Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
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: This book was my most-anticipated release of 2015, but I was still nervous about it because the Simon Snow parts of Fangirl seemed so over-the-top ridiculous.
It turns out that Carry On is ridiculous, but it’s ridiculous in the most epic way possible. Seriously, this book is over 500 pages, and I blew through it in two days because I loved it so much. I want to talk about everything in this review, but I can’t because of spoilers. (And the review would be ten pages long.)
So, Carry On is the final book in the “fictional” Simon Snow series from Fangirl. Simon is a wizard in his last year of magic school, and he has a lot of problems. He’s struggling in his classes, being ignored by his mentor, arguing with his girlfriend, and being harassed by his evil vampire roommate, Baz. To make things worse, Simon is the Chosen One who is supposed to save the magical world.
This book is a standalone, so you can read it without reading Fangirl. However, if you haven’t read Harry Potter, you might miss a lot of the humor. This book feels like a Harry Potter parody. That’s why I love it so much. I’m a fan of anything related to Harry Potter, even parodies.
Rainbow Rowell does amazing things with fantasy tropes. This book really lets you see how ridiculous and overused some of them are. Rainbow Rowell flips the tropes on their heads. Simon is an incompetent Chosen One. Baz is a loveable villain. The magic system is silly. The witches and wizards drive cars, own laptops, accidently forget their wands at home, rely on Google to solve their problems, and talk like modern teenagers. This book is full of literal laugh-out-loud moments. Like all of Rainbow Rowell’s books, the dialogue and characters are on-point.
Other than Simon and Baz, my favorite character is Agatha. I like that she doesn’t want to be Simon’s sidekick or his happily ever after. She knows herself, and she knows what she wants in life. I also really like Baz. This story is told from multiple points-of-view, and his was my favorite. He’s hilariously sarcastic.
There is a love story in this novel. I’m not the biggest fan of romance in books, but this one didn’t bother me. The book has enough politics and mystery to keep the love story from being the only focus of the plot. I also care about the characters enough that I didn’t mind seeing them fall in love.
I can’t find too much to criticize. If this book doesn’t mesh with your sense of humor, you might have a hard time “getting” it. I wish the ending had been a little clearer. I wanted more explanation about a few things. Also, some of the first-person POV voices sounded very similar, so I sometimes had to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to remember whose POV I was in. None of those issues are big problems for me. I enjoyed this book.
If you’re a fan of Rainbow Rowell, fantasy fiction, or Harry Potter, you need to read Carry On.