Book Review: Caraval By Stephanie Garber

Book Review: Caraval By Stephanie Garber

Labyrinth meets Frozen with a little bit of the film version of Stardust
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Imagine Labyrinth meets Frozen with a little bit of the film version of Stardust and you probably have an idea for what Caraval feels like. Stephanie Garber's first YA novel/first novel in general is about two sisters, Tella and Scarlett, that receive an invite to the exclusive event of Caraval held and coordinated by a mysterious man named Legend. On the first night of the event, Tella is captured and soon claimed as the final clue to this year's prize, a wish for anything you could ever want. It's up to Scarlett to step out of her comfort zone and do everything she can in this magical new world she's found herself in to save her sister.

What I liked about this book most of all was the main character Scarlett, who to me just seemed like a breath of fresh air as a female protagonist in a YA novel. Usually in books these days I seem to find three stereotypes now for female protagonist: 1. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, 2. The Badass Sarcastic girl who just wants true love, and 3. The super shy girl who swears she's not good at anything but ends up being a badass in the end. With Scarlett she stuck to who she was the whole time while still developing as a character. In the beginning she's a very follow the rules type a girl and a helicopter mom over her sister, with good reason once you read the book, but then throughout the book she begins to grow and realize she needs to start being more selfish and care more about herself while still being the same person she was before. I don't know how to explain what I'm trying to say here, but I'm basically trying to say that instant changes in personality just don't happen right away (I'm looking at you Tamlin in Court of Mist and Fury) and the author did a good job of letting these characters be themselves and just grow on their own.

Also Julian is totally now getting added to a fictional boyfriends list.

The last thing that I loved about the book is just the wording and how Garber describes the world of Caraval. My favorite thing she would do is when she would have Scarlett describe what she was feeling with colors, for example if she was happy with how something was she would use words like "my happiness had a peachy coloring to it". That's probably not the best way to describe it but once you read the book, I think you will understand what I am saying.

Overall Rating 3.75/5

Spoilers Portion-

*Am I just stupid or was Scarlett just pulling her guesses for the next clues out of nowhere? If there is anything books with mystery to them have taught me it is that I should never be a detective. Mainly because I feel like how Scarlett kept interpreting the leap of faith clue was all over the place. I was sure that her admitting her feelings to Julian would've been the real leap of faith but hey what do I know?

*Scarlett got over the fact that everything was staged way too quickly! There was a Castle episode years ago where Beckett staged a Rear Window situation to fool Castle into a surprise party and I'm still not over how angry I would've been if that were me. Scarlett's reaction to Tella still being alive after jumping out of the window and figuring out that she set it up in the first place was just way to calm for me, I needed some yelling and pillow throwing.

*I also really wanted Aiko to be Legend that just would've been a fun idea for me.

*I have no clue how the sequel is going to work out, but I am excited for it. Really wanna see how Scarlett and Julian's relationship grows.

Cover Image Credit: Hodderscape

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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5 Reasons Why The Saints Are Inbound To Win The Super Bowl

With the Saints rolling this year, there are 5 crucial reasons why they have a great chance to make the Superbowl.

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When you're reading this is February, you're gonna ask yourself, "How did he know?" I'm a wizard; that's why I know the Saints are going to the Superbowl this year. I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness, I can say with confidence that the Saints have one of the better chances in the NFL to make it to the Superbowl. Below are 5 reasons why they'll make the Superbowl in February 2019.

1. Breesus Christ

The Saints have Drew "freaking" Brees. I literally do not need to say more, but I will anyway.

Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the league period. He will break the record for most passing yards in a career this season, and he has the record for highest completion percentage. To all the people that say Tom Brady is better, you're wrong. Tom Brady has always had a defense to rely on when he needed; Drew Brees hasn't.

Whenever the Saints need Brees, he's always there. The Saints rely on him to get them out of big holes and us Saints fans know that he's the best QB in the league and will lead us to another Superbowl this year.

2. Lighting and Thunder

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram being the best running back duo in the league isn't new news. We saw all of last season that Ingram was a bruiser and Kamara was a shifty back. They form a lighting and thunder duo. This season, Ingram has been suspended for the first four games and the Saints were still able to go 3-1. Just imagine how great the Saints are going to be when Ingram comes back this week. It's going to be SCARY.

How do defenses stop Kamara, Ingram, Brees, and Thomas? Defenses beware because the Saints are marching in.

3. Can't Guard Mike

Michael Thomas has been unstoppable this year. No one can guard him. In my opinion he's the best receiver in the league, and while others disagree, they can't deny the impact Thomas has had for the Saints. With the best QB in the league, Thomas is in a prime position to lead a major push to the Superbowl for the Saints. When the offense is rolling, no one can stop the Saints. Cornerbacks can prepare as hard as they need, but they can't guard Mike.

4. Boonk Gang

The Saints defense made major strides last year and helped propel them to many wins. If not for a freak play that resulted in the Saints losing in the divisional round, I believe the Saints would have moved on to the Superbowl. While the defense has been pretty bad at the beginning of the season, in week three, the Saints defense showed what they are capable of. With Ingram coming back and controlling the pace of the offense, watch for the defense to get much better through the season.

5. "Put me in Coach Payton"

Sean Payton may be the second best coach in the league after Bill Belichick.

Coach Payton has had the Saints offense in the top 10 offenses every single year since he became head coach in 2006. With his offensive creativity and his ability to use players such as backup QB Taysom Hill in positions where no other coach would dare to use them, Coach Payton will be the driving force in leading the Saints to the Superbowl.

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