Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: MacMillan Kids UK
Pages: 528 pages
I love Rainbow Rowell. I love love love love her. She could write my grocery list and I would enjoy reading it. She could write my monthly bills and I wouldn't mind reading them. Whatever Rainbow writes, I'm a fan. However, I was worried about Carry On. Fangirl is one of my favourite books of all time, but I just wanted that into the Simon Snow parts (I might even have skipped some of them...) and I just wasn't that interested to see the story of Simon and Baz develop...
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.
Sometimes it pays off to not have high expectations of a book. I knew I'd read Carry On, simple because Rainbow Rowell wrote it. What I didn't know is that I would absolutely completely fall in love with the story of Simon Snow.
As I've mentioned many times before, I'm not overly into the whole "chosen one" idea (aka Harry in Harry Potter) and I don't love fantasy as much as I love contemporary stories, which makes it even more remarkable that Rainbow completely sold me on this story. My favourite thing about this book is the amazing characterisation. Simon is the chosen one of this story and he's still an enjoyable character! This is the first chosen one that doesn't act like a brat. Or selfish. Or has a pity-party every chapter. Or IS ACTUALLY JUST A NICE PERSON. I loved Simon; he was funny, clumsy and completely clueless about so many things, but not cocky about it. Together with his best friend Penelope, who is also funny, but completely in control and smart, there are so many laugh out loud moments in this book.
The other great thing is the love story in this book. If you've read Fangirl, you'll know that Simon and Baz are nemesis who will fall in love eventually. The way this is played out in the plot is great; it's never too fast nor too slow. You can slowly see their relationship transform through "realistic" things (realistic for a magical world obviously) and can see them get closer and closer together. At not one point does the love story take over the general plot, the quest Simon and Baz are on together, which was such a relief for me. I love seeing LGBT representation that shows that, just like with heterosexual relationships, characters can be in a relationship without it being their only story.
So, just as the last few books I've read, I loved this one. Even with all my issues with chosen ones and fantasy stories, this book was just amazing. In true Rainbow Rowell fashion, it's fluffy, easy to read and incredibly comforting. Exactly what I wanted out of this book.
Update: Carry On is now the most AMAZING Paperback book!
I want to thank Macmillian Children's publisher for sending me all of this! Carry On was published as a paperback a while ago and when I finally got back to my London place, all this amazing stuff was waiting for me. I can't wait to colour in this paperback version of Carry On! Did you already colour it in? What colours did you pick? Which should I pick? Such an important decision!!
Not only did I get the book, I got Kindred Spirits, Rainbow's World Book Day story as well, which I will review later this week! I can't wait to read a new Rainbow Rowell story again and to really delve back into her world. I also got some amazing postcards and the coolest balloons!
Messy hair Simon!
Matching Simon and Baz!!! They're now in my room and every time I see them I just get a smile on my face. And it makes me want to re-read Carry On so badly - after I colour the cover in!