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.
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
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