4 stars · Fantasy · young adult

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Carry On

author : rainbow rowell

pages : [hardcover] 522

memorable quote :

Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.

favorite character : baz

summary :

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.

review :

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite books of all time. In that novel, main character Cath is working frantically to finish her well-followed and -loved fanfiction,Carry On. We get to hear bits and pieces about the book while Cath writes it, and we begin to learn about that world of wizardry where Cath believes Simon and Baz are meant to be together. When I heard that Rowell was actually going to write out Cath’s fanfiction and turn it into an entire book on its own, I was SO EXCITED. As soon as it came out, I ordered it online.

I’ve been considering Carry On an extension of Fangirl, not so much a book to stand on its own. That’s because it reads like the final book of a series about a fantasy world of wizardry (y’know, like that other well-loved magical series) that you unfortunately can’t read the first six books to. It’s fun, piecing together the adventures Simon has gone on and the villains he’s faced without getting to actually read them myself. It’s a puzzle where you’re still missing a few of the pieces at the end but you have enough of the whole picture for your imagination to fill in the rest.

Simon was a fun character for me because he seemed to just bumble along, without really knowing how he was going to save the world or control his own magic, and I loved Baz even more because he was the one to call Simon out on this. Of course, Simon’s other friends seem to realize that he’s clueless, but he’s managed to survive this far so they aren’ttoo concerned that he’ll end up getting himself killed by doing something stupid. Except Simon and Baz know they’ll face each other, in the battle to end all battles, and only one of them will come out alive. Sounds about right for star-crossed lovers who don’t realize that they’re obviously meant to be together.

This book was just a lot of fun, in spite of some darker moments dispersed throughout the novel. Piecing together the story was fun. Seeing how the characters came together or fell apart. The evil villain, the unexpectedly evil . . . The mushy scenes. It’s a really fast read that doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t spend much time on world-building, which is unheard of in fantasy. I liked it, because it gave me so much room to imagine the possibilities of Simon and Baz’s world (and relationship). I think this will also help people who are intimidated by fantasy to get into the genre.

I’m going to be recommending this book a lot, though I think that Fangirl should be read first because it’ll really help readers to have an appreciation for the characters. Cath sure did manage to make me fall in love with them.

4/5 stars


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