Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Mini Hardback
Rating: 5 stars
Buy the Book: Waterstones, Amazon, The Book Depository
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.
It’s no secret that I absolutely love and adore Rainbow Rowell and all of her books. If you didn’t know that, where have you been for the last two years? So I have been eagerly anticipating Carry On ever since it was announced! Fangirl is my favourite book of all time and to hear that Simon and Baz were going to have their own book just made me ecstatic! I couldn’t believe that it was happening. To be honest, I still can’t believe that it happened.
Carry On is Rowell’s first stray away from contemporary as it is a YA Fantasy standalone. I must admit I was quite worried about this. Rainbow Rowell writes amazing contemporaries but writing fantasy is a completely different thing. However, in true Rowell style, she didn’t disappoint. Rainbow Rowell somehow managed to keep everything that we all love about her books yet develop it further and make it into a 500 page fantasy novel full of angst, romance and drama.
Rainbow Rowell’s biggest compliments are always about her characters. She always create realistic characters that you can root for. You can always see yourself in at least one of the characters or if you’re like me, you can see a bit of yourself in every character. Carry On was no exception. Simon and Baz were both so realistic and relatable. They completely contrast each other in all ways but yet they are still so amazing. All the side characters as well are absolutely fantastic(even the ones that are villianous!) such as Penelope, Agatha and the Mage. I cared about them all in some way or another. Rowell made it so that you loved them all in some ways because you were reading from all of their perspectives.
Carry On, for me, was a big squee fest as were all of Rowell’s other books. Her romances are always absolutely amazing and the romance between Simon and Baz was no exception! You couldn’t not ship them. They were so completely different yet so absolutely adorable together. I got irritated when they weren’t together because when Simon and Baz got together, they were unstoppable. I loved the fact that Rowell managed to write an LGBT novel that was so adorable and cute. Most of the previous LGBT books that I’ve read fell flat for me(maybe I’m reading the wrong ones!) but this was amazing. Also a YA LGBT fantasy novel? Basically unheard of! You will find yourself screaming JUST KISS at the book a lot!
“I am going to die kissing Simon Snow. Aleister Crowley, I’m living a charmed life.”
The world that Rowell has created is absolutely amazing. Whilst it was inspired by Harry Potter and it is affected a lot by Harry Potter, it still stands on its own. It has its own little quirks that make it cool. Specifically the way that magic works in their world. The spells are all popular songs/sayings/pop culture references. It’s bloody genius! I loved it so much because it made a YA Fantasy so fun and relatable which doesn’t happen often.
Her plot doesn’t fall short either despite the fact that she’s got a fantastic world and a brilliant cast of characters. I became so intrigued in the story and I kept flipping the pages to find out what was going to happen next. It kept getting deeper and deeper and whilst I did predict the ending slightly, I was still shocked throughout! The way it all worked out at the end was deep and intricately thought out. I really hope that she writes another fantasy novel because she’s amazing at writing them!
On top of all this, Rainbow Rowell still manages to write beautifully and poetically. The amount of quotes I’ve tabbed/highlighted is unreal. I’ve always loved her writing but this book had some of the most beautiful and amazing quotes ever!
“Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire.
He’s constantly drawing you in. And you’re constantly stepping too close. And you know it’s not good–that there is no good–that there’s absolutely nothing that can ever come of it.
But you do it anyway.
Well. Then you burn.”
So to conclude, Rainbow Rowell is a writing goddess. Her books are basically pure gold and I completely and utterly love them. Carry On is probably my second favourite of her novels now(nothing can quite beat Fangirl in my mind) and I highly recommend it! If you haven’t read any of Rowell’s work, what are you doing? YOU’RE MISSING OUT.