Book Reviews · Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published October 13, 2015 by Pan Macmillan
RRP AUD $16.99
★★★★★

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

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May contain spoilers, although if you’ve read Fangirl, it won’t really be a spoiler.

Oh my god. Rainbow Rowell is actually a book writing goddess; I love every single book she writes. If you haven’t read any books by her I highly recommend that you do! There are other people who find her writing style different, but I find it lovely and truly enjoy it.

I loved Fangirl a lot, and I really enjoyed the fanfiction excerpts, so I was super excited to dive into the world of Simon Snow! But due to an ever-growing TBR I only got around to reading it when I saw it in an airport bookstore and couldn’t resist! I read the whole thing in one sitting. I loved the spells, and the simplicity of them made things so much funnier. You know how some books kind of give off the feel that the author tried to include diversity just because? Carry On had none of that. Everything written felt right and I was so happy reading it.

In Rainbow’s other book, Fangirl, Carry On, Simon is a fanfiction written by the main character. This book is Rainbow’s take on the story, and while it has serious Harry Potter vibes, she managed to borrow the concept and made it her own, it feels like something completely different! I loved every moment of it. Rainbow didn’t really go into details with the world building or setting up an elaborate backstory, but rather chose to focus on the characters and their stories.

The characters Rainbow creates are so wonderfully developed and each has their own unique voice, so I hardly ever got confused with the multiple PoVs. I did get confused by the Lucy chapters, since it didn’t really make sense to me until everything clicked in the end and I was like OHHH. All of the characters had their own purpose, which I really enjoyed.

Simon Snow is a wonderful protagonist! He was obsessive without being annoying and emotional without being cringey. I enjoyed his relationships with all of the other characters and I felt the sincerity he has for others. It was endearing how persistent he was when Baz was concerned, especially with his theory that Baz was a vampire, haha. Omg but Baz though. I loved how we got a good grasp on his character before he even made an appearance in chapter 29. Baz is everything and more. It was refreshing to see how open and accepting he was with himself!

Simon and Baz are adorable and must be protected at all costs!! I was so invested in their relationship and was so happy when they finally revealed their feelings and accepted the change in relationship. Simon was so funny though, I loved how cool and unconcerned he was about everything! I felt so many FEELS. I would gladly read another 60 chapters of them just doing everyday things, I love them that much.

Penelope is amazing! She’s smart, witty and brave, kind of like Hermione and Ron mashed up into one diverse character. She’s one of my favourites, second only to Baz himself.

The only real flaw I found was that I was a little confused for the first couple of chapters, but I quickly picked it up from there, so no real biggie. I don’t really think you’d need to read Fangirl before reading Carry On, but it would help introduce you to the world.

TL;DR: Carry On is amazing and beautiful and brilliant and heart-warming, and should be recommended to everyone.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORRainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On.).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

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