Book Review: Carry On

Title: Carry On

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: Book 1 of Simon Snow

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, LGBTQ+

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

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 starts 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 – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

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While I was reading the book, I suddenly realized how it’s sort of a mashup between Harry Potter and Twilight, and yet it’s still a different book altogether.

The writing

The writing was good enough for me. It was light and humorous, the kind that made me laugh at certain points of the story. But although I found it good, there were some parts of the writing that I didn’t like. I found the author’s use of parentheses excessive. I mean, I know they were the thoughts of the characters, but it was too much for me.

I also didn’t like how there were certain parts of the story that seemed like they weren’t important enough, and I really feel like they should have been!

The storytelling is also somehow fragmented. There were perspectives from the past, there were perspectives from the present. And then there were also perspectives from characters that seemed out of place, and that can be confusing.

The characters

I really liked the characters of this book, particularly the two main characters which is Simon and Baz. I loved the chemistry between them!

In Simon, I saw an insecure boy, not ready for all the responsibilities and expectations carelessly thrown at him when he was only a child. And in Baz, I saw a loyal and ruthless boy, conflicted by his feelings, and afraid of the destiny that awaits them.

I liked Penelope and her loyalty to Simon. She was fierce and intelligent and I wish she finished her studies at Watford! I didn’t like Agatha on the other hand. She really seemed unconcerned about Simon and I kept wondering how the hell did they end up together when there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry at all. Also, I have a feeling in my gut that she would like to be a Normal more than someone who has magic.

The Mage, I am conflicted about his character. I have so many questions about him and I didn’t get any answer at the end of the story. For example, what was his real agenda? Did he truly care about Simon or no? How can he do that to him? I’m disappointed that his character left so many unsolved questions for me.

The plot

The plot was also interesting! It’s one of the factors that kept me on turning the pages and looking for more. Unfortunately, I did not find more at the end of the book! Again there were so many unsolved mysteries that concerns the plot. I felt like there were subplots that weren’t fully explained and solved (I’m not going to specify them since I don’t want to spoil you all haha!) I am honestly hoping I find some answers in the sequel!

The world-building

I loved the world-building in this story. Somehow, it reminded me of Harry Potter because of the magic and the setting, but it has its own flair as well.

I found the World of Mages really intriguing. I loved how their spells rely on the language that they speak; that some spells were common phrases people say daily (and that is an indication that the spell will be effective).

I also found it interesting, how they treat their magic. Like how it can “run out” when  family members keep marrying Normals for generations. And how feeling their magic run out when they’re in a dead spot causes them to  severe reactions. For me it shows just how dependent they are in their magic.

Quotes from the book

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

“You were the centre of my universe and everything else spun around you.”

“And sometimes holes want to get bigger, but Baz was wrong—sometimes they just want to be filled.”

“How long does it take for a star to collapse? How many trillions of years?”

“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you.”

A bookish candle inspired by Watford and a copy of Carry On at the background.

Photo above: My copy of Carry On plus a bookish candle inspired by Watford!

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So, this would have been 3.5 stars for me but I loved Simon and Baz and all the feels I experienced while I was reading this, so 4 stars! I do hope the sequel will be better though.

So have you read this yet? What did you think of it? Come tell me down below!

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Carry On

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