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One thing I have enjoyed doing for as long as I can remember is reading.  I remember reading all the books in my house and my mom often struggled making sure I had plenty to read that was still appropriate for my age level. I remember starting to read James Herriot books in the second  grade.  I loved his books.  I think this is when I started loving series.  I could escape into a world and run away from  reality for awhile.  All the best books left me with a feeling of sadness when they came to end.  It was always so hard to step out of that world.

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I have a group of friends made up of four other moms, wives, and  amazing strong women.  We love to get together when we can after the kids are in bed and hang out and recharge.  Our hang outs were sporadic for a while as we tried to figure out our thing.  We did dinners, we did movies, but none of them were what we really wanted.  Those were all good things that we do still enjoy doing, but we also wanted more.  One day we met at the Starbucks at Barnes and Nobel and it was perfect.  We would get together, have coffee, chit-chat, browse new books, and then often ended our evening with ice cream at the nearby Cold Stones.

About a year ago one of evening out ended up being the same day  as a book signing.  We didn’t even realize this was happening.  We decided to take a look and during this process we got introduced to two new books.  One of those books was Caraval by Stephanie Garber (@stephanie_garber on insta).  She happened to be at the store supporting her friend who was the main attraction at this signing.  Her book was intriguing and so we took a chance on the book along with A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor (which will be a post for another time). This was the start of the Besties Book Club!

Caraval opens up with the line “It took seven years to get the letter right.” The rest of the page is blank and you turn the page to see the first letter Scarlett, a main protagonist,  to The Master Caraval Legend.  Seven letters in seven years without a response and it ends the first chapter with a letter back from Legend. From the very first sentence this book pulls you in.  Stephanie Garber writes an amazing story of magic and mystery and love.  She pulls you in fast and hard at the beginning and she keeps you wanting to read more (and missing out on some sleep).  It was a hard book to put down and I felt like I was missing apart of my heart when the book ended.  It ends with you wanting to know so much more about the sister’s Scarlett and Tella.  Who is Legend?  What did Tella get herself into? What is going to happen to Scarlett and Julian? I loved the magical world of Caraval.  The intrigue, the subtle clues, the emotions, they all grab at you and keep you glued to your book.  As a stay at home homeschooling mom I tired and busy and rarely have time for fun things.  I love reading, but often find myself too mentally worn out to read.  I need a book that is simple, yet complicated.  I need it to suck me in and remind me why I love to read.  I want to travel into a new world I want to forget about the unfolded laundry laying on the couch.  Caraval is that book and Stephanie Garber has such amazing talent at using words to bring to life such  wonderful characters that have so much personality. She had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath as I waited to see what was going to happen.  I cannot say enough good things about this book and I would highly recommend this to any and all friends even if they say this is not their normal genre.  Stephanie  is so talented and the story is so great that no matter what your preferred genre is you will enjoy this book.

I also would love to take a minute to talk about Stephanie Garber.   She was so kind and fun.  I know we only briefly met her, but she has such a genuine feeling about her.  I really felt like she loved meeting and getting to know her readers.  Two friends and I made it to her Legendary book signing(stay tuned for this post!) in the bay area and she actually remembered us (or she is also a great actress) and she gave off a feeling of genuine happiness at getting to see us again.  I think her personality is a huge reason we fell in love with her book.  Her book would be great no matter what, but meeting the fun and kind author to it just made it that much better.

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