review: carry on, rainbow rowell

Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic
Pub Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 522
Source: Purchased

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.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”

i really enjoyed the whole concept of carry on, and rainbow rowell managed to put a very unique twist on a magic-based story! i was excited to see how her first fantasy novel would turn out, and it certainly did not disappoint!

let’s start off with the characters. in this story, they were all very different, and that is one of the main things i loved about this book. other than the “chosen one,” there are no stereotypes (thank goodness!) and each character just seemed to fit into the story like a piece of a puzzle. and simon and baz didn’t become friends right off the bat, which is rare (at least in the books i read) and i actually really liked the fact that they began as enemies and gradually became friends. penelope and agatha, although very different people, still managed to play their part in helping simon fight off trouble. i think this all added to the story and made it even better than it already was. 

i’ll be completely honest, when i first started this book all i could do was think “this sounds an awful lot like harry potter…” and i found myself making connections between the two books. the school of magic, the “chosen one” et cetera. however, like i mentioned earlier, rainbow put a unique twist on this type of story. the type of magic in this book was different than anything i’d ever read and it definitely sparked my interests. there are also many points in the story where i was asking myself questions and trying to predict what was to come. like, are you ever reading a book, and suddenly you realize that this person is also that person, or suddenly everything just clicks into place in your mind, and you’re like, AHA! example: figuring out that tom riddle is voldemort. this is how i felt during carry on. personally, i love when authors do this because i like to make predictions and feel accomplished if my guesses are correct!

my only complaint about this book is the pacing. it was very slow at the beginning, and just a bit too fast at the end. i felt like there was extra writing placed into the beginning just taking up space. the pace gradually got better as the story moved on, but i’m just not one for slow starts. 

overall, i really enjoyed carry on! i’m excited to read more of rainbow rowell’s books in the future!


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