This is the 20th post in this series already?! Time flies! I LOVE doing these recommendation posts as it seems to have helped many people find a new read. Last time I had 2 science fiction recommendations. This week I have two young adult fantasies! And it wasn’t until I did the graphic for this post that I realized that they even have the same colour scheme! It was meant to be lol. Let’s get to it!
First I want to talk about Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I feel like this is pretty well known in the YA community. It was also one of the first books that I read when I started the blog! (see my cringeworthy review here – but remember that this was one of the first reviews and I didn’t know how to format a review properly yet lol!) Scarlett and her sister Tella are raised by a brutal and abusive man. When they’re given the opportunity to finally go to the magical Caraval and be a part of the games, they jumped at the chance. They’ve been obsessed with Caraval for years, but it also brought them brief freedom from their father. But when they arrive, things don’t go as planned. Tella is kidnapped and the games are far more sinister than expected.
The next book I want to talk about is Enchantée by Gita Trelease. This is a recent release and is also a part of the historical fiction genre (click HERE for my full review). Set in the 1700’s, Camille and her two siblings are left alone after their parents death from small pox. Camille possess magic, and is able to turn small bits of metal into coins. But when her brother falls victim to drinking and gambling, she finds herself having to care for herself and her sister alone. Desperate and on the brink of being on the streets, Camille decides to go to the palace of Versailles for bigger and better riches. Using her magic, she hoped to get enough coin to pay the rent and then get out. But, the home of Marie Antoinette and their court is more alluring than she hoped. This book was absolutely wonderful and reminded me of the reading experience I had while reading Caraval.
HERE’S WHAT THE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Similar writing styles – I think that once I started to make some connections between these two books, I realized that the writing styles were very similar. The fantasy elements, the flow, the characters. I loved both writing styles 🙂
- Magical and excessive settings – The settings in both of these books was GLORIOUS! In Caraval everything was over the top and extreme. Things that you didn’t think were possible suddenly were. And then in Enchantée, it was set in Versailles at the time of Marie Antoinette who was well known for her extravagance. Both of these settings were increased with magic and made people wonder what was real and what wasn’t.
- Characters who lead double lives – I can’t go into detail at all with this one – HELLO! SPOILERS! – but I will say that in each one of these books we have a character that isn’t who they seem. Both of these characters seem one way and genuine. Then, it seems without warning, that you realize they have this entirely different life that is completely different from who they originally seemed to be. But this goes a step further in Enchantée with Camille being poor and disguising herself to be a Baroness to get into the palace.
- Magical dresses – This seems an oddly specific detail, but it’s true none the less! Both of these books have magical dresses! In Caraval, Scarlett has a dress that changes for the occasion and also with her mood. In Enchantée, Camille uses her magic to complete an entire glamour and become a new person. Both of these dresses have the downfall of being able to change at a moments notice, but only for one is this a serious issue!
- Sisters fighting for their siblings – Another specific but true element that these books have in common. In Caraval, Scarlett is playing the game and needs to win to save her sister. In Enchantée, Camille is using her magic to get money to pay the rent and buy food. Her sister is recovering for an illness and her brother is a useless human so she needs to find a way to save them both before they’re out on the streets.
Both of these books were such a magical adventure! They take place in beautiful settings that are extreme, extravagant, gorgeous, and magical. They both have fantastical elements and make you question what’s real and what’s magic. Both of these books are full of characters with secrets and you need to read them to find out more! If you liked Caraval then I know you’re going to love Enchantée!
Until next time, happy reading!