Book Review – Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

A whole new world inspired by ‘Fangirl’ that is magical and swoon-worthy.

Carry On Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Fantasy, GLBT

No. of pages: 522

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. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I’ve read ‘Fangirl,’ but I have to say, I enjoyed ‘Carry On’ better.

The first thing to note – this is not Cath from ‘Fangirls’ fanfiction, nor is it the original written by Gemma T Leslie from that universe; this is a completely new take on our two male leads, Simon and Baz pipelined straight form Rainbow Rowell’s brain to you. So don’t expect to see any of the text from ‘Fangirl’ in this book – it is its own creature. Additionally, I’ve not read any of the Harry Potter books (better get on to that) from which the world of Simon and Baz is loosely based, and that did not detract from any enjoyment of this book. So you don’t need to have read either ‘Fangirl’ or any of the Harry Potter novels to understand ‘Carry On,’ it’s a marvellous little stand alone.

I deducted half a mark solely for the pacing – especially in the first half. It felt like it was dragging and I put the book down several times, tempted to read something else for a break. Also, even though the ending was great, magical and fantastic, it wasn’t epic. Other fantasy or glbt books have had a more dramatic ending suiting to an angsty protagonist. ‘Carry On’ fell a little flat for me.

But on the whole, I loved it!

Carry On Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleSimon is a bit of a whiney character, but grounded and all of these points, surprisingly, make him endearing.

Baz is completely misunderstood, and it was valuable to get his POV to gain some insight into the developing plot.

There is a lot of head jumping in ‘Carry On,’ Penelope, Lucy, Simon, Agatha, Baz, The Mage, Ebb, Nicodemus, which I found a little distracting, but it also broke up the narrative into delicious bite sized bits and provided a welcome break to what would have been a very long and boring explanation had it remained as Simon’s POV. It added to the pace and really drove story forward, especially in the last half of the book.

The love/hate relationship between Simon and Baz has its twist and turns, and while I fangirled over the pairing, a key turning point did not have the weight and reaction from Simon as I would have liked – but that is me – I love to revel in the angst. And while there is plenty of that in ‘Carry On,’ I always have an appetite for more.

Some of the more comical moments are presented expertly and got a chuckle out of me frequently – as did some of the characters names – it was very Potteresque.

There is a certain amount of predictability as with most fantasy, but there are many fun surprises as well. This is a big departure from the usual contemporary for Rainbow Rowell, and I have to say, she should write more fantasy – this was thoroughly enjoyable! Highly recommending this one to all my friends and family.

Overall reaction: Gave me all the feels.

Carry On Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Carry On Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle


© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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