Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
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.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
A few times I came across people saying that they started reading Harry Potter from the third or fourth book and I always wondered what that’s like. Now I know. Carry On isn’t as complex as Harry Potter so it’s easier to understand but when you start reading it, you feel like you’re reading a sequel to a book that doesn’t exist. Which I guess you kind of are. After all, Carry On started as a fictional series of books that the main character of Rowell’s book Fangirl loves. Carry On is very obviously inspired by Harry Potter to the point where I sometimes felt like I was reading a fanfiction story… to be more precise, a Drarry fanfiction story.
At first I found the book a bit boring, Simon wasn’t that interesting to me, Penny was obviously Hermione, I don’t understand what the point of Agatha and Simon’s relationship even was, but then Baz showed up and made everything more fun, the way ‘kinda evil’ characters usually do. The book gives us some clues about things that happened before, usually attacks on Simon, but we don’t really get many details. Sometimes characters say things that would probably make more sense if we had more context for them. So the relationship between Simon and Baz could have been more realistic if we knew more about their past. This way, Simon’s feelings seem to come out of nowhere.
Carry On still has enough originality in it to not seem like a total rip-off. One of my favorite things about the world of Carry On is the way magic works. Magic words are basically phrases that normal people use a lot, like “Up, up and away” and even “Can’t Touch This”. So those phrases have a lot of power in them and magicians use them for spells.
The book can be quite cheesy at times and there are too many pop culture references, but if you liked Fangirl, you should give this book a shot simply because of how much fun it is.