My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: St-Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, LGBT, Boarding School, Friendship, Romance, Destiny, Vampires
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.
I demand a sequel.
The fun can’t just end. The story must continue. Simon and Baz shall date and get married and have kids and… and… !
Alright, let’s not be too clamorous about this. What we have here is a fantasy. Or rather, my fantasy. But really, who never dreamed of sharing a room with a mysterious and handsome boy who constantly gets on your nerves but who’s secretly head over heels for you?
Simon has that. But… he’s clueless. And Baz sure won’t say anything about his feelings for him because 1. He’s the villain, 2. Baz and Simon’s destinies are to kill each other and 3. Simon’s not gay.
But then something happens, obliging them to make a pact interdicting them to slice each other’s heads off. And now they’re together… In the same places… And they…
Don’t know what they’re doing. It’s so much fun.
And you know what’s surprising? There’s actually a plot. Yes, you heard me: a plot not only there to fill gaps, but one that really helps to understand the characters and gives dept to the story, surprisingly.
When I first started it, I kept comparing it to Harry Potter. Honestly, it’s impossible not to. The only thing is, the book knows it’s a fanfiction story and it feels that way, meaning the writing is casual… very contemporary-like and, even if the majority of the characters take themselves seriously, the reader can’t help but see humour everywhere.
It’s in the spells, which are really just a bunch of idioms and song lyrics.
It’s in the magic: wings that sprout out of someone’s back, teleportation, flying… it’s all for the reader’s entertainment.
It’s in the world-building: wizards turned into vampires, numphies who kidnap people for ransom, an heir who can’t keep his magic in control… anything you can imagine.
And I liked that. I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell didn’t hold back from creating whatever scenes she wanted because she feared they would be too silly. It’s silly, but it’s a good and, strangely, convincing type of silly.
I didn’t want to stop reading it. It puts the reader in such a wonderful mood and let me tell you that, even if the romance takes time to appear, when it does, it’s hard not to notice it.
As in, you will LOVE Simon & Baz.
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I have a confession… I’ve never read a Rainbow Rowell novel 😳 I should probably change this… Suggestion for which one to start with?
Fangirl! Definitely Fangirl! That’s what I started with, too. Then I read Kindred Spirits (short story), Eleanor & Park and finally Carry On. It just makes more sense if you read Fangirl before Carry On 😀
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This was actually my first Rainbow Rowell book and even without having fallen in love with the Snowbaz OTP in Fangirl, I absolutely ADORED them in Carry On. So much love. And yes. I agree. I want MORE Snowbaz.
I love silly! I picked this book up and got a few chapters in before I realized I should read Fangirl first, which I need to do ASAP!
She is a good author, glad you loved this so much!
One of these days I’m going to try Rowell
Is this really HP fanfiction? I know a lot of people adore this book, but I didn’t know that. I haven’t read Harry Potter.
Not quite, though sometimes it’ll feel that way 🙂
I totally LOVED this book as well! The magic spells were my (second) favorite. They were so fun to read about. xD Of course, the Simon and Baz scenes were my first favorites because, well, IT’S SIMON AND BAZ.
Great review, Lola!
So glad you liked this book!! It was such a treat to read. And yeah! It does read like fanfiction which is the best part
Simon and Baz were the reasons why I loved Fangirl so much, so I can NOT wait to read Carry On. I have no clue why I haven’t already. Your review has me so excited though! Just the thought of all the light-heartedness that Rainbow does so well mixed with the humor, I’m definitely picking this up one of these days!
I read Eleanor & Park recently and now I’m keen to read this one too!
I wasn’t a fan of the exceprt in her other book so I confess that I’m not sure about this one…
Great review! I was thinking initially (when this book came out) that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. But I have seen so many amazing reviews so I need to rethink that position.
I wound up loving this one too. I wasn’t sure when I started but it was great. I haven’t actually read HP so I couldn’t even compare. Great review!
I’m glad you enjoyed this! It’s one of my favourite books. *nods* I mean, I think it was always going to be a bit weird for me, since I’d read and created a world for those characters before Carry On was even announced. But I love its slight silliness, and I also love that it deals with serious themes at the same time…? Like, the weight of fate and family and stuff.
I honestly cannot believe I still haven’t picked this one up! I adored Fangirl and well, like you I SHIP Simon and Baz and NEED to know their story! Awesome review^^ you just excited me for this one even more (which I didn’t think was possible) LOL!
The Carry On chapters in Fangirl threw me off so I was hesitant to start this one. You just convinced me to give it a shot. I’m glad you liked it!
I have Carry On and I really need to finally read it. I’m so excited for this story. I’m glad Rowell was able to just have fun with this and not worry about the fact that it’s essentially re-written fan fiction. I love it!
This sounds like the perfect book for me! I definitely need to get my hands on this book, as soon as possible!
I need to read Fangirl soon, and then if I love it this will be right after it. Great review, totally sold me!
When I first read Fangirl, I skipped all the fanfiction, but this makes me not only want to read Carry On (which has been in my TBR pile since it’s release) but to go back and re-read Fangirl’s fanfiction.