Thursday, November 5, 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Wow. Firstly, I need to just say that I am so glad this book exists. I am a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. I have loved all her books. In 2013, two of her books were on my Top Ten list (with Fangirl as number 1). I loved Fangirl so much. It was all I could talk about for months. As soon as I heard that Carry On, the fanfiction written by Cath in Fangirl was becoming its own novel, I just about melted in happiness. Seriously, I have been anticipating this book for so long.
And then there’s the slight worry that comes with so much anticipation. You worry that it won’t possibly live up to all your expectations. But, hello, this is Rainbow Rowell. Of course it lived up to all my expectations. This was amazing.
While reading Fangirl, I wanted more Simon Snow. I wanted so desperately to see more of the story Cath was writing. And it’s like Rainbow Rowell read my mind and gave me exactly what I wanted.
I’ve never read anything quite like this. It’s the fanfiction of a fictional book series, written by a fictional character from a different book. Do you need to read Fangirl  to read this one? No. This works as its own book, for sure. But, would you appreciate it as much? Also, no. Read Fangirl first. I kind of want to re-read them both simultaneously…This may have to happen at some point.
And what’s so genius about this story is that it read like a juicy piece of fanfiction. The romance is sizzling! Yet, it also comes across as satire. It kind of pokes fun at all the “chosen one” type stories, particularly Harry Potter. And, it does it in a good way, that fans of Harry Potter will like and appreciate. And it has its own story. I loved the whole idea behind the Humdrum. I loved the ghost stories/visits. I loved the mystery behind why Simon is the way he is. And seriously, if I didn’t know what this book was and what it represented, I would still probably love it (satire or no), because it’s a great story, on its own.
The characters were just amazing. Rowell excels at writing character, and I’m so glad because I could easily see myself dismissing some of the side characters were it not for her mad skills. I adored Baz. I was in love with Simon. I couldn’t get enough Penelope. And I even liked Agatha, the type of character I normally hate. I found her so interesting. I also found the conflicts among the families and the mage to be so interesting too. I loved that so many people hated the mage (the Dumbledore character). It was certainly a new spin on a classic story.
This was one of those books that I worked hard to read slowly. I wanted to savor all of its greatness in a slow way. Though, this was super hard to do in the second half, once Baz shows up. I easily could have read more. I’d read the whole series if Rowell wrote it.
All in all, I was beyond impressed here. What a unique way to write an old (beloved) story. The characters were amazing. The romance was fantastic. The story was addictively good. I already want to re-read it. I give it a 10/10.

1 comment:

  1. I honestly CAN NOT WAIT to sink my teeth into this one! I LOVED Fangirl and like you I wanted more Simon Snow and Baz and their hijinx :D If anything, your review got me even more excited for this one^^ I'm happy that you loved this Nori! Lovely review! ♥