27 January 2016

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Hey everyone,

Due to my self-imposed book buying ban I forced myself to wait until Christmas before getting a copy of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, making me one of the last people in the world to read this book. Amazingly I managed to avoid any spoilers despite all the hype surrounding this book. Being a fan of Harry Potter, Fangirl and M/M romances I was excited to read this book for myself. Keep reading to see what I thought!

The book:

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.

My Thoughts:

As the blurb of this book would tell you Simon Snow is the worst chosen one ever chosen. He can’t really control his magic and  mainly survives due to sheer dumb luck and the help of his friend Penelope. Also for all the years he has been part of the magical world he has yet to learn anything about the Humdrum he’s suppose to be defeating. Instead Simon has spent most of his time obsessing over his roommate Baz Pitch. In fact for the first third of the book Simon is constantly wondered why Baz isn’t at school, where he could be and what he is doing. This isn’t because he likes Baz of course but because Baz is evil and clearly up to evil things to advance his crazy, rich and powerful families plan to overthrow the mage. 

Everyone’s still gossiping about where he’s been. The most popular rumours are “dark coming-of-age ceremony that left him too marked up to be in public” and “Ibiza.” 

Now I didn’t mind this because a) I love romance book so one hero obsessing/thinking about the other is kind of my jam and b) because Carry On is in part the story I wish Draco and Harry had had in HP. Sure it isn’t the same but it has enough similarities that not making a comparison between the two is nearly impossible. For me the romance between Simon and Baz is the focal point of Carry On. Even when it isn’t it is. Their love and relationship seeped into every aspect of this story and I loved it.

I think I might kiss him. Because I've never kissed anyone before. (I was afraid I might bite.) And I've never wanted to kiss anyone but him. (I won't bite. I won't hurt him.) I just want to kiss him.

The world created by Rainbow Rowell is incredible considering all the world building crammed into one novel. We’re introduced to a complex world that is undergoing a political revolution, on the brink of destruction and have to get our head around a whole new construction of magic. In Carry On spells are said with everyday words and phrases, the more popular the word or phrase is the more powerful the spell can become. This means that the power and popularity of spells is dependent on the contemporary culture of the non-magical population, as they make up the majority. Not they know about the magical world of course. I found this fascinating. In fact I found most of the world building in Carry On fascinating. Like Fangirl I enjoyed this book in part because it was driven by character development, with the added dose of fantasy world-building.

I lean into him, because I'm cold and he's always warm. And because I like to remind him that I'm not afraid of him.

Although this book is full of information and moments I wouldn’t exactly call it a fast-paced plot. Instead the joy of Carry On is in the slow unfurling of the secrets, the eventual realisation of feelings and the build to an almost inevitable conclusion (well at least I thought so). The use of multiple POVs really helped to develop these aspects of the novels as it allowed the reader to learn the history of each characters. Rather than being told the story from the perspective of one person we are able to gain a more well-round view of the magical world and the characters relationships. Also I would have hated not knowing how Baz felt about Simon, for a supposingly evil vampire he’s amazingly romantic.

Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire.
He's constantly drawing you in. And you're constantly stepping too close. And you know it's not good--that there is no good--that there's absolutely nothing that can ever come of it.
But you do it anyway. 
And then...
Well. Then you burn.

I loved Carry On and will definitely be reading this book in the years to come. Even if it is just to re-live Baz and Simon’s romance one more time. Also before I finish the review can I just say how refreshing it was to have a book revolving in part around an M/M romance were neither of the characters sexuality was the main focus. Now I won’t deny I do love books featuring characters just discovering their sexualities, but I appreciated the lack of drama Simon and Baz’s feelings created.

Baz, you're actually, literally the only thing I have to lose. So as long as doing gay stuff in public doesn't make you hate me, I don't really care.

I’ve given Carry On by Rainbow Rowell five stars and would recommend it to anyone who loved Fangirl, enjoys YA Fantasy with a romance plot or is a Drarry shipper.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!