I’ve JUST finished the book, like two seconds ago, and I LOVED IT. I expected to like it, an a sort of ironic “Isn’t this odd, reading a pseudo Harry Potter fanfiction that was excerpted in Rowell’s Fangirl?” And for a while, I was mostly interested in assigning every character to their HP equivalent, but that quickly turned into genuine investment.
I LOVE Simon! I love Baz! I love Penelope! I even love Agatha, although for a while she was a useless wet blanket (but then she acknowledges her role as a useless wet blanket, only meant to further someone else’s story, and when she said “peace out!” I adored her for it). I love the magical world in Carry On, how they have phones and computers and are simply just like Normals, but with magic. That makes more sense to me than Harry Potter’s culturally-backwards wizarding world. But! I’m not comparing! (Okay, it’s impossible not to compare.)
I loved the crackling dialogue, and I laughed out loud SO OFTEN at Simon and Baz’s repartee, like when arguing about the benefits and challenges of being a vampire:
Simon lowers his eyebrows. “When you look at it that way, why doesn’t everyone cross over?”
“Because it’s death,” I say.
“It clearly isn’t.”
“They say your soul dies.”
“That’s tosh,” he says.
“How would you know, Snow?”
“Observation,” I say. “You can’t observe a soul.”
“You can over time,” he says. “I think I’d know–”
“It’s death,” I say, “because you need to eat life to stay alive.”
“That’s everyone,” he says. “That’s eating.”
Those crazy kids. But seriously, there’s nothing I love more than a romance built on hatred! Or, in this case, mutual obsession that turns into need that turns into trust that turns into a love based on their mutual brokenness. And Penelope! She and Simon are such great friends, and I loved how Rowell had her and Baz become friends too. They all felt like real characters with interlocking lives and independent motivations. Very impressive for, as I mentioned earlier, a pseudo-Harry Potter fanfiction that was excerpted in Rowell’s Fangirl.
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, 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.
Release Date: October 2015
I read and loved Fangirl, but I haven’t read this yet because I really don’t ship Harry and Malfoy, who Simon and Baz are obviously based on, so I just didn’t want to put myself through a whole book of awkwardness… am I right to avoid it for that reason?
Hmm, good question! It’s very obviously Harry/Draco, especially at the beginning. But Rowell manages to create a world of her own, and characters of her own, pretty quickly. I’m biased because I loved it, but I think you may as well get it from the library for free and try it out! If you do, I’d love to know what you think, as a non Harry/Draco shipper.
Out of curiosity, were you much into HP fandom? Did you ship the book relationships or anything unusual? I pretty much…shipped anyone with anyone, so long as the story was compelling, haha! Oh, but not Snape with students, that always creeped me out.
I love HP but no I wasn’t into the fandom much. I liked what was canon (as I usually do for most fandoms) but I would have been okay with Harry/Hermione as endgame too.
Same! I like what Rowling did, and I appreciate a male/female friendship. But…Harry and Hermione would make a really great, and powerful, couple!
Oh, I completely agree. The more I came to love the friendships, the more I was glad that Harry and Hermione were only a thing in Ron’s fears.
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I completely agree! Carry On isn’t fanfiction at all—it’s a genuine story. I never really saw the Harry/Draco in Simon/Baz, because I was too caught up in Simon and Baz.
BECAUSE SIMON AND BAZ.
I love the quote that you included in this review. It’s one of my favourite things about this book: the dialogue. On the subject of vampires, I love this one too:
“I’m going to turn you into a vampire and make you live with me forever. […] Think about it, Simon. Super strength. X-ray vision.”
“You don’t have X-ray vision.”
Simon and Baz!! Too big idiot out of touch with their feelings, stumbling into a relationship. I love them too. 😊
Honestly I want to reread it immediately just to experience the dialogue again!
Okay, I’m off to read your review now!
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