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.

My Thoughts

I was oh, so very excited to read this book!! And I was so not disappointed. The story of Simon Snow comes straight from the story of Fangirl (my review can be found here). Fangirl introduces us to these lovable characters in the periphery. Carry On gives us a rich, fulfilling story full of wonder, magick, and kissing. Oh, and, of course, monsters.

We enter this world near the end of the Big Plot. There’s a lot to catch up on. And yet, it doesn’t feel like information overload. We’re given a lot of the background and history in flashbacks – which is a great way of doing it. Flashbacks allow for the plot to move on at a great pace, without awkward pausing or stunting, while giving the reader the information necessary to move on. It also helps that the narration is from multiple first person points of view. I loved that. I loved seeing the same scenario, or a similar flashback, from different perspectives. We get all the information we need in a timely manner. Of course, not everything is laid out on a silver platter – there are a few mysteries to solve, after all.

This world, these characters, are so absolutely rich. They’re thriving. The magick wraps itself around you, envelops you, and transports you straight into the heart of Watford and the World of Mages – its power struggles, its wars, and its battle against the Insidious Humdrum are all encompassing. Even as I go over my notes and write this, I still feel like I’m right there, living it, breathing it, experiencing it. I haven’t felt that in a book for a while – it’s a really good feeling.

The banter and bickering between Baz and Simon will always get to me – they’re hilarious, and wonderful. Baz drips sarcasm as Simon drips raw sincerity. They snipe, they snip, they snark, and they sass. They make a very interesting pair – and, apparently, and exceedingly handsome pair, at that. It is oh, so very Simon to realize seven bloody years later that he’s just as hopelessly in love with Baz as Baz is with him. As Baz would say, by Crowley, he’s thick. (I love them so much – I can’t help it.)

The way things start fall into place – the way the mysteries unravel has you sitting on the edge of your seat. I think I stopped breathing at one point (I didn’t realize it until I had to gasp and had no breath to do it with). It’s all so subtle, and yet beautifully woven to be convoluted. All the hints, all the clues, they’re right there in front of your face – and you miss them by a mile. Until you realize too late that it was all there all along! Amazing.

Carry On is the whole package – mystery, adventure, romance, and a little bit of heartbreak and sorrow. It’s very well balanced, and presented exceptionally well. The story of Simon Snow, the worst Chosen One ever, according to Baz, is a great story – one I will be reading over, and over again.


~ by Aubrey Smith on December 21, 2016.

2 Responses to “Carry On – Rainbow Rowell”

  1. I have this sitting on my floor from *last* Christmas and swear I will get to it soon! And every so often I would wonder if you had read it yet. Now I know! And I know what you think of it! And that makes me look forward to reading it even more.

    Is it odd, reading a novel that was fanfic inside another novel?

    • It doesn’t read as fanfic, explicitly, but I felt like Cath’s voice may have come through a little bit in the prose. It was a different reading experience. Peculiar and odd, maybe, but very fun. Because have snippets of this world, these characters, and the general overarching plot – so we’re not coming in blind, but we’re definitely starting at the end, if that makes sense. It was an interesting experience! It’s not a style I’d like to see done over and over again, but it really worked well here.

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