My favorite author, Rainbow Rowell, recently published her latest YA book, Carry On. If you’ve read Fangirl by her, then you know of the fictional-within-a-fiction characters, Simon Snow and Baz Pitch. These characters are part of the Simon Snow series, which the main character of Fangirl, Cath, loved deeply. And when other people read Fangirl, they also fell in love with Simon and Baz, and they wanted more. And Rainbow Rowell gave us more with Carry On.
When I got the book in the mail, I was a little shocked at the size. It’s a little more than 500 pages, which is Rowell’s biggest novel. This was my first ever book that I preordered and received on the day it was released, because I was that excited. It took me about five days to completely read, and let me tell you guys: it was well worth it.
Now, the world of Simon Snow is similar to Harry Potter. Simon lives in the world of Mages and attends Watford in England for teenagers who are not “Normals”. He is the “Chosen One”, and he’s also an orphan. Oh, and he is in love with his roommate, Baz, and vice versa (it’s kind of important to the book). I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never read Harry Potter. I didn’t read the series or watch any of the movies. I was never really a fan of the whole magic thing, which is why it seems a little strange I was so interested in Carry On. I mostly read this book not for the magic and mystical world, but for the characters. I love Simon and Baz, and I wanted to read about them. So I did, and I overlooked everything about magic. Of course I read the magic stuff, but I mostly skimmed because I never understood it. One thing I did find odd about the book is that it takes place in 2014/2015. Normally when people read fantasy books, it doesn’t take place in the present-day. But this one did, so I kept getting messed up until they mentioned cell phones.
I was satisfied with this book, and it really was a fantastic book. It included everything a Rowell book has: love, quotable quotes, and sarcastic humor. It even had a joke in there about Def Leppard, which made me squeal. Besides this being a fantasy book, another quirk about it is that there are multiple first-person POVs. You have Simon, Baz, Penelope (Simon’s best friend), Agatha (Simon’s (ex)girlfriend), the Mage (headmaster of Watford), and more. It doesn’t really get confusing though, because it’s clearly identified and you can tell the different voices in the writing. I liked there being multiple POVs being you can figure out exactly what everyone else is thinking, and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.
I would have liked more SnowBaz (the Simon/Baz ship) in the book, personally. It is about them falling in love and everything, but SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT PLEASE HIGHLIGHT TO READ they don’t kiss until page 342. And it kind of disappointed me. I wanted to read more but I did love what Rowell wrote for their relationship. Other than that, I don’t have any criticism. For a girl who doesn’t read fantasy, this book was something I really got into. If you loved Harry Potter, this may also be a book for you to enjoy.
Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars. It isn’t Fangirl, which is my top book from her, but I’m really happy she chose to write about Simon and Baz again. So check out this great book and save it for a rainy (or snowy), cold day to curl up in a chair and read. It’s the perfect crappy-weather-day book, and something you should definitely invest in.