Book Review: Carry On (Spoiler free)

Title: Carry On | Author: Rainbow Rowell | Edition: Paperback | Pages: 517

Language: English | Published: 2015 | Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books

Synopsis

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.


“I’d do it. I’d take him away – if I didn’t believe he was the only one who could make a difference here. If I stole Simon and kept him safe… I’m not sure there’d be a World of Mages to come back to.”

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Review

This book was one of the most hyped books of 2015, so of course I had to pick it up and see what was all about. I read Fangirl earlier this year and it took me a few months to open this one. I absolutely loved Fangirl and I will write a review about that one as well, but I never fully understood the small glimpses of Carry On throughout the book. That resulted in me not picking this book up the moment I finished Fangirl.

I really enjoy Rainbow Rowell’s writing, it’s easy to follow and you practically fly through her books. That being said, I never truly enjoyed Carry On. I knew it was inspired from the Harry Potter series and I loved that idea, but while I was reading I kept comparing the two, which resulted in me not enjoying the book as much as I wanted to.

Characters

Simon was an interesting character, very similar to Harry, though he was blonde and not black haired, and Baz was my favorite! He’s so honest with himself and that was really refreshing to see, in terms of feelings and sexuality. He seems to be inspired by Harry’s nemesis, Draco, but has black hair instead of blonde. I see what you did there, Rainbow! Switch-a-roo.

I actually liked these characters, they were incredibly interesting to follow and their conversations were always entertaining to read. Penny was an funny girl in the mix, she was very caring towards Simon, very smart and outspoken. Agatha on the other hand, I still haven’t figured out what she contributed to the story… so if you know it, or have a theory, please let me know in the comments.


“I feel 15 again, like I’m going to give in if he gets too close – kiss him or bite him. The only reason I got through that year was that I couldn’t decide which of those options would finally put me out of my misery.”

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Plot

The storyline was, of course, very similar to the Harry Potter series. Simon has an enemy, the Insidious Humdrum. An enemy who seemingly wants to destroy the magic world by creating holes in the atmosphere that drains the magic from everybody. But when Simon’s eighth year at Watford begins, his roommate (and nemesis) Baz doesn’t show up. Simon is determined to find out why, with or without his best friend’s help.

I liked the plot, it was very interesting to follow two different problems that needed to be solved. What struck me as odd, though, was that Simon had only met the Humdrum once and that was at the end of his seventh year at Watford. In Carry On they still had no idea who/what the Humdrum is/was and that puzzled me. It was supposed to be the eighth and final book of a series (according to the book Fangirl) so what on earth happened in the other seven books? It just didn’t add up to me, and it sounded like all the other books were really boring; chasing someone they’d never seen or knew about, someone that created holes in the atmosphere and nothing else.

I wish the storyline was developed better, because it didn’t feel like it was enough. I personally feel that it could’ve been so much better.


“Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”


Overall

I honestly wanted to love this book SO MUCH. I really loved the idea of a Harry Potter inspired fandom book, but somehow the ending fell flat for me and the storyline could’ve been more rich and better explained.  The enemy, the Insidious Humdrum, wasn’t evil enough or doing cruel things enough for me to believe that Simon really was the only one who could save them all. I honestly think the hype made my expectations for this book a little too high. But this book was filled to the brim with quotable lines! I loved Rainbow Rowell’s writing, just as much as I loved it in Fangirl. She really understand to make colorful and interesting characters, and I am really looking forward to read more of her books.

This book was entertaining to read, despite my feelings on the lack of deeper storyline, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fun and quirky read.

My rating:

3 out of 5 stars

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