Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors whose works I’d always–ALWAYS–read. And CARRY ON, for starters, is one of those stories that I’ve waited for ever since it was announced that she was going to write it–not just as part of FANGIRL (which is one of my favorite books, ever), but on its own.
Here’s a little backstory, if you haven’t read FANGIRL. CARRY ON is this story that Cath and Wren made a fanfiction of. So, it’s basically a story within a story, which made it so cool and captivating.
You see, CARRY ON is like a mix of Harry Potter and Twilight in its own dreamworld; in its own reality. It’s not trying to pretend to be something else. It’s about finding the CHOSEN ONE, slaying dragons, falling in love with vampires, living in a world full of magic–which definitely made it an easy read. It’s one of those books you’d want to get lost in, especially when you’re feeling like this world is dampening your spirits yet again.
Let’s see. Well, I’d have to say, CARRY ON kind of started out as too “meta” for me. I was like, I’m pretty sure I already know what I’m getting, especially because there were bits of it in FANGIRL. But what’s great about this book is that the author was able to explore its world, and give us more of it in return.
I’d have to admit, there were parts in the beginning where I felt a bit bored–until ta-daaaa this mysterious character suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Oh, and that’s one of those things I like about this book, too, mind you: the fact that it’s told in different perspectives. I always like stories like that because it helps me get in the head of various characters, and not just one of them.
Okay, so, mysterious character started talking and I was like, What fresh hell is this? (sorry, obsessed with Scream Queens right now) and well, it was also nice getting in Baz’s head. That vampire is probably one of my favorite vampires right now–or ever–because he’s sexy, he’s dapper, he’s…well, he could be arrogant, and that’s what makes you like the banter between him and Simon Snow.
I thought there was a lack of banter and connection between the two in the first few parts of the book, which I would have wanted to see. Buildup was slow but man, once it started happening, it just couldn’t end and I swear, you’ll totally swoon (I sure did). Baz and Snow have this unique dynamic. I’m not a DRARRY shipper but I could totally feel them between these two (haha!) and you’d just love to read more. Their arguments are cute, but what’s better is how their feelings for each other unfolded; how we get to see them fall in love, and just get lost in it–while still trying to fight it.
Their love story is complicated, and it doesn’t help that the whole Magickal world is complicated, too–but there in lies the promise. There were betrayals. There were points when you’d feel like Oh god, that was not supposed to happen, and it would break your heart.
Another thing I like about this is that we got to see how each of the characters chose their own endings; how they didn’t just let the world trick them, and we get to understand why they made the choices their made. I guess, this book holds a lot of answers–which is good, considering I don’t know if we’re getting part 2.
All in all, CARRY ON is truly captivating. You’ll swoon, you’ll smile, you’ll laugh…maybe, even cry. But what’s important is that you’ll feel for each of the characters. You’ll root for them. And, well, they’ll help you CARRY ON.