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I’m just going to come right out and say that this YA book was a miss for me. I just didn’t connect with really anything about it until about the last 30% but even though I only finished it for the sake of finishing it. I hate leaving books unfinished and that’s why you will never see me not finish a book. I will slog through a book to the very end, hoping that the ending will give me a pay off.

This book kind of did that.

The plot itself is very interesting. Every year there is a game called Caraval. Solve the clues, get to the prize first and win a wish from the master Legend. It sounds interesting but it just didn’t pay out for me. I feel like this is what The Crown’s Game should have been. I think it would have worked there.

To give a positive in what is going to be a pretty negative review, I liked the store concept. To buy something, you had to tell a secret, give up something valuable, tell a desire, etc. That was a cool concept and I wouldn’t mind seeing more books use it.

One of the big reasons that I didn’t like this book was the magic realism concept. I didn’t like that everything was not as it seems. Yes, I know that was the concept of the book but I felt like this book was lying for the sake of lying. Even magic realism books have to have some sort of foundation on which to build from. This book didn’t and I couldn’t stand it.

I didn’t like the characters all that much either. Scarlett worried so much that it just put me off. I understand that she came from an abusive place and that she probably has PTSD or something similar. I think I just don’t like to read books about those characters because it reminds me of my own anxiety. I thought Tella was incredibly selfish and I wanted to smack the crap out of her. Julien was okay. He seemed the most honest and the most grounded to me, which I found surprising. Legend…well I don’t know. I didn’t really get a chance to know him that well.

Honestly, this book fell into that hype trap. It was hyped up too much and it doesn’t deserve it. I know that I sound really harsh but I’m just calling it like I see it. This book wasn’t for me and unfortunately the ending piqued my attention just enough that I want to read the next book.



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