my feelings and emotions with something, I can connect to stories and read stories that fit with my feels.

5. What book or series got you into reading?

Nothing? I suppose I grew up loving things like the Goosebump series and Spider wick and I remember this book called Rose by Holly Webb which got me into fantasy. I honestly just grew up reading handfuls of random books and have loved books since.

6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

I may have already done that…. I remember at the beginning of high school emailing Maggie Stiefvater and rambling about how much I loved the Shiver series and her music and blah blah. She actually replied and fuck, not only did I miss asking a actual question, I look back and realize how fucking cringey I was. Kill me now. Ty.

Idk what I would ask her now.

 

7. What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

Trying to post frequently. I’m aiming for at least 1-2 times a week. (Living the hard yards of a post high school gap year life) Also as I mentioned, Trying to write structure reviews without rambling.

8. When did you start reading?

How the fuck should I know (Sorry for the cussing) I’d like to think I started reading before I start school ( 5) but I don’t really know, pretty early on I was reading kids chapter books. Reminds me how I started to read chapter books in my first few years of school, but since I couldn’t read out loud (and had bad eye site when they brought out those big mother of books) the teachers put me in tutoring, so I just thought I was that good they had to give me extra reading lessons. lol. Explains why I was always given these fucking shitty two words per page books, while I was reading chapter books at home and envying the kids reading actual books.

9. Where do you read?

Usually in bed or on the ground or on a chair. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of reading outside or driving somewhere nice to read, but its not working for me so far.

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Any fantasy, si fi, thrillers/physiological, romance, anything fast pasted I don’t mind contemp. but I have to be in the mood, I’m usually really critical with and find every character annoying.  Also Ya and classics.

 

Cool, I have no one to tag, so I’m not tagging anyone, unless you (I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall) want to join in.

 

Georgia                                                                                                                                                     x x x x x x

 

First blog post

Okay, I don’t know if I’m ready to delve into the world of book blogs and such, but I guess I’m going to have to be, perhaps I’m just trying to fill the void of endless time that is my my post school life, maybe I’m making a very regrettable mistake. But lets just for now at least pretend this isn’t a regrettable mistake and just roll with it…

Basically I have a taste for YA, anything from fantasy to contemporary. I also am beginning to read more adult books, primarily thrillers, war based and obviously classics. I guess I hope to meet some bookish friends and get my opinions out there about the books I love and hate and in between. l so often want to put out my say somewhere, with nowhere to put it.

I’m open to and love all kinds of discussions so don’t hesitate to comment and give me your say, I want to hear it!

Thanks for reading my boring rambling and attempt at starting a blog, I’ll probably look back and either cringe, or die inside… a little bit. But anyway, hope to see you soon! (though I understand if you don’t plan on a return xx).

Georgia-Kate