Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: Carry On

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Length: 522 pages
Source: Library Audio Book

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.



Protagonists: This book is told from the first person perspective of a lot of characters, but in actuality there are four main characters. Simon, the worst Chosen One ever, he's flawed and cracked and I mean that in more ways than one. Simon is a mage who cannot control his magic, sometimes he'll just "go off" causing a large quantity of magic to explode from him, she's also a very flawed character, he doesn't always make the right choices, even when they seem the most logical. Then there's Penny, Simon's best friend and sidekick of sorts, Penny is smart, kind, and fiercely loyal to Simon. She's a character that needs everything to make logical sense and is usually the one to put things together. Then there's Baz, Simon's roommate and mortal enemy. Baz isn't evil, not really, he's more influenced by the politics of his family. Finally there's Agatha, Simon's girlfriend at the beginning of the book. Agatha just wants to live her life, she never asked to be put in the middle of a crazy adventure like she is and shies away from the spotlight whenever possible. Over the course of the book these characters grow and evolve, sometimes changing and sometimes becoming more rooted in their personalities.

Romance: There was a lot less romance in this book than I expected there to be. This book starts off with Simon and Agatha dating though it's obvious that both their hearts aren't in it and that they're together more because they feel like they should be rather than they actually want to be. Later in the story there's a romance between Simon and Baz which, in my opinion, was not only handled carefully but very well. It's a bit of a 180 when it happens so everything from that point needed to be handled just so, to prevent it from feeling forced or rushed. Even though the romance doesn't take center stage here like I thought it would it was still a fantastic part of the story.

World-Building: This is a weird book. By that I mean, and this is going to sound confusing, it's the author's take on a fictional world that she created for another one of her fiction books, where the world that she's using for this book was supposed to mirror the success of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Because of that I'm not going to go into a big thing defending this book and pointing out the ways that it isn't like Harry Potter. This world does feel in many ways like Harry Potter, but there's a bit of a spin on everything. The magic system is very odd though done really well. Instead of Latin spells or English rhymes, spells in this world are based on cliches, nursery rhymes, or any other quotation or saying with meaning to our current society. Then there's the take on the classic Chosen One story, I love how the author twists a classic trope such as a Chosen One and brings in to new and unique heights which still delivering a phenomenal and entertaining read.

Predictability: So in all honesty, there weren't that many things that I couldn't predict about this book. First off most of them were because I'd read Fangirl and apparently Rainbow Rowell didn't want to delve too far out of the world she created for that book, leaving some things that I felt were supposed to be fairly big twists easily predictable thanks to that information. There were a few things that caught me off guard, things that I wasn't sure how they would be solved of if they even needed to be solved. These are the things that surprised me as I was reading this book.

Ending: So there is an epilogue in this book, one that lets the reader know what happened to out four main protagonists after the final confrontation. There was quite a lot more than I expected that went on during the epilogue and even though most everything was wrapped up and the reader had all the answers, there were still things that the characters didn't know things that I felt would have brought just a bit more closure to the story and might not have left me with this ache for more stories from this world.


So I had VERY high expectations for this book, one of the reason's I haven't been reading and reviewing all that much lately was because I was waiting to get this book from my library and I had little interest to read anything but this. That being said this book didn't really disappoint and I can't wait to read more from this author and I hope she'll write another fantasy book soon.


1 comment:

  1. This book is basically.. fan fiction squared? I love it so much. I do think you should read Fangirl first though. I noticed a few similarities between stuff that happened to Cath in that book and stuff that happened to the characters in this one. ie. that mole that Simon has that Baz has wanted to kiss since he was 12.

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