New Adult, Contemporary, Angst, Romance
Kindle Edition, ARC: 236 pages
Charlie should be packing her bags for college, but the life ahead of her isn’t one she’s certain she wants. Maybe that’s what led her to sleep with a perfect stranger at the county fair. Finding out he was a carnie was like winning the bonus round of the world’s worst game.
Blue grew up in the carnival, never staying anywhere long enough to call home. He never thought of himself as the type to seduce a local, let alone fall in love with one, but his impulsiveness got the better of him this time. He should go where the carnival takes him, but for the first time he’s not sure if he wants to follow.
When he makes the decision to stick around, Charlie eagerly follows him down the rabbit hole; into a world with no regard for consequences or regret. Most of all, he shows her that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling they can create and share. For a price. Because the higher the roller coaster goes, the faster it all comes crashing down.
Carnival is recommended for ages 17+ for language, thematic elements and strong sexual content (Goodreads)
The blurb for Carnival made it sound very good, and coupled with a gorgeous cover, I thought I was gonna love it. And I did in the beginning. I liked the attitude Charlie had, she seemed to have a unique voice to her. And she wasn’t a virgin! And she meets a hot carnie named Blue.
They hook up later on in the night, and it’s quite a steamy scene which was nice! I really liked Blue. He seemed like he could be quite the character. Ultimately I was a bit disappointed by him overall, he was very underwhelming. I expected a bit more about his history to be revealed, I wanted to know more about his life as a carnie, and what trouble he had to go through by living such a life. Instead we’re barely told anything about him. Charlie and Blue just exist together.
I really liked Blue in the beginning, he seemed really interesting, and he genuinely had feelings for Charlie, wanted to leave his life at the carnival behind to start a normal life. Which was great! And I wished it had stayed that way. But there’s some convoluted plot about Blue’s former life in the carnival that just didn’t make much sense to me. Towards the end some stuff happens that just seems out of the blue. I’m sitting there glaring at my kindle, quite confused as to what is going on, and who these people are in the story.
The more I read the more angry I got at this book, the characters and the decisions they were making were really something… Especially the drug use. I almost stopped reading right then and there. It was very off-putting that Charlie had no problems taking Molly, and pretty much got addicted to it. It made my stomach drop, not a pleasant feeling. She went from this sweet girl with a bit of an attitude to someone that did quite a lot of drugs. She never even seemed the type to do them! Then suddenly when she sees Blue high as a kite she’s decides she wants to do them.
There’s a plot twist in the middle of the book that just came out of no where! I side-eyed my Kindle because it was so bizarre. And to make matters worse I felt no emotion in the scenes that followed, especially from Charlie! For some random reason she decided to take a Xanax to cope with the pain.
The last half of the book was really confusing, Blue’s past catches up to him, but it didn’t make much sense to me. Some guy is suddenly kidnapping and trying to kill Blue and Charlie, we’re given a reason but it doesn’t all flow together. That’s the best way I can describe it. Not everything flows very well, the action and stuff that happens in this part of the story is just confusing, and disjointed.
The last 10% or so of the book we get a sudden POV change, switching between Charlie and Blue. The writing style changes too, and it was very jarring because it didn’t flow with the rest of the book.
Overall I’m very disappointed with this book, it was quite a mess. It started out good, but just went downhill so fast! Character constancy issues as well as the choices they made just made this book not likable for me.
Overall I give it 2 little octopuses