Monday, 16 November 2015

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published by: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 8th October 2015
Pages: 522
Genres: YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance/LGBT
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

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.

Confession time: I skipped the Simon Snow snippets in Fangirl. I didn't care about them. So, you might be wondering, why did I decide to read 522 pages of the stuff? My reason - in Fangirl, I felt like the Simon Snow chapters weren't needed and they took me away from the main story. But here, in its very own book, I was able to enjoy the world of Simon and Baz with no distractions and I gave it the full attention it deserved. And it was awesome.

Simon Snow, the character much loved by Cath in Rowell's previous book Fangirl, attends the Watford School of Magicks along with his best friend Penny and his evil, blood-sucking roommate Baz. Terrorising them all is the Humdrum, Watford's answer to Voldemort. And he looks exactly like Simon, but as he looked at eleven years old. Meanwhile, Simon and Baz grow increasingly obsessed with each other, and not in the way enemies should...

I love Simon and Baz SO MUCH. I've never quite forgiven J.K. Rowling for not putting Harry and Draco together (Drarry FTW) so this book was the next best thing. Seriously, Simon and Baz's relationship is so cute, even when they're trying to kill each other. And I want my own Baz. Where can I get one?

As for the writing, it was massively different to Rowell's other books and it didn't have her 'voice'. That's not a bad thing, though - Carry On is still a very, very good book. It's a completely different genre, so it was never going to be written in the same vein as Rowell's other books; this is a magical, fantastical, satirical work of awesome set in Watford, after all. Rowell is talented in writing contemporary fiction, and I think Carry On has shown she's even more talented when it comes to fantasy. A few people have said they felt it was slow and difficult to get into, but I was gripped from the beginning - which surprised me, after seeing what everyone else had said.

Carry On is a book that doesn't quite take itself seriously, and I love that; it just worked. I spent pretty much an entire day and night reading it, and I've properly missed it since turning the last page! I love all of Rowell's books but this is actually the first one I've given a full five-star rating. Funny, clever and a book that hits the nail on the head when it comes to British culture, Carry On is downright brilliant. All hail Queen Rainbow.


  1. I'm glad you said you skipped the Simon Snow chapters in Fangirl, because I did too and it's for that reason that I haven't even considered this! I might give it a go now x

    1. Yay! I really hope you enjoy it. It's my favourite book of Rainbow's :)

  2. I loved this as much as you did - it was Rainbow's own homage to Harry Potter and a great story in its own right

  3. libraryofmemories19 November 2015 at 23:36

    so do you mean Simon and Baz are gay?

    1. Yup. (It's not really a spoiler, you can see it coming from the very beginning.)