Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
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.
Carry On is the novelised story of snippets that appeared in Fangirl (The original text and Cath and Wren’s fanfiction). The need for this story to be told on it’s own was so drastic that Rainbow Rowell delivered it to us on a silver platter. Like Fangirl, I believe Carry On to be written specifically for us fanatic readers in that it’s what we wanted.
Simon is supposedly The Chosen One come to save the World of Mages from that which plans to tear it down. When I first met Simon, I didn’t get that ‘Chosen One’ vibe from him. In all honesty, I thought he was a bit…lacking, in the brain area. Of course we find out later that ‘Don’t think’ is his life’s motto so that pretty much explains his constant zombie state and lost puppy attitude.
I have to be honest, and this might be brutal but I need to get this of my chest. I didn’t like this book. If it were any other book, I would have either DNF’d it or skim read it the rest of the way but I didn’t. I’d been waiting ages for this book and my hope for Rainbow Rowell is so high, I trust that it’s nearly impossible for her writing to disappoint me. This was a close call. I was nearly 200 pages in when I actually started liking this book. In other words, Baz appeared. I didn’t like Simon much, I echoed most of Baz’s thoughts about him but he’s the main character, so I decided to cut him some slack. I didn’t like Agatha (the ex-girlfriend) from the minute I met her. Her thoughts were hilarious but…no one likes a snitch.
What really had me laughing out loud was:
“She’s got her hair pulled back in a giant frizzy ponytail that would probably be nice and wavy if she’d put any product in it at all. Anything. Hand lotion. Shaving cream”
About the Harry Potter thing…yes there were similarities and sure I pictured some of the characters that were kind of familiar, but would I say that this was Harry Potter fanfiction? No, I would not. Carry On brings it’s own story to the table and the second I stopped comparing it to Harry Potter, I stopped seeing the similarities. My 3.5 star rating for this book is for that remaining near-300 pages towards the end. It’s a good book, the many different POV’s took me aback but not much. Rainbow’s writing as always, was amazing.
The scenes leading up to the climax were great. Two things I wondered about turned out to be true, but I didn’t allow myself to think it and pretended to be surprised when they were revealed to be like I thought it. The actual climax was shocking because I was like: ‘Simon, what are you doing?’
What fascinated me about this book was the limit to magic. As in, it could actually run out. That got me thinking; where does the magic come from? Where does it go? Silly questions really that held no importance to the story being told.
So, of the other books I’ve read of Rainbow Rowell (
at this time, only Attachments is unread) this is my least favourite. I wasn’t disappointed though, so that’s a plus.
Read: 27 February 2016
Publication Date: 8 October 2015
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Rainbow Rowell