Welcome to the sixth installment of Day’s YA! If you’re new here, my name is Emily Day and I’m the newest member of Team Library Marketing at Macmillan. If you’re not new here, you may have noticed that we switched up our logo a bit, so be on the lookout for this new logo for all things YA-related.
Now on to an enchanting YA fantasy novel that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with.
Ok, so I know I’m about a year late to the game (ha, I promise that was an unintentional pun) with this one, but please allow me my delayed obsession with this book. In the case that you, like me, have not yet discovered CARAVAL, here’s the gist: Scarlett has spent her entire life longing to participate in Caraval, the interactive, week-long game/performance that only happens once a year. When Scarlett’s cruel father arranges for her to marry a man she’s never met, Scarlett’s hopes are dashed . . . until her invitation to the game finally arrives and Scarlett and her younger sister Tella, along with a mysterious (and oh-so-dreamy) sailor they’ve just met, make their way to Isla de los Sueños to play. Everyone keeps telling Scarlett that it’s only a game and everything that happens during Caraval is merely a performance, but things become much more real when Tella is kidnapped by the game’s mystifying mastermind, and finding her becomes the only way to win the game.
I’m pretty sure I read this book in about a day and a half because I just couldn’t bear to put it down. The world is unique and imaginative and I felt like I was right there with Scarlett, wandering around and getting joyously lost (though maybe not quite as lost as her, thanks to the handy map in the novel’s front matter). Lots and lots of people are comparing this book to THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern, but I’ve never read THE NIGHT CIRCUS, so I can’t necessarily endorse that comparison. However, I can say that it’s got bits and pieces of lots of brilliant YA elements. There’s the game-that’s-more-than-just-a-game aspect à la THE HUNGER GAMES; the forbidden, but chemistry-filled romance similar to that of Edward and Bella; and the magical world that feels very Wonderland-esque. But the amazing thing is that Garber manages to take all of those classic elements and make something completely new and extraordinary. Simply put, CARAVAL is magical. And with such a clever and twisty ending, THANK GOODNESS the magic doesn’t end here. The sequel—LEGENDARY—will be available May 29, 2018 [insert all celebratory emoji here]!
Switching gears a little . . . are any of you going to ALA Midwinter? It will be my first library conference and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope to meet many of you there so I can put a face to your Twitter handle / email address. If you are going, see you in Denver! And if not, hopefully we’ll meet soon!
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