Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Book Reviews

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

4.5 Stars

Fangirl was one of my favorite books a couple years ago and I enjoyed all the Simon Snow parts, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read Carry On. I’m glad I chose to because I read this behemoth in a DAY and it was so much fun!  From the first chapter, I was hooked. I loved the Harry Potterness that felt like a wink wink rather than something derivative. It felt clever and like a magical system and fantasy world fully realized on its own, with parallels and allusions for Potter fans to find. I also liked the allusions to past events and adventures in Simon’s world. Plus Simon’s preoccupation with food was adorable and very funny.

At first, the spells annoyed me but then I decided I liked them- instead of made up words like Alohamora, they are rooted in the power of real-life words and phrases, like Up up and away– it’s more about the intention behind the words. And I liked the Humdrum business! The mystery was intriguing and I liked the different viewpoints which helped piece it all together.

I loved (most) of the characters and I REALLY loved Simon, Baz, and Penelope. All amazing for different reasons…. sort of Harry/Draco/Hermione in this case! Simon and Penny had the best friendship, she might have been my favorite. As far as romance, I could have done with more (on the page) kissing but I always want more kissing and oh my god the first kiss was worth the wait! The tension throughout the book between Simon and Baz was unreal! Hate to love is the best and they had such chemistry. I loved watching their relationship shift.

My main gripe is that I wish a few of the revelations had come to light in the end. I feel like we as an audience knew enough but I wanted the characters to uncover the truth too. Particularly related to the Lucy chapters. But otherwise, this was super fun and makes me want to read Fangirl again as well. If you like hate-to-love romance, a cheeky magical system, character friendships, and easy to understand but well-done world building, read Carry On. It’s worth it.

Book Info

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub Date: October 6th 2015
Pages: 522
Format: Hardcover | Source: Library
Genres: FantasyLGBTYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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 sets 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 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.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

18 Responses to “Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell”

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    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    I’m actually surprised at how well received this novel is! It’s just surprising how Rainbow can graft a quality novel about a Harry Potter inspired book that makes appearances in one of her novels. Talk about dedication!

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      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Yay! I’m glad you loved it too! The Simon parts of Fangirl weren’t my favorite but I think I liked them more than most people. I was impressed she pulled off a full length book! Thanks for commenting :)

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    Do you think there will be a sequel? If things aren’t resolved are they holding back for the next book? I’ve heard good things about this book.

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    It’s always so funny how I follow and interact with people via twitter, and when I finally find their blogs I’m like, ” omg it’s her ! ” I just followed this blog today, and I had no clue you were one of the co-bloggers, hey Morgan girl! Anywho, my favorite thing about Fangirl was the fanfiction with Simon and Baz, so when it was announced they were getting their own story, I was so freaking excited. I’m trying to hold off from buying it until I can actually pick it up and read it right away, which is absolutely killing me! Reviews like this make me want to break down and purchase it, but I know I won’t be able to get to it. * cries * lol. Great review girl :)

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Hahah that’s awesome, I love it :D I’m the same way sometimes. Have you gotten the chance to read it yet?! It’s so good! If you loved them that much in Fangirl, you’ll really love Carry On I think. Thanks for commenting <3

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    I’ve seen so many good ratings for this author’s books, but just haven’t picked one up yet. Do I need to read Fangirl first in order to understand this book? Great review Moggan! :)

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      I don’t think it’s completely necessary, it does stand on its own as a fantasy book. The only difference is the “books” are references in Fangirl a lot but this is a brand new story! I haven’t read any other Rainbow Rowell books yet but I did love these two :) Hope you enjoy if you read either one!

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    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    I still need to read Fangirl! I’m pretty sure I have it on my Kindle. I’ll need to try and get to it sooner rather than later. :) I can use it toward my Rock My TBR! LOL. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall Morgan. All of the Harry Potter stuff sounds right up my alley! I always want more kissing in books, but I love that this one had great build up and that the tension was there. I love that!

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      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Totally! Do it! Oh I loved Fangirl when I read it, it’s really delightful. That’s the thing, I love build up and tension but also… more kissing! Haha! I thought this was really fun, hope you enjoy if you try it. And I hope you like Fangirl too!!

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    Alexa S.

    I still need to read Carry On! I’ve had it on my TBR for a while, but still haven’t gotten around to it. But it’s very encouraging to see how you liked it (even with your reservations), and I may have to bump it up!

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    Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I do think this was slightly derivative of HP (like, would she have even thought of this plot without that series, probs not) BUT I still really enjoyed it! I loved how the spells were from pop culture or famous phrases, and of course I was shipping the ship like crazy!
    Great review, Morgan!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Oh you’re totally right. I think I was just in the mood for something fun and this fit the bill! Yeah the ship was so great even though Simon was dense most of the time hahah! I’m glad it’s a standalone too :)

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