fantasy · review · young adult

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

“I walk up to the tall iron gate – THE WATFORD SCHOOL – is spelled out on the top – and rest my hand on the bars to let them feel my magic. That used to be all it took. The gates would swing open for anyone who was a magician.”

 

rowell

Blurb: “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 makes 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 Magiks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t bother to show up.”

Carry On is a companion novel to Rainbow’s full length book Fangirl. This book is the fanfiction referred to in Fangirl that Cath write throughout the book. Having said that, there is no need to read that book before reading this one. This is Rainbow’s first fantasy novel and is told through multiple perspectives.

It’s hard to give a synopsis for this book since the blurb has pretty much done the job for me and giving anything outside of that would be spoilers. But I digress. The story is centred around Simon Snow who is in his last year of magic school, battling with being the chosen one, having a villain running around looking like an exact copy of him and having to deal with all the typical teenage drama.

The best description I’ve seen of Carry On is that it’s “fantasy that reads like contemporary” and I completely agree with this statement. Rainbow gives you this amazing world with a whole host of fantasy elements but it doesn’t have that heavyweight feeling that fantasies normally do. You can just tell by reading it that the writing style is the product of Rainbow Rowell. However, when reading it I experienced something unexpected: a connection to Cath. While absorbing the words it felt like I was reading what Cath had written – this fantastic story she works tirelessly on in Fangirl. I just felt so close to her while reading it which was an unusual but incredible feeling.

Penelope was by far by favourite character as she was just that kind of person you’d want to have on your side. She was a pleasure to share this adventure with.

There’s a lot of expectation in place when a writer decides to produce something in a different genre and I will admit that I was anxious about how good this would be. Rainbow did not let me down and proves just how much of an outstanding writer she is. Rowell is just an auto buy writer for me now.

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