Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffins
Source: Bought It
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

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.
“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can't carry on at all.”
Wow! I don’t even know where to start with this book. This was definitely one of my most anticipated books (especially in terms of standalones and not continuing a series). I feel in love with the characters in Fangirl. I obviously loved Cath and Levi, but I also loved the bits we got of Simon and Baz. So a whole 500+ page book about Simon and Baz was super exciting.

I loved that this book starts during their last year at Watford where they have already faced many challenges and overcome them. Instead we get as much information as we need as the story goes instead of a crazy summary of the previous years. Rainbow Rowell did a fantastic job of weaving in the past experiences. I also loved the pace of this book. We got straight to the point without a bunch of world building and explanations.

As soon as I started the book, I already felt like I knew the world. I do not think this was because I was already introduced to the world in Fangirl, I think it was just written well enough to not have a learning curve. There are many similarities to HP but I think that is part of The Chosen One trope and the fan fiction meta aspect of this book. I really loved how Rainbow Rowell did her own thing with the Chosen One arc. She had her own ideas on how Simon and his friends would deal with the evil and how everything would turn out.

I will admit my one concern going into this book was the fact that this was a book about fanfiction of a fictional book from a different fictional book (and yes it is that complex). So I was worried it was going to be too much meta but I did not feel that way at all. There was really nothing relating to the original fanfiction from Fangirl other than character names.
I already want to reread this book and I really want to read Fangirl now. Both will probably happen by the end of the year so I can revisit these characters. This book is very different than Rainbow Rowell’s other contemporary books, but she did a great job with this fantasy story!

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