Rowell Writes A Fanfiction

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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, 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.

You may know the fictional Simon Snow series that Cath fangirls about in Fangirl. Well, Rowell made a book about it titled Carry On. Unlike Rowell’s other novels, Carry On has magic, monsters and the most predictable mystery ever that sometimes you’d wonder how these characters could possibly not know what’s going on. But then, I expected a lighter read after The Dark Tower and this novel didn’t fail me. Carry On was easy to read, a feel-good book and it was light alright but it also didn’t have any meat in it.

The book is full of jumpy characters and jumpy scenarios. Nothing grows in this book, not the characters, the plot, or the world of Carry On. The mystery and fantasy aspects of the novel are squeezed in and didn’t have much time to grow into the story. The first-person narratives was an interesting touch at first but quickly becomes trivial and bothersome, especially when majority of them are ‘Simon-centric’ and it gets quite repetitive and obnoxious(ly Simon). The action scenes were dragging and confusing as Rowell does a lot of ‘telling’ than ‘showing.’

That said, the romantic tension between Simon and Baz were well-written and their exchanges were fun to read. This is Rowell doing her magic here, I thought. Lucy’s story was a tragic one compared to Simon and Baz’s love story and it served as a sad and hushed-up climax unrealized that only made her story more haunting and tragic.

Rowell also did it great job on writing her characters outside their stereotypical roles, especially Agatha, the ‘Ginny’ of the novel who is aware of her unimportant role in the story, her friends’s ridiculous activities and her necessary relationship with the hero Simon. In retrospect, the book satirizes common fantasy tropes that reminded me a lot of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Rowell adds her own twist of magical elements such as spells out of lyrics, nursery rhymes and other pop cultural references and fantasy creatures with their own quirks and culture that I wished she could have integrated interactively in her story instead of just telling us who and what these creatures are.

The Verdict: 3/5 Stars

A good, light read with lots of promise but falls flat and forgettable in the end. The blurb summarized it nicely.

I still don’t understand why it’s called Carry On.


About the Author

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons. Goodreads | Website

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5 thoughts on “Rowell Writes A Fanfiction

  1. I wondered about the title too.. but I think it’s because that’s all Simon and the others can do? And ti references the song..

    Anyway! I was really glad to come across your review because I had a similar experience with this book. It was just middle-of-the-road for me. I didn’t feel like anything wowed me, and I just didn’t find the plot that exciting. I do however think Baz saved the entire story. I loved his character. Great post!

    • I loved Baz as well and enjoyed his snarky dialogues. I thought Rowell should have played her strengths developing the characters than making the story needlessly complicated.

      I’m glad you liked the review! Happy reading!

  2. I’m sorry you did not appreciate it more! I loved Fangirl, but I fell HARD for this book. And I do mean hard. I loved Simon and Baz so much! I think it’s called Carry On because even though everyone ends up where they do and life is far from perfect, Simon has to learn to move on and go about his life.
    -Amy

    • That’s a wonderful explanation for the title. =D I never thought of it in those terms.

      Glad you liked it~ I suppose I expected too much from the book (though I kinda knew what was coming). It did kept me up for days and I certainly enjoyed reading Simon and Baz’s parts.

      Happy reading!

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