The Blog

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

p2040312

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.

Advertisements

Answers to Kyle Overstreet’s Author Questions

I have to confess something to you, followers. It’s pretty thrilling when you find out that someone deemed you worthy enough to feature you on their blog in any fashion. It’s exciting to know that people are taking notice of you. I don’t have a huge following, but I am grateful for each and every one of you. And I was so honored when I was featured in Kyle Overstreet’s 3rd edition of NaNo Hop Author Questions. I want to give a big thank you for the mention and ask you all to go check out that blog here.

Now, to the questions!

Yet another cool name. What is Tessy short for? Or is it a name of its own?

Tessy is actually my given name. Fun fact: Tessy means ‘late summer’ in Cherokee Native American – which is approximately a quarter of my nationality. It’s a name passed down from a great-great-grandmother.

Do you think people who have cool writerly names seem drawn to writing because their name is a perfect author’s name?

Very interesting question! I suppose it does draw some people with writerly names. However, I think writing is very much ingrained in many of us – whether our name deems so or not. For me, there really was no other option. I mean, sure, I picked out loads of other careers before finally settling on writing. Tried a few of them out even. But no matter what path I took, I always landed back at writing. It’s been clear for a while now that this is what I’m meant to do.

First of all, hey! You sent me a link to your experimental poetry. It didn’t work. Could you send it again? Or post it here. Either way.

Haha, I don’t think I’ve ever done experimental poetry in my life. Maybe you got me mixed up with someone else?? In any case, if you or anyone else would like to check out some of my poetry or other flash fiction, they can find it on my Late Summer’s Thoughts blog HERE.

Do you wear purple masks all the time?

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s this mask being referred to (my mention came from Instagram).

20161030_094233

It was my amazing butterfly Halloween mask. Unfortunately, no, don’t always wear them. In fact, this is the first time I’ve done anything for Halloween in several years now. So, it was pretty fun. It was meant to be a throwback to a Halloween I had as a child – about 18 years ago. But I could never find the photo of that Halloween XD

Sorry I don’t have more. Instagram is a hard one for me. I’m all, “So… you like to take pictures of people and things.. Yeah…”

That’s alright! It probably doesn’t help that I don’t have a ton on my Instagram. For those of you following me there, don’t worry – I’m getting better at it. I try to remind myself almost every day that I need to post something! In any case, for those of you interested, I will tell you a little more about me – hopefully things that aren’t in my author/blog bio.

I’m Tessy. And I’m a 20-something year old woman. And actually, yeah, I do like taking photos. Photography is a big hobby of mine. I considered taking it up as a career once – but I found I don’t like HAVING to take photos. It spoiled the fun for me. But I still love my cameras and I even collect vintage ones. They’re killer. As you all know, I write – a lot. I used to write a lot of flash fiction, but mostly focus on longer works and freelance ghostwriting for clients these days. I’ve started a lot of novels, but finally have a full finished draft of one thanks to NaNo 2016. And before I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be a number of things – doctor, defense attorney, journalist, editor, and even a private investigator (this was before I found out you’ve gotta go to school to be a P.I.??? I mean, come on – I’ve already got the skills. Who needs school?). I run a creative business. And hopefully in the new year, I’m going to start learning to crochet and also join BookTube. The latter is gonna be a big hurdle for me due to anxiety – as much as I love being behind the camera, being in front of one scares the living daylights out of me. But you know, you’ve gotta face your fears and all. So wish me luck on that one! So, um, I think that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.

Again, thanks so much for featuring me! It means so much.

And until next time followers, take care.
P.S. If you’d like to follow me on my other social media accounts and haven’t yet, I will leave links down below.

Twitter: @TessyDockery

Facebook: @Dockery.Tessy

Instagram: tessydockery

Pinterest: latesummer93

Google+: Tessy Dockery

Goodreads: Tessy Dockery

Christmas Book Recommendations for Little Ones

Every year around this time, I start picking out Christmas storybooks to read. I mostly do it because even as a woman in my 20s, I still enjoy the stories. I have an inner child that comes to life this time of year. However, I do it so that I can recommend them to my parent friends as well. This year, I decided to bring my recommendations to the web. The storybooks I’ve picked out this year will be most appropriate for younger children – probably between the ages 2 and 6 or 7. I know I’m getting these recommendations out quite late. So, if you can’t get to your local bookstore to pick these gems up for your children, I’ll be linking you to each one on Amazon. The Kindle versions are great – anywhere between $0 and $4. **Disclaimer: I am not an Amazon affiliate and am in no way being paid for these recommendations.

So, with that, let’s get to it:

27844229

The Little Blue Digger and the Christmas Tree by Harriet Tuppen & Branislav Gapic

This story is perfect for the little boy in your life. The characters are adorable construction equipment vehicles. It’s very reminiscent of Disney’s Cars. The illustrations are so nice – very colorful and the facial expressions drawn on the characters are just so lively. They will capture your child’s attention. And if that’s not enough, it’s got a great theme of friendship at Christmastime. Your child will learn that friendship is so important and should really be celebrated at Christmas. The Kindle version is just $2.99 and you can purchase it here.
32186396

Harry the Christmas Mouse by N.G.K. – Illustrated by Janelle Dimmett

This next sweet story is written in verse and is very reminiscent of The Night Before Christmas. It’s about a mouse who takes a stroll on Christmas Eve and finds a stranded Santa Claus. It has bright, beautiful illustrations that you’ll oo and ah over. This story is so full of friendship and the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not one you and your child will soon forget. And, it’s FREE on Kindle right now. You can snag it here.

23149244

Santa’s Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right Night Before Christmas by DK Simoneau & David Radman – Illustrated by Brad Cornelius

This story, by far, is my favorite out of the three. It is written in verse and is a new take on The Night Before Christmas. It is so quirky and will have you and your child laughing and wondering what will happen at the end of the wild adventure. The illustrations are vibrant and vivid. They will catch your attention and draw you further into the story. It is easily as memorable as The Night Before Christmas. It is the most expensive out of the 3 books – at $3.99 for the Kindle, but it is well worth the price. You can purchase it here.

 

I hope you’ll pick one of these up for your child. I believe the would enjoy each and every one of them. If you decide to get any of them, let me know how you liked them in the comments. And until next time, take care and happy holidays.

Review: Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

30253864

If you know me, you’ll know that I rarely read non-fiction. But I tend to have a soft spot for autobiographies written by famous people that I adore. It’s been years since I picked one up though. I think the last one was one written by Johnny Cash – and that was back in 2009. However, pretty soon after watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I found out that Lauren Graham had written an autobiography of sorts. And I think I adore Lauren even more than Johnny Cash – so, I knew I had to pick this book up.

First and foremost, if you are a Gilmore Girls fan, you will love this. Seriously, just go pick it up. You’ll adore it almost as much as the show. Lauren is so quirky and has a beautiful sense of humor that shines throughout this entire book. Each chapter mostly consists of anecdotes from points throughout her life. And in these chapters, you really get a sense of Lauren – but not just Lauren as Lauren. You get a sense of every character Lauren has played – especially Lorelai Gilmore. You can see how each and every role has shaped her throughout this entire book and it is beautiful.

I read a few reviews throughout my time reading this book and there are quite a few people who were disappointed. They are, of course, entitled to their opinions. I noticed that most of the low-rated reviews stemmed from disappointment from the original Gilmore Girls chapter. I will warn you – don’t go into this chapter expecting much. Lauren has stated in so many interviews since the show that she doesn’t remember much from season to season. She doesn’t have a ton of personal stories to share because it was all such a blur to her. And I think this is completely understandable with as much work went into filming Gilmore Girls. If you go into this book, I think you should go into it wanting to learn more about Lauren herself. She does give us a lot of insight into the Gilmore Girls life, but this book encompasses her life as a whole – growing up wanting to be an actress, her different roles on different shows and movies, her authoring Someday, Someday, Maybe and everything in between – as the title so aptly describes.

It’s been awhile since I flew through a book of any sort – but especially a non-fiction one. Lauren wrote this book so eloquently. I couldn’t help but hear her voice coming through while reading the entire book. I craved more as I read more. By the last 9 chapters, I couldn’t put the book down. The main thing I love is all the advice Lauren imparts to not only actors, but us creative types in general. There is so much to gain from Lauren Graham and she gives so much of it to us in this book. I recommend this book to anyone who is a Gilmore Girls fan, a Parenthood fan, or a Lauren Graham fan in general. I also recommend it to any and all creative types – whether you’re doing it for fun, trying to break into your creative profession, or are already established. Pick up this book. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

 

**Side note: The last chapter has lots of spoilers about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, do so – then pick up this beautiful book.

Review: Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr

26865508

Learning to Move On

Moving on when you feel so broken can be one of the hardest things a person can do. We have to learn from our mistakes and accept that we can be better people and move on to a better life. We learn to realize that sometimes things aren’t meant to be. This is the theme throughout Robyn Carr’s novella Midnight Confessions.

Plot

Sunny and Drew have both been through pretty rough breakups in the past year. Both intended on spending the rest of their lives with their partners and have been spending the past few months trying to figure out exactly where things went wrong. When they meet at the New Year’s Eve party in small town Virgin River, it seems like they would be a good fit. However, when Drew approaches Sunny, it’s clear that she’s not quite ready to move on from the man who left her at the altar exactly a year ago. Drew doesn’t give up so easily though. Smitten by Sunny, he works to get her to open up and try to take on a new outlook as the midnight hour approaches. A new life for a new year.

Characters

Sunny and Drew are so rounded and down to earth in this story. They have no problem admitting that they are flawed, but know that they each have something to offer in a relationship. On top of that, they are both so driven by their passions and are respectful of each other. They make the sweetest pair as they discover more about each other throughout the story. Neither sees the other as perfect, but also know that that isn’t important because nobody is.

Reviewer’s Thoughts

This was a great New Year’s story. You could really feel the atmosphere of the approaching new year. Resolutions were being made, laughter and reminiscing was occurring, and it was just overall a very joyful story. The story only spans a single night, but it had a great pace. The story unfolded with flashbacks that propelled the story forwards. As the two main characters confessed their issues with the past year to each other, they both began discovering things they’d never seen before. It was so great how supportive they were of each other throughout this time.
I only have one qualm about this story – and it occurred within the last couple of chapters. I felt like Sunny’s self revelations unfolded way too suddenly. One minute she was of one opinion about her wedding day and the next she was saying the exact opposite. It was just way too sudden with no real backing to the realization. Other than this though, I felt this was an amazing story. The characters weren’t confessing their love for each other by the end of the night, but they were open to trying something new and seeing where the new year took them. It was sweet and ended beautifully. I recommend this story for anyone looking for a quick, sweet, well-written holiday romance. In the end, I give this story 4 out of 5 stars.