Release Date: 8th October 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Fanfiction
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour 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 room-mate 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 savour 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.
I’ve already said the Rainbow Rowell can do no wrong in my eyes, even when she does, but now I’ve read Carry On and I want to regale you all with my love for her. I loved her after reading Fangirl… and then I didn’t like one of her books as much as everyone else did, then I doubted her (before she brought it back with the last third of the book) when I was reading another of her books
You Don’t Have to Have Read Fangirl… But It Might Help
One thing I have to say about this book is I don’t think I would have been as eager to keep reading if I hadn’t already read Fangirl and developed some kind of investment in the Simon/Baz ship already because it’s a bit of a slow start. It takes a while for Baz to even show up in the book, and he was always going to be one of my favourite parts of this book. I think, if you hadn’t read Fangirl you might have given up on reading because not all that much happens to begin with. You’re introduced to the characters and the basic premise of the Simon Snow story, and whilst the background is important, it drags when your other main character is missing (quite literally).
It’s not even like I felt the story dragged to begin with, it’s more it takes a while for the main storyline to being clear, and I loved the initial intro and character introduction and general world building, because Rainbow Rowell writes so masterfully that it’s hard to get bored with her, but I could see how people may have gotten a bit impatient. As such, I do think it would have helped if you’d read Fangirl and the small snippets of the characters you get because then you’re already invested.
Simon+Baz 5eva <3<3<3
Okay, so we’ve established I loved Simon and Baz in Fangirl, in their little scenes scattered throughout that book, and found myself becoming inexplicably invested in this relationship. I was thrilled with the announcement of Carry On and adored all their interactions throughout this entire book. I ship Simon Snow and Tyrranus Basilton Grimm Pitch so hard it’s not even funny. They are the perfect love hate couple and this entire book was about them and I wish it had never ended.
I admit, I wanted to punch Simon Snow in the face a little bit from time to time, he is one of those characters which you like and are continually annoyed with at the same time, a bit like you are with Harry Potter (or at least I was) and I liked that, but the stand out character for me in this relationship was Baz. I am completely in loved with Tyrranus Basilton Grimm Pitch and all he was. He was a poor misunderstood character to begin with, but as soon as we got to see things from his perspective I fell hard because he was completely fantastic. I will mention this more in another section, but all those wanting to draw parallels between him and Draco Malfoy, you shut your dirty mouths right now, they are nothing alike personality wise.
Carry On Isn’t Harry Potter Fanfic, Stop Saying It Is
Look, we all know that Simon Snow in Fangirl was very loosely based upon Harry potter and the immense fandom that those books had. Probably for various reasons we couldn’t actually have Cath being a Potterhead, but that’s where the roots of Simon Snow are. That being said, that does not make Carry On Harry Potter fanfiction. I am annoyed that people are mentioning that. Carry On is a book all of it’s own, despite where it’s roots may lie.
Look, I can draw up all the similarities between the two worlds right along with you. I get it, they are crazy similar, but you can’t think about it like that, because they are also completely different. The characters share similarities but they are different, Baz has way more backbone and personality than Draco was ever given in Harry Potter, Simon Snow isn’t quite as funny as Harry was in his self-righteous indignation and deadpan delivery of lines. Snow also lets his self doubts rule him in a lot of ways, but he is also willing to see those he previously distrusted in a new light, unlike Harry. And Penelope was not Hermione, and I am fed up of seeing fanart of Penelope as a Weasley coloured white girl when she is very blatantly of Indian heritage, as shown by the name thing when Simon and Penelope first met.
But enough with complaining about that.
I Loved This Book And You Might Too
Look, this was never going to be my most coherent of reviews because I loved this book too much to put into words how much I adored it. This book was everything I wanted, but nothing like I expected. I’d been excited about it for a year. A year! That’s an awful long time to be anticipating a bookish release and too often that leads to you building it up to impossible heights in your mind. I may have done that with this book, but it doesn’t even matter because Rainbow Rowell smashed it out of the park with this book.
The writing is beautiful, the characters are fantastic and the story is solid and enjoyable. This book was absolutely perfect and I wish there were more books written as beautifully as this one. It demonstrates why Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors and she needs to publish more books.
Now don’t mind me, I want to dive head first into the world of fanfiction… or start rereading this immediately. Have you read Carry On, what did you think? Was it a Harry Potter rip-off or is it a fantastic book all of it’s own?