- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan (8 Oct. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 144729890X
- ISBN-13: 978-1447298908
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 155 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Carry On Hardcover – 8 Oct 2015
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Rainbow Rowell continues to break down boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestselling book, Fangirl.
About the Author
Rainbow Rowell lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Her second YA novel, Fangirl, was a New York Times bestseller, as was her first novel, Eleanor & Park.
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However, Carry On totally surprised me in the best way!
Although the inspiration is evident, Carry On is very much its own story. At the beginning it may be inevitable to draw comparisons between the characters and the places in Harry Potter and Carry On, but the more I read, the more I forgot about it and found the characters and story unique and utterly fascinating in their own right. The world building and magic system was also fascinating, - funny and ironic at times – and never felt underdeveloped.
I also loved that the story was told from different points of view - mainly Simon’s and Baz’s but also some secondary characters’. It worked really well with this kind of story and made me more invested in all the character. Baz was definitely my favourite, his point of view one of the most interesting. And I absolutely loved the romance!
Overall, Carry On was such an enjoyable and fun read!
One of the main problems of the YA genre as a whole is that it is often the case that GLBTQI+ characters are not often seen as the main protagonists. Actually, fiction as a whole has an issue with diversity, but let's focus on this one right now. Simple to say, this book does not have that problem. As it is based off of Cath from Fangirl's fan-fiction, the book is primarily about the development of a romantic relationship between characters Simon Snow - the worst Chosen One to ever be Chosen - and Baz Grimm-Pitch - clearly a vampire. There is also - as any good magical 'series' should have - a mystery to be solved, and a big evil to fight. And the twist on that big evil is so damn clever that I could not stop squeeing about it. Seriously, I think I annoyed the person I was talking to.
The characters are so memorable in this novel, it genuinely did feel like I was coming back to a set of characters that I had known for years. This was actually my first Rainbow Rowell novel, and I have been assured that this is a common thing of her books. Penelope may be one of my favourite ladies of all time, and I loved that the relationship between her and Simon was shown to be platonic love at it's best and that there wasn't even a question of them ever hooking up. When accused of disliking Simon's relationship with girlfriend Agatha, Penelope answers with a basic "it was making you both miserable" which is true. Speaking of Agatha, she's an interesting character. Rowell has succeeded in creating a character whom I hate, but at the same time I completely understand why she is doing the things she is, and I support her decisions and just want her to be happy in life. That is a special talent.
Simon and Baz are the focus of the novel and their characters are the most fully developed as well as the most fun to read about. I'd say it's especially fun to read Simon's point of view, and then to straight to Baz's, simply because of how wrongly Simon reads things. He may be the Chosen One, but he is an oblivious idiot. Which, actually, makes him the type of hero character I enjoy. I have a type. I do not see this as an issue.
I would love to say more about this novel, but I feel like even spoiling the smallest thing about it could completely ruin the experience for someone else. Needless to say, this is one that I think people should pick up. Especially if they liked the Harry Potter series. Rowell drops us into a world fully created, and yet we never feel lost or as if we're missing information. We run alongside the characters as their problems escalate at a rapid speed, and never feel as though the pacing is off. It's a slow build leading to an explosive finale, and I'm glad I read it.
...I really would love to read some of Simon Snow's other adventures too.
The downside for me was a couple of plot holes and the fact that RR sometimes tried too hard to give the characters British voices, thereby inserting British slang that actually no 18 year old would use ;)
Still, the characters are so likeable and the romantic side of the story is so lush that I read it twice in one month. :D
As usual with Rainbow Rowell, I adored her characters. Each character was their own individual, unique person and I either loved them or just kind of loved the fact that I hated them. Baz was definitely my favourite, he’s adorably evil and utterly fantastic. I also loved Penelope, she was smart, loyal, a bit dotty but happily herself. Agatha was a character I loved to hate and although I liked Simon, I also think I didn’t?! He was another character I kind of liked to hate. He was a bit annoying but in a ‘you’re annoying but I can’t dislike you’ kinda way. Let’s just pretend and hope that makes sense… :’)
I loved the relationships in this book, the relationship between Baz and Simon, Penny and Simon, Penny and Baz, Penny and Agatha, Agatha and Simon etc, etc. They all had their own relationships and dynamics and it was brilliant! I’ve not personally read many LGBTQ+ books (which is something I need to change) but I loved the way Simon and Baz’s relationship was written. It wasn’t this massive *BAM* plot twist and it wasn’t made out to be the huge ordeal. It was normal (well, as normal as any relationship can be when vampires and mages are concerned) and simply a relationship between two people who really, really liked each other and I really enjoyed that. I liked that Simon didn’t feel the need to put any labels on himself, or at least not yet, and instead simply live in the moment. He knows who he likes and that’s what matters to him.
The one thing I did find slightly difficult with this book were the obvious similarities with the Harry Potter series. At times I was wondering whether I was loving this because it was fantastic, or whether I was loving it because it was so fantastically like Harry Potter? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a wonderful blend of both.
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