Stephanie Garber has created a world that I don’t want to leave, and characters I want to follow throughout their life stories.
I started this book on 9PM on a Sunday night, after I’d been sick for a week and sleeping as much as possible to get over it. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I found myself saying, “One more chapter,” okay, “Now, one more chapter,” over and over again until it was 1AM and I closed the book with a sigh. This doesn’t include the extra 30 minutes I sat there considering the ending and the complications that came along with it. I think in reality I maybe got 5 hours of sleep this night, but what is important is that I LOVED this book.
This world was created in such an organic way that nothing in the plot seemed like it was out of place or sudden. Not only was Caraval such a richly developed story but the description of the characters and the locales within the novel were exquisite. I wish I could have seen the canopy bed in Scarlett’s room, had a sip of that crisp cider that enhances vision, or even run my hands over the gowns in the store where she sells two days of her life.
While I was totally proved wrong about who I assumed Julian was from the beginning (*shakes fist* tricky Garber, tricky!) he was a great example of a male character who comes off as such a…how to I put it…douchebag that really turns out to be a character with so many more layers than initially shown. In fact, he was the saving grace for Scarlett (and the narrative) in many spots.
Probably an unpopular opinion: Dante? *fans self* A body covered in tattoos and a beautiful face to boot? *swoons*
Now, as someone who has had a struggle with her relationship with her sister (we are doing so much better as we’ve aged, by the way *Love you, Ginger!*), I think that for me what really made this story so impactful was the demonstration of absolute love and devotion between the two siblings. Obviously it seems very one sided at the beginning as it is third person limited point of view, but the reader discovers it is a very equal love and something that both sisters suffered for.
All I can think of as I remember my mind blowing and wonderful late night read is that this is a story that I will come back to and re-read many times. Plus, who wouldn’t want to lose themselves in a fantasy world with Scarlett, Julian, and Tella?
**Trigger warning for parental physical abuse**
Pre-order a copy of Caraval now, I promise you won’t regret it.
Since Nerve (the movie) came out on July 27, I decided that I wanted to check out the novel first, so I could get the full backstory before heading ofSince Nerve (the movie) came out on July 27, I decided that I wanted to check out the novel first, so I could get the full backstory before heading off to pay a ridiculous (okay, $12) amount to watch it in theaters.
I read this novel in a matter of 4 hours in one sitting. Not only was it an easy, but entertaining read, but it has just the right amount of slow build up leading to the giant rock boulder that slides down the proverbial mountain that it reeled me in and kept me turning page after page.
The narrative really plays on the idea that most reality television is perceived as staged or scripted, and that in actual reality the dangerous stunts are just that: stunts. Thus, all of the watchers in Nerve have the misconception of how treacherous the events that Vee and Ian participate in throughout the course of the novel. I mean, they face prostitutes and their pimp, a group of rather violent virgins, and a lot of other things that I’d rather not spoil for potential readers.
Vee is basically the everygirl that is described as the typical sidekick best friend, who harbors some pretty deep resentment of her perfect diva best friend which leads to her joining Nerve as a player and consequently getting in over her head. Ian, the only other character to occupy as much page time as Vee, is almost a cardboard handsome male character, but Ryan does a good job of alluding to his past and slowly revealing parts of his personality that lead the reader to find him an excellent counterpart to Vee.
Sydney and Tommy, the two minor characters that play a decent size role, are somewhat unredeemable characters in my eyes. One is the diva best friend and the other is the passive aggressive kid with a massive crush on Vee. They both act pretty questionably throughout the story, but even when Ryan had their characters wrapped up at the end…I still didn’t like either of them. But, maybe that was just me. Based on what the movie trailer shows, it already seems that the movie will diverge pretty heavily from the different challenges/dares that are in the novel, but I’m still excited to see how the rest of the story is adapted.