Carry On "A Bloody Brilliant Fantasy Novel" {Book Review}

Monday, February 22, 2016
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Review

Carry On is bloody brilliant. It's splendid. It's absolutely dazzling. This is one of those books that just makes me wanna spontaneously flail my arms around.


Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: Standalone
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Source: Library

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 starts 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 - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow 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.

So I took so many little notes while reading this one (like 45) and most of them were just me fangirling.

Carry On had so MANY good quotes I probably wrote down at least 5 or 6. You'll probably be seeing them in the next Quartz Gazette (Or you've already seen them, depends on when this review is published).

Reason Why You Should Read Carry On

  • Simon Snow is the worst chosen one ever. Come on when's the last time you saw a chosen on who sucked at being a chosen one.
  • Snow really likes to eat, like a lot (he'd eat full blocks of butter if that was acceptable). And the love of food is literally the most relatable thing in the world (for me anyways).
  • The OTP (won't tell you who cause that would be a huge spoiler) is fudging beautiful. I was internally dancing (and dying) when they finally kissed.
  • This book has it's share of humor (the villain's name is the Insidious Humdrum *dies laughing*). Also it's filled with British slang like bullocks, crowley, bloody, and such.
  • It's four books in one! Okay not really, but these 517 pages of awesomeness are divided into four sections. (five if you count the epilogue)
  • Also Baz calls basically everyone by their last name (yes this is a very good reason to read a book) it's rather charming. 
  • They're called Mages, it's a really cool name.
  • The line between the good and the bad is blurred, which I always love.
  • Baz or Tyrannus Basilton Grimm Pitch (such a very imposing name) is referred to by like four different names. There's Baz, Basil, Basilton, and Tyrannus. (I have no idea why this is a reason)
  • There's gay wizards. This one explains itself.

This was my second time reading a Rainbow Rowell book, and Carry On was as amazing as the first, maybe even better, yes even better.

You probably think that the first one I read was Fangirl, but nope it was Eleanor and Park (Edit 6/10/17: It's been brought to my attention that Eleanor and Park has some seriously problematic Asian rep and I haven't touched it since, so yeah, my feelings about this book have changed). I'm ashamed, I was planning on reading Fangirl (I really was) but I took a peek into this book, and once I started it their was no getting me out of it. I finished Carry On in two days, and it's been awhile since I've finished a book so fast, a LONG while.

Random favorite quote time:

"No," he says. "Why would I want that? Why would that thought even occur to me? ‘Hey, you know what would fix this miserable situation with the vampires and my mother and the war and the decline of magic? Snogging my halfwit room-mate. The one who well probably fuck my life for good someday. That's a plan."

When I first started reading, I immediately spotted all the Harry Potterish stuff about Carry On (even though I'm literally just now reading Harry Potter for the second time. The first time was like 3 or 4 years ago *shame*). And I'll admit I was a tad worried it would get to close to Harry Potter, but by the end Carry On really becomes it's own respective story/world.

*Warning: massive shippy fangirling ahead* I literally shipped Baz and Simon before I even read Carry On or Fangirl. I saw fanart on Tumblr and was just like, yup these two are adorable, I ship them. So interesting little factoid.

I honestly thought Simon would be the first to fall in love with Baz, but surprise surprise, turns out Baz was harboring secret feelings for Simon all along.

The Humdrum (who is our sorta of our villain) was very interesting. I really liked how the villain and the savoir were the same person. Though the Mage could be considered the real villain I suppose, though I don't really think he's really a villain either.

Another thing I really liked was the old families, how they were like the ruling elite. And how Davy/the Mage was really trying to do good (at least in the beginning)

Also Baz the clearly flammable vampire smokes cigarettes. Dear god. Oh and yes Baz is a vampire. This is like my favorite vampire romance I've ever read. (well I've only read one other so there isn't much competition.)

In the book the spells are real words, not random made-up phrases(and they're also in other languages like Hindi).

I found this concept to be really interesting and awesome. Like specific combinations of words have a power, for example the phrase "Stand Your Ground" (used with magic) can make it so someone is stuck to the ground. Nursery Rhymes are pretty much the most powerful of them all. Powerful mages can turn away entire armies with Humpy Dumpty.

I really enjoyed Carry On and I think everyone should read it.

I recommend it to the WORLD. Every living human (or reading dog) must read this fantastic book. It's fantastically fantastic. And gorgeously gorgeous.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Has Carry On Cast it's Spell Upon You Yet? And if it Has Did You Reading Fangirl First?