It’s been weeks now since the latest Mini Me pick!

The last one was a real blast as my daughter Julie collaborated with Alex Birdie’s Bookworm’s daughter. Find their rambling on this site and at Birdie’s.

I hope we’ll get to do it once again but this week Julie is flying solo and introduces you to one of her latest favorites: Caraval by Stephanie Garber.


I must confess my 16 years old daughter literally devoured the book in a few hours!



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


So why did Julie love it so much?


First of all she was attracted by the gorgeous and somewhat mysterious cover. See above!


Then she absolutely adored the poetic and mysterious universe the story is set in.  It gives a dreamy feel reinforced by the night life and the beautiful clothes people wear in the story.  It adds glam and glitter to the tale. Julie adored this “Carnaval and show bizz” quality.


The story is filled with extravagant colorful and eccentric characters. Comedians often speak in riddle giving some clues to solve the engima. 


But backstage is not as glamorous as Tella and Scarlett thought it would be. Pretty costumes can’t hide the imperfedtion of this world and the game is so much more than an elaborate performance!


Solving the enigma on time was also part of the fun and kept Julie on her toes. Mind you if Tella was not found on time she would disappear forever! Tella’s life threatening situation just raised the stakes. There was no other choice but winning. What a suspense!

My daughter really appreciated that intelligence made all the difference instead of brute force. No need to be a trained fighter to win but just to have wits and smarts.


Another heart warming aspect of the story was the love existing between the two sisters. My daughter usually fights all the time with her brother  so it really was a nice change for her to read about sibblings loving each other unconditionally. Both sisters are very protective in their own way. Scarlett wants to marry and find stability to withdraw Tella from their father’s iron brutal fist and Tella dreams about escaping to free Scarlett from their father’s threats.


Finally if the romantic aspect was an added perk to the story the unexpected ending was an absolute joy for Julie. This is one of these suspense story where you say “Of course! I should have known it!”.


Now time to chat: have you read that story? Loved it?


Thanks for reading and for those interested here is the buying link ->

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  1. Great review! I absolutely loved this book! It’s one of my favorite reads! I’m so glad to hear you both loved this book! I can’t wait to read Legendary! 🙂

  2. I read this one a couple months ago and found the beginning to be quite slow to the point that if it didn’t turn around I was ready to dnf. Then, the twists started coming more regularly and I was hooked. Now I can’t wait for book two.

    1. I did in depth backstage work with my IT hubby. I changed the permalink structure, built an url sheet, installed a redirect plugin and last indexed my site on Google and asked Google to crawl my site. Pfew. I’ll cross my fingers and hope it will be good enough. If not I’ll install YOAST plugin… See how techie I sound? LOL