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Caraval: Annoyingly Purple

Author: Stephanie Garber

Year published: 2017

  • Plot: 2/5
  • Characters: 2/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Overall: 5/5

Time for another Unpopular Opinion! (warning: this review contains high levels of negativity)

I don’t understand the hype around Caraval. I think that the plot was confusing, the characters were underdeveloped and the writing was annoyingly purple.

When I say the writing was annoyingly purple I mean that sometimes I quite like ‘purple prose’ and it adds another dimension to the novel. However, in Caraval, I thought that some of the figurative language used was nonsensical. I can’t even give an example because there are too many to choose from and I would end up going on forever.

For some reason, we’re supposed to believe that Scarlett cares about her sister when time and time again her actions speak otherwise. She just spends her time ogling Julian out of the corner of her eye and wondering if she can trust him and who he is and blah, blah, blah Julian. The problem is, I simply couldn’t care less about him. He’s a cardboard cutout of the handsome, mysterious, brooding YA male character trope who is actually just predictable, annoying and generally a pain. As for Scarlett, she was so boring to read about.

The plot actually had the potential to be brilliant….. but then fell flat. At the start I was intrigued by the mysterious Caraval but as the book progressed it just became more and more confusing for me. There were too many inconsistencies. When it came to the massive plot twist I was just thought…. what?! It didn’t make any sense and it made all the events that happened previously seem pointless.

Caraval could have been amazing but it just wasn’t for me. I know there are loads of fans of it out there and I’m glad they enjoyed it but sadly, I am not one of them. I won’t be reading the next book because I just don’t care enough.