Carry On

Carry On is the story of Simon Snow, the chosen one. He’s the mages heir, born to save the wizarding world from destruction by the Insidious Humdrum, a creature that steals magic. He also has to deal with his evil probable-vampire roommate, Baz, who is always working on some scheme that may-or-may-not result in Simon’s death. So far in their final year at the Watford School of Magicks, Baz hasn’t shown up at all, and it’s driving Simon crazy. Add to that the fact that his girlfriend, Agatha just broke up with him for the aforementioned vampire roommate and you’ve got a pretty distraught Simon Snow. He doesn’t feel like the chosen one at all…

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Carry On is the story of Simon Snow, the chosen one. He’s the Mage’s heir, born to save the wizarding world from destruction by the Insidious Humdrum, a creature that steals magic. He also has to deal with his evil probable-vampire roommate, Baz, who is always working on some scheme that may-or-may-not result in Simon’s death. So far in their final year at the Watford School of Magicks, Baz hasn’t shown up at all, and it’s driving Simon crazy. Add to that the fact that his girlfriend, Agatha just broke up with him for the aforementioned vampire roommate and you’ve got a pretty distraught Simon Snow. He doesn’t feel like the chosen one at all…

Carry on, by Rainbow Rowell is a sort of companion novel to Fangirl. Fangirl is about a girl called Cather who writes fanfiction about the Simon Snow book series written by the (also fictional) Gemma T. Leslie. Throughout Fangirl, Cather was working on her greatest piece of fanfiction yet. Carry On is that fanfiction.

IMG_0270.JPGDo you need to have read Fangirl to read Carry On?

Not necessarily.

But, we spend a lot of time with Simon and Baz during Fangirl. We get a lot of background about their characters and a sense of their relationship – or perhaps I should say their relationship as Cath perceives it. Wading into Carry On without that grounding could make it difficult to connect, I think. Carry On is, after all the finale to a story we haven’t experienced. There are ways in which it is incomplete a reader could find alienating not coming at it with their Fangirl eyes.

I really liked Carry On. I loved Baz coming out of Fangirl, and he was absolutely the most compelling character in the book. I wasn’t aware that so much of it would be from his perspective, which was a pleasant surprise. He’s a funny and cynical narrator. If the book had come entirely from Simon’s point of view, Baz would have been the typical brooding boyfriend (read: boring), but hearing his brutally honest internal monologue made him a much more complex and interesting guy (read: I’m in love). Obviously I enjoyed the romance, but I would have liked more from Simon about his developing feelings. Considering that much of the book was from his perspective, some of his actions toward Baz felt a bit abrupt. That said, I appreciate that he had a lot else going on. When you have the entire world of the mages to save, I can see how you wouldn’t have time to sit around and dissect your feelings for your hot roommate.

(I’m lying. I think I could do both).

IMG_0272.JPGDespite being over 500 pages long, this is actually a pretty quick read. The plot is fast paced! It’s was one of those where I was creating imaginary scenarios about what could possibly happen next while attempting to go about my day. My main criticism was that certain aspects of it where somewhat underdeveloped. The Mage, for example, is the head teacher of Watford and the boss of all magicians and the closest thing Simon has to family, but he’s not a likeable or interesting person. I probably wouldn’t have cried when Snape murdered him, is what I’m saying. A lot of the other mages don’t like him as a leader and I totally understood why. Nobody knew where the guy even was for most of the book. It was disappointing, because we were told that Simon’s relationship with him was important, but we never really got to see that.

My other problem – and one I tried hard to talk myself out of – is that a lot of major events in this book happen out of nowhere. Certain realisations (and make outs) happen too easily, and major plot points are resolved in a way that didn’t really take 500 pages (or 7 completely fictitious previous books).

That all said, Rowell’s characterisation is strong as ever, and the novel is packed with people you can’t help but react to. Penelope, Simon’s best friend, is so wonderful I kind of resented Simon for turning her into a sidekick. Agatha, Simon’s soon-to-be-ex girlfriend is so annoying I wish she didn’t exist, and Baz’s Aunt Fiona is the type you just know will be rebelling way after the cause is well and truly over.

It’s a fun read with a hot romance. What more could a person need on a wintery evening?

(More money for heating. I know. I feel your pain).

Also: Rainbow Rowell loves a man with a receding hairline. It’s not a judgement, just an observation.

Author: Lydia Tewkesbury

24. Waitress. Loves a good story.

8 thoughts on “Carry On”

  1. Hahaha omg I wanted to just flick Agatha off the page. She was so whiny and annoying… like figure out what you want!! But I suppose her character served the purpose of showing that not everybody is heroic and brave, and some people don’t want to be the Chosen One. Still wish she wasn’t in the book… though I felt really satisfied knowing that Simon and Baz were going to be together, and she wouldn’t get Baz 😉

    Hmmm I actually never thought of Simon’s feeling for Baz being too abrupt, but I can totally see what you mean. I guess I was so excited about the relationship that I overlooked it a little bit. And I kind of interpreted it as Simon being really open to being led by his heart and not by his head. It didn’t really matter to him that Baz was a boy and that they were polar opposites. He was just kind of happy to go with what he was feeling and then acting upon those feelings. Plus he was pretty obsessed with Baz from the very beginning HAHA.

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    1. I totally get what you mean. I think my Baz obsession maybe overtook Simon’s for a little while… haha. Overall I connected with Simon less than I really wanted to. I couldn’t engage with him in the same way that I did with Baz.

      I am so glad that Rainbow Rowell eliminated the chance of anything happening between Baz and Agatha straight away. I could not have dealt with that at all!

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      1. Yeah! Haha those poor souls who have no idea that Carry On is SnowBaz fanfiction will have to endure the whole Agatha thing. If I didn’t know, I’d hate her so much more than I do now.

        I definitely liked Baz a lot more than Simon. I enjoyed his voice a little bit more, though I really liked reading from Simon’s perspective too. I guess I just didn’t always understand Simon’s decisions and wasn’t able to connect fully with him.

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  2. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR REVIEW ON THIS.

    Baz and Simon’s chemistry totally clicked. That’s what I thought about Baz too. Tbh, I enjoyed reading his perspectives more than Simon. It’s less serious and makes more sense. Haha!

    And I absolutely agree on what you said about Simon’s feelings being abrupt. That was my issue too! I mean, out of the blue, why kiss a boy without the tell-tale signs showing. There’s not even an explanation when it began (or perhaps I missed it). 😀

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