Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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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 Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world…


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

Rainbow Rowell, Carry On


About the Book

Carry On is a spinoff of sorts to Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl – though it can be read on its own. It is based around a teen named Simon Snow who was orphaned as a young child and turned out to be a wizard. The story picks up in Simon’s last year at Watford School of Magicks – a year where he’s still confused as to why he’s been labeled the “Chosen One.” He’s not very good at magick and he has always felt like a fraud. On top of that, there’s a great evil force out there who is after him and it has the world of magicks split. Add in his missing roommate and Simon knows that his final year at school is definitely going to be a rocky one.

Characters

I think most avid readers will agree that it’s nice to see some diversity in books – whether it be characters of different nationalities, characters of different body types, or characters with different sexual orientations. It’s always great to see an author who isn’t afraid to create a diverse cast of characters. Rainbow Rowell definitely does this in pretty much all aspects. We encounter LGBT+ relationships, different nationalities, and different body types – which is great considering the cast of this book is quite large.

Another thing about the characters in this book is how family oriented they are. They might not all be very fond of their families, but their families are definitely present regardless. It’s very relatable in a genre that can be hard to personally connect to in the sense of actions that are taken throughout the plot.

Overall Reaction and Rating

Going into this book, I didn’t know much about it. I’ve never read Fangirl (though it is high on my TBR now) so I had no clue about the connection of these two books. I’d been recommended Rainbow Rowell’s work over and over. So, I just picked a random one and jumped in blind. And at first, all I could see was the similarities to the Harry Potter series. I was pretty worried it was going to be a copycat til I stopped reading and did a little research into the plot of the book. After that, though, things panned out fine for me with this book. It’s definitely *not* a copycat of Harry Potter. The world is similar, but the story stands completely on its own.

I completely fell in love with this book. The characters are so well rounded and different. The plot takes a bit to pick up since the first quarter or so of the book works a lot on world building. However, hanging in there with it is very worth it. The plot picks up quickly with a couple of plot twists and it doesn’t slow down again. There are so many twists and turns that it’s hard to determine exactly how the ending will come out. The twist at the end will probably shock you a bit – but what reader doesn’t love a good shock? And the ending is very fulfilling. This book was so good, in my opinion, that I actually picked it up and read it a second time not long after finishing it the first time. It was hard not to. It’s truly a story to fall in love with. I picked this book up at the library, but definitely will be purchasing my own copy in the very near future.

Overall, I’ve given Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 5 out 5 stars.

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