Friday, August 10, 2018

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Caraval by Stephanie Garber
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tried to like this book. There were certainly reasons, or at least excuses, to like it, even though there were strong romance themes that generally had me rolling my eyes. But it wasn't to be. Why? The characters were too frustrating. They did dumb stuff, starting with Scarlet, and ending with everyone else. She lived in abusive situation, yet believed she could negotiate with every antagonist. Threatening to hurt herself, promising to obey, trying to sacrifice herself to help someone else when she obviously had no leverage. Did she learn nothing from her youth with her father? She was so annoying I could barely stand to read it. I found the setting interesting, and was willing to overlook the shudders that overtook Scarlet every time Julian sneezed in her direction, but she still made no sense. One minute a villain was murdering the love of her life, the next minute she was having a calm conversation with him, and the next thing you know she is trying to negotiate with him, willing to do anything if he promises to be nice. He's the bad guy. That never works. Frustrating.

So I still would have been tempted to give the book up to 4 stars based on all the twists and turns, but then I finished it. Well I didn't really finish it, it just ended on me. No wrap up, just a totally dissatisfying lack of resolution. In the end you don't know who anyone is or what really just happened. I know this is supposed to be a series, but you still owe it to your readers to provide closure to the conflict of this book before setting up the next one. I don't know if anything was resolved here. At the very least it was dissatisfying. So this is now in the 2-3 star range for me, and I don't know if I will be reading the next book. Usually I can't help but read any series I start, but I could see this being an exception. I don't know that I trust the author to wrap up details at the end to provide a real satisfying read, and if I have to endure any more sappy, hollow teenage romance my eyes won't be able to roll my far enough back into my head.