Carry On
A #1 New York Times-bestseller 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 starts 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 - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

Carry On Details

TitleCarry On
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 9th, 2017
PublisherSt. Martin's Griffin
ISBN1250135028
ISBN-139781250135025
Number of pages528 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Romance, Fiction, Fantasy, Glbt, Magic

Carry On Review

  • Clau R.
    December 9, 2014
    OKAY. OKAY OKAY...I don't even know where to start. Obviosuly I loved this book, but I'm not sure if I loved it enough to be a TOP favorite of mine, though I really FEEL something, like... I think it'll become one of those books that I'll love more and more with every day that passes. But for now, let's just say that Rainbow Rowell did it again... I'M IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING SHE WRITES. The first part of this book was a little slow, but as soon as Baz makes his official appearance, everything ge OKAY. OKAY OKAY...I don't even know where to start. Obviosuly I loved this book, but I'm not sure if I loved it enough to be a TOP favorite of mine, though I really FEEL something, like... I think it'll become one of those books that I'll love more and more with every day that passes. But for now, let's just say that Rainbow Rowell did it again... I'M IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING SHE WRITES. The first part of this book was a little slow, but as soon as Baz makes his official appearance, everything gets SO MUCH BETTER! Oh, I love that vampire boy so much. But I also love Simon. And Penny. Those three made me laugh so much. I care deeply about them.One thing that surprised me was the Magickal World Rainbow created! I was amazed by it! The spells were so silly and clever (I burst out laughing when the Mage was chanting Bohemian Rhapsody!) and I loved the simplicity of them! I loved the similarities with Harry Potter that at the same time were SO DIFFERENT! And I also loved that Rainbow could manage all that world building in just one book :). I'd definetly read more about this world.Okay, okay, but now let's talk about Simon and Baz TOGETHER. OMG. I couldn't stop giggling in their scenes!!! The synopsis didn't lie: There is SO. MUCH. KISSING. AND I WANTED MORE!!! Rainbow has talent with these cute romantic scenes and all these cute silly banter! I love how their relationship developed and I SIMPLY LOVE THEIR LOVE. I was fangirling so hard I'm sure tears fell from my eyes, I was squealing and yelping whenever they kissed or showed their love for each other. And the ending, OH, THAT ENDING.I mean, it was a little bittersweet (the ending, I mean), and I didn't expect it, but I'm kinda okay with it. And also! This feels like the less open ending that Rainbow has ever written! BRAVO! (But at the same time, she left so many questions unanswered! I wouldn't mind a sequel, I really wouldn't. And I hope Simon gets another chance, if you've read it, you'll know what I mean).BUT YESSS, I'm so happy I finally read this! It was one of my most anticipated reads of this year and it didn't dissappoint :). I think it may become one of my favorites. -----------------------19/10: CRYING TEARS OF JOY BECAUSE I FINALLY HAVE THE TIME TO READ THIS ONE.-----------------------BEFORE READING IT:A SIMON SNOW BOOK. A SIMON & BAZ STORY. OMG I'M CRYING HERE!!!MY DREAM BOOK IS GOING TO COME TRUE!!!!! "It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters." KISSING. KISSING AND MONSTERS.
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  • Raeleen Lemay
    December 9, 2014
    DNF @ page 163In the author's note, Rowell says this is her take on the whole "Chosen One" story. But in reality, it's her take on FREAKING HARRY POTTER. Anybody who tries to tell me not to compare the two... Just no. Every little thing about this story (the setting, characters, etc.) can easily be traced back to Harry Potter and Hogwarts and EVERYTHING IS THE SAME. Plus, the characters are just plain boring and annoying for the most part. I couldn't find anything enjoyable about this in the 163 DNF @ page 163In the author's note, Rowell says this is her take on the whole "Chosen One" story. But in reality, it's her take on FREAKING HARRY POTTER. Anybody who tries to tell me not to compare the two... Just no. Every little thing about this story (the setting, characters, etc.) can easily be traced back to Harry Potter and Hogwarts and EVERYTHING IS THE SAME. Plus, the characters are just plain boring and annoying for the most part. I couldn't find anything enjoyable about this in the 163 pages I read, so I'm going to put this down and never pick it up again.Extended Review (taking comments into account)I am aware that this is SUPPOSED to be a Harry Potter parody/fanfic/whateverthefuck, but that doesn't in any way mean I have to like it. I think this should have been an online fanfiction or something, but a published book? Not on board. Also, like I said above, IT'S JUST PLAIN NOT GOOD. I hated the writing and the characters, so it just wasn't my cup of tea.
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  • Kat O'Keeffe
    December 27, 2014
    VIDEO REVIEW - http://bit.ly/1RLgYvMNew addition to my "all time favorites" list. Possibly new #1 all time favorite. I ADORED this book. Funny and cute and clever with a cool plot and fun world and plenty of squee-inducing moments. I've read the whole book through twice, going on my third read. And there are some chapters I've read at least six or seven times. AND THE BOOK HAS BEEN OUT A WEEK. I'm obsessed. I put the book down and all I want is to pick it up again. Aleister Crowley, I'm living a VIDEO REVIEW - http://bit.ly/1RLgYvMNew addition to my "all time favorites" list. Possibly new #1 all time favorite. I ADORED this book. Funny and cute and clever with a cool plot and fun world and plenty of squee-inducing moments. I've read the whole book through twice, going on my third read. And there are some chapters I've read at least six or seven times. AND THE BOOK HAS BEEN OUT A WEEK. I'm obsessed. I put the book down and all I want is to pick it up again. Aleister Crowley, I'm living a charmed life.
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    November 1, 2015
    4.5, I feel like if I give it more thought it'll be a full on 5 stars. I just felt like the beginning portion of the book dragged a bit. While this book definitely had elements that we're similar to other fantasy stories, it had it's own refreshing style. The characters we're brilliant (as most of Rainbow's characters are) and the story itself was fun, mysterious, and exciting!
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  • Steph Sinclair
    October 12, 2015
    Does this count as Harry Potter fan fiction? Sirius question.
  • Khanh (the meanie)
    October 6, 2015
    Sorry, this book is just too meta for me, man.This book is about a fictional character who was the subject of fascination in another fictional character's life from another book. It's a story about a made-up character from a series that's fictional inspired from another fictional series? Does that even make any sense? I don't even know. It's just too meta, man!Besides the ludicrous premise of a fictional Harry Potter (can you even have a fictional fanfic of a character who is fiction in the firs Sorry, this book is just too meta for me, man.This book is about a fictional character who was the subject of fascination in another fictional character's life from another book. It's a story about a made-up character from a series that's fictional inspired from another fictional series? Does that even make any sense? I don't even know. It's just too meta, man!Besides the ludicrous premise of a fictional Harry Potter (can you even have a fictional fanfic of a character who is fiction in the first place? I guess that's what you call <.i>Twilight?). It is all sorts of ludicrous to read a book about a character who is a parody of another character. This isn't tongue-in-cheek so much as it is absolute lunacy.I didn't give two shits about Simon and Baz in Fangirl to be honest. I don't remember much of them at all besides the fact that Simon is the fictional Harry Potter in the Fangirl universe. And I started this book not really giving a damn, hoping the book can convince me otherwise. It didn't.There is no plot.Not having cared about Simon's story in Fangirl, I still don't care about Simon's story now in a fleshed-out book.There is no plot.Literally nothing happens in the book.There is no plot.I have never been so bored reading about a world where vampires and unicorns and ghosts exist.Maybe there is? I don't know. I don't care. I was falling asleep by page 10.Furthermore, this book is just a sad parody at slash fandom. Baz's unrequited feelings towards Simon felt empty and pointless. Let's get this straight, it's not that I'm anti-gay in the least. It's that if you are to include homosexual and bisexual characters in a book, they should be there as a person. There should be a point to their character. They're not there for the purpose of OMG HOT MAN ON MAN ACTION. This may be a little controversial, but I am largely against slash fiction because I feel they're disrespectful to gays, to rewrite a character's sexuality just for the purpose of titillation. Baz’s mouth is colder than Agatha’s.Because he’s a boy, I think, and then: No, because he’s a monster.He’s not a monster. He’s just a villain.He’s not a villain. He’s just a boy.I’m kissing a boy.
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  • Regan
    November 7, 2015
    4.5 Really really enjoyed it
  • Lola Reviewer
    April 11, 2016
    I demand a sequel.Now.The fun can’t just end. The story must continue. Simon and Baz shall date and get married and have kids and... and... !Alright, let’s not be too clamorous about this. What we have here is a fantasy. Or rather, my fantasy. But really, who never dreamed of sharing a room with a mysterious and handsome boy who constantly gets on your nerves but who’s secretly head over heels for you?Simon has that. But… he’s clueless. And Baz sure won’t say anything about his feelings for him I demand a sequel.Now.The fun can’t just end. The story must continue. Simon and Baz shall date and get married and have kids and... and... !Alright, let’s not be too clamorous about this. What we have here is a fantasy. Or rather, my fantasy. But really, who never dreamed of sharing a room with a mysterious and handsome boy who constantly gets on your nerves but who’s secretly head over heels for you?Simon has that. But… he’s clueless. And Baz sure won’t say anything about his feelings for him because 1. He’s the villain, 2. Baz and Simon’s destinies are to kill each other and 3. Simon’s not gay.But then something happens, obliging them to make a pact interdicting them to slice each other’s heads off. And now they’re together… In the same places… And they…Don’t know what they’re doing. It’s so much fun.And you know what’s surprising? There’s actually a plot. Yes, you heard me: a plot not only there to fill gaps, but one that really helps to understand the characters and gives dept to the story, surprisingly.When I first started it, I kept comparing it to Harry Potter. Honestly, it’s impossible not to. The only thing is, the book knows it’s a fanfiction story and it feels that way, meaning the writing is casual… very contemporary-like and, even if the majority of the characters take themselves seriously, the reader can’t help but see humour everywhere.It’s in the spells, which are really just a bunch of idioms and song lyrics.It’s in the magic: wings that sprout out of someone’s back, teleportation, flying… it’s all for the reader’s entertainment.It’s in the world-building: wizards turned into vampires, numphies who kidnap people for ransom, an heir who can’t keep his magic in control… anything you can imagine.And I liked that. I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell didn’t hold back from creating whatever scenes she wanted because she feared they would be too silly. It’s silly, but it’s a good and, strangely, convincing type of silly.I didn’t want to stop reading it. It puts the reader in such a wonderful mood and let me tell you that, even if the romance takes time to appear, when it does, it’s hard not to notice it.As in, you will LOVE Simon & Baz.Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Natalie
    February 21, 2016
    “You have to pretend that you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”This review contains *spoilers*.This was my first time rereading the whole book instead of just reading the really cute scenes over and over.Fangirl was one of the very first books that got me into reading Young Adult and because of that Rainbow Rowell will forever hold a special place in my heart.So, of course, when Carry On came out back in October it instantly became one of “You have to pretend that you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”This review contains *spoilers*.This was my first time rereading the whole book instead of just reading the really cute scenes over and over.Fangirl was one of the very first books that got me into reading Young Adult and because of that Rainbow Rowell will forever hold a special place in my heart.So, of course, when Carry On came out back in October it instantly became one of my all-time favorites—not only because of its place in Fangirl but also because of how good it is.It’s the kind of book (the best kind) that you can’t stop reading and keeps you up all night.This was everything I wanted to read right now; it was adorable, funny, and just the right amount of heartwarming. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. There’s just something so special about it that gets me emotional every single time. She can make me cry and laugh and swoon in a single page. And the humor in this book was so well done that I found myself laughing out loud at several times. I really really really love her books (even my mom knows how much I love Rainbow’s writing) .Rainbow Rowell also has this unique way of making her characters seem so real to me. Whenever I read one of her books, I find myself feeling incredibly attached to them. I would be watching a great movie or reading an amazing book and think— Wow Cath (Fangirl) or Penelope would definitely love this one.I miss Rainbow’s characters every day, even when I tell myself not to. (What I was telling myself while reading.)In Carry On we follow Simon Snow -'The Chosen One'- that’s been destined to save the world from The Insidious Humdrum.“The Insidious Humdrum is the greatest threat the World of Mages has ever faced. He’s powerful, he’s pervasive. Fighting him is like fighting off sleep when you’re long past the edge of exhaustion.”And we start this book in Simon’s point of view, freaking out over Baz’s absence (I was honestly smiling every time Snow mentioned him).I especially loved how Simon was secretly wishing for Baz not to arrive before the start of term (“Nobody wants to miss the welcome-back picnic on the Great Lawn tonight. It’s always a big to-do. Games. Fireworks. Spectacle magic. Maybe Baz will miss the picnic; he’s never missed it before, but it’s a nice thought.”) a when Baz actually didn't show up, Simon got really sad and worried. (“I know I should be happy about Baz being gone—it’s what I’ve always said I wanted, to be free of him—but it seems so … wrong. People don’t just disappear like this.Baz wouldn’t.”)The one scene that definitely had me in tears was when Baz’s mom, Natasha Grimm-Pitch, came from The Veil to tell her son something vital. Reading that part the second time around did not make it any easier.“Where is he?” she asks. “Where is my son?”“I don’t know,” I answer.“Did you hurt him?”“No.”“You can’t lie to the dead.”“I don’t want to.”She looks over at his empty bed, and her sadness is so potent that in that moment, I’d do anything to get him back for her. (I’d do anything to bring him back.)”So I was really anticipating for Baz to finally show up— it’s one of my favorite parts in this book because I adore Simon and Baz together. My cheeks literally hurt from smiling too much."When I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of—Blue eyes.Bronze curls.The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.That Simon Snow is alive.And I’m hopelessly in love with him.”I had to take a moment after I read that because it was incredible. I loved that Rainbow Rowell put Baz’s feelings right out there from the start. I’m rooting for them. We also got to see more of their relationship during Christmas break. I was honestly smiling and freaking out throughout that whole section.No words can describe how much I love Rainbow for writing it so well. I really missed reading about them together.“I lift up his chin. “Baz.”“Go away, Snow.”“You’re not a monster,” I say. His face is cold as a corpse in my hand. “I was wrong. All those years. You’re a bully. And a snob. And a complete arsehole. But you’re not one of them.”And speaking of freaking out, I almost forgot how sweet Penny and Baz were as friends.It truly warmed my heart because they’re definitely two of my favorite characters and I have tears in my eyes just thinking about them. “So…,” she says, following him to the chalkboard. “You got a Visiting. An actual Visiting—Natasha Grimm-Pitch was here.”Baz glances back over his shoulder. “You sound impressed, Bunce.”“I am,” Penelope says. “Your mother was a hero. She developed a spell for gnomeatic fever. And she was the youngest headmaster in Watford history.”Baz is looking at Penny like they’ve never met.”I love how clever and funny and strong Penny is and I also really appreciated her relationship with her mom. “Penny quotes her mum as much as I quote Penny.” I really care for close families in books.That’s why I’m glad that Baz was (somewhat) close with his Aunt Fiona.Fiona is (of course) vindictive and powerful and honest, and I really enjoyed reading about her.And I loved the way she loved her sister (Baz’s mom). “I told Fiona that I’d go up to the Mage’s office and look around, even if it was pointless. “Take something,” she said, gripping her steering wheel.”“I’m not a thief,” I said.“It’s not thieving—that office is hers, it’s yours. Take something for me.”“All right,” I said. I almost always go along with Fiona in the end. The way she misses my mother keeps her alive for me.”Oh, and when Penny’s mom, Mitali, mentioned Lucy —whom I had somehow completely forgotten— all of her history with the Mage came rushing back to me so quickly. It played such an important part in the book for me. I would love it if Rainbow decided to write about their school years. Lucy and Mitali were such intriguing characters in this story.Also, something that completely slipped my notice the first time reading was that Rainbow put a Fangirl reference (of Levi) in this book.“I sit in front of Baz now, on the coffee table—which I carried up by myself. He hands me his cup, and I take a sip. “What is this?”“Pumpkin mocha breve. I created it myself.”“It’s like drinking a candy bar,” I say.” Here’s the reference from Fangirl:“I haven’t paid yet.”Levi held up his hands. “Please. You insult me.”“What is this?” She leaned over the cup and took a breath.“My own concoction—Pumpkin Mocha Breve, light on the mocha. Don’t try to order it from anyone else; it’ll never turn out the same.”It’s been so good visiting this world and Rainbow’s writing again. I can always count on her books to cheer me up.ARC from Netgalley (thank you).*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Carry On, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* This review and more can be found on my blog.
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  • Lindsey Rey
    December 10, 2014
    One word: BRILLIANT.
  • Kristina Horner
    May 2, 2015
    Yup, I'm totally on board the "I just want to re-read this book forever" train.I can't even explain it. I went in to this book with a healthy amount of skepticism (mostly an attitude like "but why does this book exist?") and I was TOTALLY put in my place. This book is perfect.It's everything fanfic-loving adolescent Kristina ever wanted out of a book. It's everything that never would have happened in Harry Potter. It's delicious LGBT+ representative romance, it's sassy writing, it's delightful u Yup, I'm totally on board the "I just want to re-read this book forever" train.I can't even explain it. I went in to this book with a healthy amount of skepticism (mostly an attitude like "but why does this book exist?") and I was TOTALLY put in my place. This book is perfect.It's everything fanfic-loving adolescent Kristina ever wanted out of a book. It's everything that never would have happened in Harry Potter. It's delicious LGBT+ representative romance, it's sassy writing, it's delightful unbelievable and it took me RIGHT back to my fanfic days. And for all its impossible ridiculousness, it also somehow manages to be a surprisingly great book.5 stars, 100%, would read again (and again and again and again). Simon + Baz forever. OTP. <3
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  • wesley
    July 27, 2015
    I’ve loved Fangirl, especially the excerpts from Cath’s fanfics featuring Simon and Baz. But this! This is just a whole new level of intense. And if the above will not make you die of extreme sweetness, I don’t know what will.You might have observed as well that the quotes above are all from Baz’s POV. It doesn’t mean that Simon didn’t have his moments (because he most certainly did!), but I’ve always imagined Baz to be a snobbish, condescending prick when I’d get to finally hear his voice. Well I’ve loved Fangirl, especially the excerpts from Cath’s fanfics featuring Simon and Baz. But this! This is just a whole new level of intense. And if the above will not make you die of extreme sweetness, I don’t know what will.You might have observed as well that the quotes above are all from Baz’s POV. It doesn’t mean that Simon didn’t have his moments (because he most certainly did!), but I’ve always imagined Baz to be a snobbish, condescending prick when I’d get to finally hear his voice. Well, he was most of the time but I wasn’t expecting the endless pining and the secret crushing over Simon Snow.But then again, who wouldn’t fall in love with Simon? He’s just this ray of light – naïve but brave and bold and selfless. Most of the time, he’s reckless but you wouldn’t be able to hold it against him because he wears his heart on his sleeve. It makes you want to protect him even though he’s doing all the actual saving.Yet to Simon, Baz is this immaculate, flawless, and well-mannered guy who is everything he isn’t. Handsome, smart, and cool, Simon thinks Baz always gets what he wants. For so long, he hated the guy because he symbolizes everything that he won’t ever be, and well, Baz has been taunting and scheming against him time and again. But in actuality for Baz, it’s a defense mechanism for a love that will never be his.Factor in that they both represent opposite sides in the war of the mages – Simon as The Mage’s heir calling for reforms and equality, and Baz as the last living heir of the Pitches, the most influential name in the Old Families, who believe in tradition and power being given to the few elites. They’ve been doing this exhausting keep-your-enemies-closer dance for so long. For the good first part of the book, it’s messy and intriguing. Suspenseful. Rowell keeping you on your toes and building the story up towards something.And when you finally think you’re at your wits' end, the dam breaks with that scorching first kiss. Then everything just explodes. Revelation after countless revelation. Rowell was relentless. And it was exhilarating and beautiful. Simon and Baz’s relationship turning to something more. Rowell bombarding you with all these new twists to the plot. And it just works well with the entire story. It’s like when a talented opera singer works with the best orchestra – creating this hair raising symphony of melody that is pleasing to your ears. Everything is in perfect harmony. And it’s exactly like that with how Rainbow Rowell gave direction to this book. The micro and macro side of things in the story working together towards one solid goal.And that is to provide us readers with an epic adventure full of love and magic that leaves you feeling like an oxymoron – utterly exhausted but pleasantly contented.I am contented! I mean, I was. And well, I know the photo above says to keep my cool and carry on. But God, I wish there were more. Not only of the story but more books such as this. As an LGBT reviewer, I am more than happy that Rowell was able to penetrate the mainstream community with gay characters like Simon and Baz. I know that there have been successful attempts by several authors, but not to this extent. And I’m hoping this helps in paving the way for more LGBT books being accepted in the mainstream, so that in the near future, there won’t ever be adjectives placed before the word ‘book’ or ‘novel’.Well-done! And friggin' highly recommended.
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  • Kenchiin
    October 13, 2015
    Thanks God I'm already gay, because after reading this I would probably want to turn into one.
  • Darth J
    February 18, 2015
    I can’t believe Baz never said, “You know nothing, Simon Snow!”I have to say that this book did a decent job of trying to fill the Harry Potter-sized hole in our hearts, but we all know that nothing else will ever completely compare. Watford and the surrounding World of Mages is like a valentine for those of us who still can’t let go of the Wizarding World—and damn anyone who tries to make us.I didn’t care for the romance aspects of this book, but I rarely do anyway so I just kinda skimmed past I can’t believe Baz never said, “You know nothing, Simon Snow!”I have to say that this book did a decent job of trying to fill the Harry Potter-sized hole in our hearts, but we all know that nothing else will ever completely compare. Watford and the surrounding World of Mages is like a valentine for those of us who still can’t let go of the Wizarding World—and damn anyone who tries to make us.I didn’t care for the romance aspects of this book, but I rarely do anyway so I just kinda skimmed past them. I know that romance and slash are kinda the main points of fanfiction, but the whole hurt/comfort tag really isn’t for me (Sorry, An Archive of Our Own). What I did like, however, was that this is definitely a Rainbow Rowell book, and by that I mean that the characters are well-developed and flawed. Which is something I keep saying is needed when you have super-powered people running around: there must be some sort of believability somewhere in the story for the audience to buy into it. And that’s where Rowell shines; this isn’t about romance, it’s not about magic, it’s about imperfect people and how their sagas overlap and interconnect. And that’s what grounds the book; that’s what makes these situations relatable: the frailty of our human nature.(view spoiler)[There are 2 reasons why I removed one star. The first being that the cover is unappealing and doesn’t match the cool artwork inside, the second was that I was disappointed in some of Rowell’s language choices. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Ashley
    December 10, 2014
    September 2016: Comfort re-read. Highly comforting. Still great, okay bye.October 2015, Updated 10/27/15: Okay, so. Look. This book. So good. I mean, it just. It has no right to. Like. What. To be so good. Finding words? Like, it should NOT work. Brain trying to brain. Failing.Fuck it. I’m not capable of being objective about this book. FIVE STARS.But first before the actual review, two things, so I can feel I’ve said my piece:1. This book is NOT Harry Potter fanfiction, and Simon and Baz are NO September 2016: Comfort re-read. Highly comforting. Still great, okay bye.October 2015, Updated 10/27/15: Okay, so. Look. This book. So good. I mean, it just. It has no right to. Like. What. To be so good. Finding words? Like, it should NOT work. Brain trying to brain. Failing.Fuck it. I’m not capable of being objective about this book. FIVE STARS.But first before the actual review, two things, so I can feel I’ve said my piece:1. This book is NOT Harry Potter fanfiction, and Simon and Baz are NOT Harry and Draco. They are just not. You will not have fun with the book if you think that is what’s happening here. HP and Harry and Draco fanfic certainly played a role in inspiring these characters, but they are by no means the only inspiration, which also includes plenty of elements original to this story, in addition to pulling tropes willy-nilly from every Chosen One story and magical boarding school story in existence. This book is NOT Rainbow playing with other people’s characters and stories third-hand. It pulls all of those things together to create something NEW.2. This book is NOT the eighth Simon Snow book as would have been released in Cath’s world in Fangirl, written by Gemma T. Leslie, nor is it Cath’s fanfiction, “Carry On, Simon.” This book is RAINBOW’S take on the characters and the story, and both of those previously mentioned versions presumably have different stories and endings than the version we get to read here.Now that we’re all on the same page, what this book is is wonderful. I loved it instantly. From the very first page, when Rainbow* starts riffing on established genre tropes, I was just like, YES.*I call her Rainbow because we are best friends.What’s genius about this book is that it’s purposefully designed to piggyback on all of your existing cultural knowledge of these kind of books, and to use that knowledge as a kind of shorthand context for the story. We don’t need to read about the previous seven years of Simon Snow’s time at school. We just need to know what those stories usually entail, and then we can move on to the really important stuff. Rainbow isn’t interested in telling seven other years of story, but she needs us to understand the world Simon and Baz live in. She’s much more interested in that moment where her characters and the idea of The Chosen One intersect. And of course as with all of her other books as well, she’s interested in human connection and love, in things that bring people together and keep them apart.Most of that backstory occurs in the first fifty or so pages of the novel, at which point you slowly start to realize that all the assumptions you’ve brought with you in to the text (and which Rainbow encourages you to do) are completely wrong and are about to be undermined the hell out of. It’s also around that point that her characters stop being alternate versions of Harry/Draco/Hermione/Dumbledore, etc. (view spoiler)[The one that sticks out the most is The Mage, Simon’s mentor (and secret father). Because everybody loves Dumbledore, we’re primed to love The Mage as well. Except, we don’t. The more we see of him, the more we're like, wait? What? And then we find out other stuff. And then he turns out to be exactly the opposite of Dumbledore, and that’s sort of the whole point. He becomes an indictment of the type of person/character who sees these Chosen Ones first as Chosen Ones and not as people. Also, Simon literally turning out to be the Chosen One, only because he’s also unknowingly the bad guy, who has to defeat himself, was pure deliciousness. (hide spoiler)]But let’s all be serious here for a second, because the real draw of this book that puts it over the top is absolutely the gay wizard romance aspect. I mean, this is probably one of the best most swoonworthy romances I’ve ever read hands down. Simon and Baz (especially Baz) are both just so flawed and lovable, and their connection is ADORABLE, and it feels so real, despite all the magic and vampires and such. I stayed up waaaaay too late in order to get to the kissing bits of the book, and it was so worth it. The reason they love each other just resonated with me so much, and it doesn’t hurt that the romance is paired with one of my very favorite storytelling devices ever, which is when characters re-evaluate each other, or go from hating/dis-liking to loving, because they really know the person now, instead of who they thought they were. It’s like Pride and Prejudice but with a Chosen One and a sad vampire instead of a really rich guy and a smart sassy lady.For those of you worried about not having read any of her other books, specifically Fangirl (which has Simon Snow excerpts from the Gemma T. Leslie books and Cath’s fanfiction included), you have no cause for those worries. You can read this book without having read anything else she’s written. The thing that I would be worried about is not having read any Chosen One stories, again, just because she uses those stories as background for her own. But even then, this book might still be enjoyable for you for the character work alone.Anyway, writing this review has made me want to re-read this book even though I only finished it a couple of weeks ago, but I know for a fact I’m not the only one who had this urge, so I don’t even feel bad. It’s now my second favorite book that she’s written, right behind Attachments. I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t make it out of 2015 without picking it up again, just because.October 2015: Soooooooo this book just happened. And there is no way I can write a review of it right now. I need to brain tonight and then maybe a little tomorrow before I commit words to typey-type thing. But OH MY GOD WHAT DID I JUST READ.December 2014: It is a damn miracle from heaven that this is being published, I tell you what. A story that began as a story about a story in another story. And a publisher is paying money to help make it a real thing. I mean, WHAT. WHAT!!!!!
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  • Giovanna
    December 9, 2014
    "I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review."Me and 2016, see, we were good. 'Til this week. Had one of the worst weeks ever and now this. I started reading when I was six. Well, everybody here did, but what I meant is: after they taught me how to read I kept reading. I never stopped. Sure, there were years in which I read less (middle school. Worst period of my life.) and years in which it seems like the only thing I could say was "more books.", but I nev "I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review."Me and 2016, see, we were good. 'Til this week. Had one of the worst weeks ever and now this. I started reading when I was six. Well, everybody here did, but what I meant is: after they taught me how to read I kept reading. I never stopped. Sure, there were years in which I read less (middle school. Worst period of my life.) and years in which it seems like the only thing I could say was "more books.", but I never stopped. And well, by now I can usually tell, after 50-100 pages, whether I'll like the book I'm reading or not. In this case I didn't need 100 pages, because I knew after chapter 3 that Carry On was doomed for me. But, as I (almost) always do, I carried on AH. kept reading.This is how it went. Warning: it's bad. Like, really bad.> You don't spell "Magic" like "Magick". You can, but please, don't. It's ridiculous. > The Harry Potter references started to get on my nerves after the first 2 chapters. And actually, I wasn't even finished with chapter 2. "Like in our sixth year, when he practically ignored me. Every time I tried to talk to him, he told me he was in the middle of something important."Duh. That's Order of the phoenix. "I don’t know what Penny’s even worried about; she’s had a boyfriend in America since our fourth year. (He was an exchange student at Watford.) Micah plays baseball, and he has a face so symmetrical, you could summon a demon on it."And American Victor Krum."I started helping out Ebb the goatherd during my second year at Watford. And for a while, hanging out with the goats was pretty much my favourite thing. (Which Baz had a field day with.) Ebb’s the nicest person at Watford."Female Hagrid here.And Simon following Baz around...oh, look, it's like sixth year, when Harry was obsessed with Draco! Ooooh.I know there are so many people who were able to ignore all the HP references and similarities, but I'm not like that. If you write:"Why did I have to fight the Humdrum? The Mage has answered that question a dozen different ways over the years: Because I was chosen. Because I was prophesied. Because the Humdrum won’t leave me alone. But none of those are real answers. Penelope has given me the only answer that I know what to do with. . . . “Because you can, Simon. And someone has to.”"I'll just tell you that this doesn't feel like a book at all. > The spells. Were they supposed to be fun?"He steps away from me. “Simon,” he says. His wand is out. “Stay cool!” I fumble for my own wand and start running through spells. “Keep it together! Suck it up! Steady on! Hold fast!”"My reaction: .______________________________."Down in the winding tunnels of the Catacombs, I use every revealing spell I know, and every finding spell. (“Come out, come out, wherever you are! It’s show time! Scooby-DoobyDoo, where are you!”)"Are you serious? If it's a comedy, well, it isn't funny. At some point Simon uses this spell: "It is what it is!". I'll tell you what it is: the crappiest magic system ever. > The book lacked balance in terms of pace. The first half was so slow I wanted to DNF it so so so badly. > Simon is pretty plain. I just...didn't click with him. Actually none of the characters truly did it for me. Penelope was supposed to be the Hermione of the group, but she really wasn't able to shine in my opinion. Agatha was just silly, easy.> The plot...give me a minute so I can look for it. Seriously, it was...flimsy. Predictable at best to be honest. > Romance! Uhm. I thought Simon/Baz had a lot of potential ship-wise, but...they didn't give me any feels to be honest. I liked Baz (he's actually the only thing I liked in the whole book.) but I didn't feel any chemistry there. I didn't like how silly Simon's character development was. Like, it was clear that his relationship with Agatha was doomed (come on, it was so ridiculous) but sadly his first move towards Baz felt very anticlimatic to me. I mean, he kissed Baz and that was it. There's not any character development when it comes to Simon's sexuality or personal growth and he didn't even think much about his relationship with Baz. It didn't feel natural to me.Is there anything I actually liked? Baz. I'm not fangirling over him, but he was like, the only character that seemed an original character and not just a poor copy of the original ones. Please please tell me this book is the result of a riddikulus spell. It would be acceptable then. So, listen, lots of people loved Carry On, but I didn't, couldn't and barely managed to tolerate it. When I heard that Rainbow Rowell would publish this I was so so freaking excited, you have no idea. I even wrote a pre-review with cute Legend of Korra gifs (and that says something) but as time passed I realised that I liked the idea of it more than anything. This is my opinion, and I don't want to offend anyone, but to me Carry on felt like a bad joke. One of those jokes that are supposed to make you laugh but make you cringe instead. It gave me this fanfction vibe that I couldn't shake off. And I'm sorry, but I've read better fanfictions.I love fantasy and I feel like this is kind of insulting for the genre. And if it was meant to be a parody it was even worse because...I'm not laughing. Please Rainbow, stick with comtemporary novels. If you got to the end of this review and didn't kill me, ponies for you.
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  • Chantal (Every Word A Doorway)
    October 18, 2015
    So…Carry On.I really wanted to like this book. It had potential. But ultimately, this book let me down. Frankly, it was a bit of a mess. The big question everyone seems to be asking about Carry On, is whether or not you need to read Rainbow Rowell’s contemporary novel Fangirl first, since the two are somewhat linked. The clear and definite answer to this is: no. You won’t get anything more or less out of this book having read Fangirl first. HOWEVER, you do need to have read Harry Potter . People So…Carry On.I really wanted to like this book. It had potential. But ultimately, this book let me down. Frankly, it was a bit of a mess. The big question everyone seems to be asking about Carry On, is whether or not you need to read Rainbow Rowell’s contemporary novel Fangirl first, since the two are somewhat linked. The clear and definite answer to this is: no. You won’t get anything more or less out of this book having read Fangirl first. HOWEVER, you do need to have read Harry Potter . People might disagree with me on this but I feel that if you haven't read Harry Potter, this book will make no sense to you. Why? Carry On is basically bad Harry Potter fanfiction. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against fanfiction. But this book just relied on Harry Potter nostalgia too heavily. When you have an entire book that relies on the reader knowing and loving the world and premise of another, that’s not really satisfying to me. I didn’t feel like this book could stand on its own.See, when I first heard people talking about this book I was very intrigued. People kept saying how well Rainbow Rowell plays with common fantasy tropes, how she inverses them brilliantly. If you know my reading tastes at all, you know how excited I get when I hear about these kinds of books. Now, I do agree that Rainbow Rowell had good ideas, but the execution didn’t work for me. It was trying too hard to be different, was too satirical and, as a result, felt disjointed.There was a certain psychological aspect to this book that had to do with said inversion of tropes and it could have been AMAZING. However, I don’t think Rainbow Rowell managed to pull it off well. (view spoiler)[The mage’s backstory was fascinating! Rainbow Rowell could have turned him into a layered anti-hero, there was so much potential for a massive plot twist and an OMG moment but she gave way too many hints. Also, she actually ended up turning the mage into a villain instead of an antihero which greatly disappointed me. (hide spoiler)]Characters:First we have Simon, who is not only totally flat and uninteresting, but also seriously annoying. After having read this book I still feel like I don’t understand him at all. He doesn’t seem to have any strong opinions on anything and never thinks things through. To be honest, I actually thought he was kind of stupid. Overall, I didn’t care about what happened to him and thus I lacked engagement in the story.I did really like Baz’s character, he was multi-dimensional and layered and he did make me swoon a little at the beginning. I thought his inner monologues were interesting, especially his moral dilemma about vampires. However, I don’t think the author took it quite far enough. I wish she would have explored his inner psyche more, would have gone deeper into his thoughts. His character was good, but could have been better. I also really enjoyed Penny, she was a smart, strong, independent female character, but again, she was basically Hermione. That would be fine, it’s impossible for authors to come up with totally original characters all the time, but in the magical school setting with everything else being so similar, it was just too much for me. Then we have Agatha who is an unnecessary character if ever I saw one. She added nothing to the story and her POVs bored me to death. It felt like the only reason she was there, was because Rainbow Rowell wanted to have an original trio, just like in Harry Potter. Romance:In the beginning, I loved the romance. New OTP, I thought. The pre-relationship angst was on point. I can’t help but love the hate-turns-to-love trope, despite how often I have seen it. But when the love interests were finally together, I lost all my feels. I couldn’t really understand why they actually liked each other, they didn’t fit and Baz’s infatuation suddenly seemed very out of the blue and meaningless. Also, for a book who’s strongest element was arguably the romance, the second half had entirely too little of it.Plot & Pacing:Though I had many issues with this book, the plot was definitely my biggest problem. It was an absolute mess. This book was boring. It was predictable through and through. Rainbow Rowell did try to write in some plot twists but I saw them coming from miles away. There also wasn’t any build-up of suspense; I was never scared for the characters. The novel starts off with a whole lot of info-dumping (since we start in what is supposedly the seventh book in a series) and after that the story just kind of meanders around pointlessly. The climax ended up being disappointing and there were times in the latter half where I seriously considered DNFing. World-building:Wasn’t well-done and relied entirely on Harry Potter to carry it through. Zero originality. World-building is one of my favourite aspects in fantasy novels but I found this world to be completely uninteresting and bland. It’s fine if you want to have vampires/ghosts/dragons/pixies etc. in your book, but please make them somewhat relevant. The magic system was kind of cool (although I’ve seen it done before), however, it wasn’t fleshed-out or thought through enough. Had the magic system been different, this book would still have been the EXACT same, which just goes to show that the author added it in more as a gimmick than an actual plot devise. Writing:Rainbow Rowell can write, no doubt about that. Her writing is very readable and her dialogues are fun and realistic. When it comes to fantasy however, I really don’t appreciate pop culture references. I’m aware that this is a completely personal opinion and a case of “it’s me not you” but Carry On felt a little like the author was trying to squeeze a fantasy and contemporary novel into one. The result was a misshapen hybrid. Overall:Although I can see why this book is getting so much hype, I personally cannot jump on that bandwagon. This book disappointed me despite the fact that I went into it with little expectations and I don’t recommend it.
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  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    December 9, 2014
    I DON'T KNOW YOU GUYS. It took a while for anything to happen and then everything happened all at once, so much so that it was actually confusing. Like, I still don't understand what happened????? I shipped Simon and Baz SO HARD THO. But other than that and an exciting build up towards the end (that ended up being disappointing because I was confused), it was just okay :/ SUCH DISAPPOINTMENT.
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  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    May 11, 2015
    This book, you peoples. THIS BOOK. I admit! I was skeptical! Because I really hate Harry Potter rip-offs usually (like The Iron Trial soooo didn't work for me) and I was also curious to see how Rainbow Rowell would pull of a fantasy book when she's famous for her contemporaries. Well guess what?! I FREAKING LOVED IT. I started off moody and then ended shrieking and turning pages so fast I nearly ended up with the book in my mouth. It is delicious. I am just sayin'.So OBVIOUSLY I need a list. But This book, you peoples. THIS BOOK. I admit! I was skeptical! Because I really hate Harry Potter rip-offs usually (like The Iron Trial soooo didn't work for me) and I was also curious to see how Rainbow Rowell would pull of a fantasy book when she's famous for her contemporaries. Well guess what?! I FREAKING LOVED IT. I started off moody and then ended shrieking and turning pages so fast I nearly ended up with the book in my mouth. It is delicious. I am just sayin'.So OBVIOUSLY I need a list. But I'll get the growls out of the way first.THINGS I AM NOT A FAN OF:• This started off as a...I'm going to say it...Harry Potter rip off. Seriously, it wasn't even trying that hard to be different. But by the end it was 100% different and unique and clever and fresh. So why was the beginning so cliche? The similarities to Harry Potter make me very uncomfortable because, while I think fanfic is fine, I don't really believe in it being published when it still resembles the original so much? Ahem. • It was really long. Reeeeeeally looooooong. The first 1/3 was a bit boring, dare I say.• I thought the magic system of spells was...lame. Like they cast spells with "normal" phrases? So saying "some like it hot!" is a spell or whatnot and it was just lame to me.• It had a LOT of backstory which was just info-dumped because, obviously, this is a standalone and we don't see Simon's first 7 years of magic school. So basically this infamous "war" and "hatred" between him and Baz is ONLY TOLD NOT SHOWN. It made it less powerful.• It was narrated by a heck of a lot of people. Mostly Simon, but also Baz, Penelope, Agatha and this girl Lucy who didn't fit in the story AT ALL until veeery late in the book. Ergo Lucy's chapters were confusing and boring. My real quibble here was that the chapters were in 1st person AND short. So all the constant head-bopping often had me confused as to whose POV I was in. Cue head exploding.• I hated Agatha, FYI.• I have a lot of problems with this book...AS YOU CAN SEE. And yet I'm giving it 4-stars?! CURSE YOU BOOK FOR TWISTING MY eMOTIONS LIKE THIS. (This is actually a good thing. Idek why I'm complaining.)...ahem. But now we can talk about the things I loved. BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF LOVE RIGHT NOW AND I WANNA EXPLODE.THINGS I LOVED AN AWFUL LOT:• One thing I noticed very much was how easily and comfortably Rainbow Rowell wrote it with a British flair! I just read another book by an American author trying to incorporate British culture and -- ugh. It was awful. But this?! This had slang (though not a lot) and mannerisms and it just felt QUITE BRITISH THANK YOU. (Of course I'm an Aussie, so I can't vouch for its perfectness...but it worked for me.)• The characters. AFJDSALKD THESE ADORABLE WONDERFUL CHARACTERS. I CAN'T EVEN RIGHT NOW. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They were nothing like the Harry Potter characters. NOTHING. Which just pleased me a lot of a lot. I couldn't get enough of Simon's gaunt stammering quiet self or Baz's suave, snappy, fiery temper. The characters leapt off the page with their realness and relatabilty. • And also Penelope. She was kind of nerdy, a bit bossy, totally factual and the best friend a person could ask for. I want her for a best friend. Here is my order, please and thank you.• Also Simon Snow and Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch. Do you know how much I love their names? I LOVE THEM. #SnowBaz• Speaking of how much I ship them. Omg. I will sail this ship till dawn I tell, you folks. It is ADORABLE. They hate each other, but Baz is the first to admit how much he actually loves Simon. But he hates that he loves him. And then Simon...and then...afjdkasld just their interactions and the chemistry and they're like fire and splinters. • And somehow the romance wasn't EVER irritating or too angsty?! Which happens a lot with these I-hate-you-I-love-you romances. But not here. It was perfect. It was just the right amount of snark and hesitation and Rainbow Rowell writes a damn fine kissing scene, I must say.• *whispers* I ship it so much.• The writing was really addictive. At first I felt like I was slogging through WAY too much info-dumpy backstory...but after that? After about the 30% mark? I couldn't put it down and I didn't WANT to because it was so beautifully written. • And after the initial Harry-Potter-setting-up-world...it got really ORIGINAL. And totally deviated onto this story about finding Baz's mother's killer...instead of killing a Voldemort sort of character. Consider me surprised. But the fact that it WAS so original and exciting and feelsy makes me ask -- WHY THE HECK WASN'T IT LIKE THAT FROM THE START????? HMMM???? A little more effort and the book wouldn't even have reeked of HP at all.• I loved the ending. <3• I love how quotable it is.• I love it, dangit. I LOVE IT....Clearly this is one of my rational and logical reviews (hahaha not) but, zomg, I am just surprised at myself. I really thought this'd be a downer for me. BUT NOPE. I have my twitches, but overall this book is one I want to hug and cherish and perhaps reread someday because IT IS THAT ADORABLE. One of my new favourite OTPs of ever I think.Ohhhh, but I have to admit: the cover is kinda sucky. Sorry. It is.AND I GOTTA SAY ONE THING TOO: Is Carry On the story that Gemma T. Leslie wrote in Fangirl? OR is Carry On the story Cath was writing? So is this like fanfic written by a fictional character?!? I mean, it doesn't matter. But I want to know if this is Cath's version or Gemma T Leslie's. That is all. But the fact that this is a book from inside a book just makes me LOVE Rainbow Rowell even more. EPIC, OKAY?! EPIC. <3*** QUOTES:"There are only so many hours in a day, Simon. Two, three people -- that's all any of us have time for.""There are more people than that in your immediate family, Penny.""I know. It's a struggle.""Words are very powerful."
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  • Maureen
    January 15, 2015
    4.5/5 starsI don't think this was *quite* 5 star for me, but it was pretty dang close. If I think about it more I may end up moving it up.SO MANY FEELS SO MANY.Honestly this was so fantastic. It perfectly blended the magical elements with the romance elements (if u didn't know....LGBTQ REPRESENTATION WHAT WHAT I see u Simon and Baz) and didn't feel like it was trying too hard EVER.I loved the magic system and how different it was and also the characters and just AHHH. I would totally read more S 4.5/5 starsI don't think this was *quite* 5 star for me, but it was pretty dang close. If I think about it more I may end up moving it up.SO MANY FEELS SO MANY.Honestly this was so fantastic. It perfectly blended the magical elements with the romance elements (if u didn't know....LGBTQ REPRESENTATION WHAT WHAT I see u Simon and Baz) and didn't feel like it was trying too hard EVER.I loved the magic system and how different it was and also the characters and just AHHH. I would totally read more Simon Snow books...or fan fiction....JUST MORE.Just so wonderful. So great. I'm so glad I read this.
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  • Megan
    December 10, 2014
    Here is my review of Fangirl, in its entirety:RAINBOW, YOUR NEXT BOOKS NEEDS TO BE ABOUT GAY WIZARDS. PLS N THX.It's like all my dreams are coming truuuuue!!!!
  • Jessica (priceiswong)
    January 8, 2015
    4.5 starsRainbow can apparently write anything! It's clear reading Carry On that Rainbow is really really talented with creating these characters and making them feel so real (and she even admitted at the Carry On book event her stories start with her characters then later the plot and everything else develops.) I LOVE Simon and Baz <3 I wish she was planning on writing more about them in the future!They were my favorite part of the book!I also liked how this felt like its own story. After re 4.5 starsRainbow can apparently write anything! It's clear reading Carry On that Rainbow is really really talented with creating these characters and making them feel so real (and she even admitted at the Carry On book event her stories start with her characters then later the plot and everything else develops.) I LOVE Simon and Baz <3 I wish she was planning on writing more about them in the future!They were my favorite part of the book!I also liked how this felt like its own story. After reading Fangirl I was wondering if this would feel too similar to Harry Potter but it didn't have that problem. While this was different than other fantasy books I've read as far as how she develops the world building and stuff, It was still amazing. For the most part, I did like how she would switch back and forth between characters so we got to read what everyone was thinking. However, during the fight scenes I just wanted to know more about what was happening and maybe not exactly what they were thinking? Does that make sense? For the rest of the book it was perfect. I just kind of noticed this during intense fight scenes. I would have liked to know more about Lucy, the Mage, Ebb etc I almost feel like the parts about Lucy and Davy growing up weren't enough and I want to know more about them. Why was Davy so obsessed with the Great Mage? I started reading the book and lightly compared him to Harry Potter's Dumbledore in my mind very early on and I realized he wasn't like him at all. He was entirely his own character with lots of his own demons for sure. Why did Simon's mom call him "rosebud" just like Baz's mother. Purely coincidental? Where is Lucy? Did she die? Or is she out in California somewhere like Agatha said... From the way she talked it's hard to believe she would leave Simon behind....Overall I still feel satisfied with how the book ended. (Definitely wouldn't complain if there were more Simon Snow books though *crosses fingers Rainbow will change her mind about this being a standalone*).
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  • Jenny
    December 27, 2014
    I did not expect to love this book as much as I do. When I was reading Fangirl I couldn't have cared less about Simon and Baz. For me they were merely a quirky Harry Potter parody and a plot device to develop Cath and Levi's relationship.This was the mindset that I had while going into this book. Initially I noticed that the book didn't take itself too seriously and it KNEW not to take itself to seriously. You gotta love Rainbow for that.In the beginning I couldn't help but draw parallels to Har I did not expect to love this book as much as I do. When I was reading Fangirl I couldn't have cared less about Simon and Baz. For me they were merely a quirky Harry Potter parody and a plot device to develop Cath and Levi's relationship.This was the mindset that I had while going into this book. Initially I noticed that the book didn't take itself too seriously and it KNEW not to take itself to seriously. You gotta love Rainbow for that.In the beginning I couldn't help but draw parallels to Harry Potter, but at some point I stopped thinking about Simon as "Harry" or Baz as "Draco" or Watford as "Hogwarts", but they became just Simon, Baz and Watford. The story gained a life of it's own - pretending to be the epic finale to an epic book series; all packaged in this wonderful standalone novel. I got invested in the story, in the characters, in the little quirks of an otherwise conventional magical world, in the MYSTERY, IN THE RELATIONSHIP. I can totally relate why Cath ships Simon and Baz!All in all I'm amazed how Rainbow Rowell managed to pull this off. This could've gone terribly wrong in so many ways. I'm glad it didn't, I'm glad I read this. The author doesn't cease to amaze me!
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  • Tehanu
    December 9, 2014
    So this will basically be a Drarry fanfic, right?Nevermind, It's Rainbow so I'll read it!
  • Hannah
    August 23, 2016
    4.5 StarsThis book is by no means perfect and I don't think it's for everyone. The world could have used a bit more development, there were some plot lines that deserved a little bit more attention, and it's pretty meta, so if that isn't your thing, you may have a tough time with this.ButThis is genuinely one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I cried, I laughed, I texted my friend screaming in all caps, I cried again. Carry On is Rainbow Rowell's take on the "chosen one" trope, and I 4.5 StarsThis book is by no means perfect and I don't think it's for everyone. The world could have used a bit more development, there were some plot lines that deserved a little bit more attention, and it's pretty meta, so if that isn't your thing, you may have a tough time with this.ButThis is genuinely one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I cried, I laughed, I texted my friend screaming in all caps, I cried again. Carry On is Rainbow Rowell's take on the "chosen one" trope, and I think she tackled it brilliantly! It was clever and witty and down right hilarious. This book was not what I expected in the best way possible.If you're anything like me and prefer character based novels over plot based ones, I think you'd enjoy this, because this book is all about the characters. Every single character is funny, three dimensional, and flawed, and I love them ALL (don't even get me started on my love for Baz because I'll never stop). There were so many fantastic relationships between the characters, but above all else, I LOVED the romance. The romance tore my heart to pieces, and I don't think I'll ever recover, but it was absolutely perfect. Also:I never thought I'd say this after Twilight, but this book actually made me like vampires again.I just loved it. I absolutely loved it.
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  • ➹мαүғℓσωεя
    December 21, 2016
    Buddy read with my girls, Silvia ♡♡ and Praggs ♡♡ who bullied me into reading this book. T H A N K Y O U Contrary to popular belief, I’ve never read Harry Potter (or watched the movies)- stOP LOOKING AT ME WITH THOSE JUDGEMENTAL EYES ; but if I had to guess what it would be like, I would assume it to be something similar to this book. It’s no secret that I am trash for Rainbow Rowell’s writing. Her books were what dragged me and built my love for the contemporary genre. Her stories are al Buddy read with my girls, Silvia ♡♡ and Praggs ♡♡ who bullied me into reading this book. T H A N K Y O U Contrary to popular belief, I’ve never read Harry Potter (or watched the movies)- stOP LOOKING AT ME WITH THOSE JUDGEMENTAL EYES ; but if I had to guess what it would be like, I would assume it to be something similar to this book. It’s no secret that I am trash for Rainbow Rowell’s writing. Her books were what dragged me and built my love for the contemporary genre. Her stories are always so cute with a hidden twist and so, so, so realistic and relatable. Carry On was different and similar to the rest of her works. While this was her first ‘fantasy’ story, she was able to successfully maintain that cute, fluffy, adorable, melts-your-heart while giving us a crazy, full-of-twists plot. I just really love her writing and character. Simon Snow, the Chosen One™, is a complete imp. He’s adorable and sometimes annoying but mainly just really adorable. Despite being the Chosen One™, he has a difficult time conjuring magic. His evil roommate, Baz, who is another terrible but beautiful jerk, lives for making his life miserable. But this year, everything is in shatters. His mentor is avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, the Insidious Humdrum is running around steal magic while wearing his face, and Baz is completely missing. This book was so cleverly hilarious and sweet and charming and mysterious. I love the idioms that were used as magic spells, they always made me laugh; who knew we were using them so wrong. The characters are so beautiful. Every single one of them. Not just Simon Snow and Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch, but even Agatha™ and Penelope and Ebb and Fiona and Lucy. So heartbreakingly beautiful. I don’t know what else to say but that I’ve seriously missed reading Rainbow Rowell’s work. It’s been a while and whether or not she makes a continuation of Carry On or just writes another crazy book, I’ll be there. “Go on, then,” he says. “Carry on, Simon.” 4.5 stars!!
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  • Simone
    December 10, 2014
    15/12/2015: Jup, just as great on audiobook. :)23/10/2015: Initial thoughts: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Slightly more in depth:As you can see below, I was REALLY excited when I heard about this book. Because getting to read about Simone and Baz and the World of Mages that Cath from Fangirl loved so much? That had to be amazing. After a while, though, I got a little worried. I mean, I love Rainbow Rowell and I've rated all of her books 5 stars so far, so I trust her to write a good book. But then again, 15/12/2015: Jup, just as great on audiobook. :)23/10/2015: Initial thoughts: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Slightly more in depth:As you can see below, I was REALLY excited when I heard about this book. Because getting to read about Simone and Baz and the World of Mages that Cath from Fangirl loved so much? That had to be amazing. After a while, though, I got a little worried. I mean, I love Rainbow Rowell and I've rated all of her books 5 stars so far, so I trust her to write a good book. But then again, she'd never written (or at least published) fantasy before. What if it felt like a weak version of Harry Potter? I was afraid I'd gotten myself so excited over this that I'd be disappointed...I didn't need to worry, because this book was absolutely wonderful. First off, I feel like I need to emphasize that it's completely apart from Harry Potter. Don't worry about that. It's a completely different story with different characters and a different world. It's also very much apart from Fangirl. It doesn't read like the snippets in that book, and you don't in any way need to read it to understand this book. Although, there were a few plot points I figured out faster because of what I remembered from Fangirl. (view spoiler)[Like Lucy and the Mage being Simon's parents, I picked up on that pretty much right away. (hide spoiler)] But that's fine, I didn't enjoy it any less because of that. There were some small but fun references both to Harry Potter (like Penelope having met her boyfriend when he was an exchange student at their school in their fourth year) and to Fangirl ("Pumpkin mocha breve. I created it myself."), but they were never too much and I enjoyed them all.To me, the book boils down to two stories. The story of what's going on in the World of Mages, and the personal journeys of the character. Both were great, but I'm going to start with the characters, because I can't get them out of my mind. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this is a love story between Simon and Baz. Rainbow has always been clear about that and they're almost kissing on the cover. So yeah, they fell in love and it was awesome. I won't spoil their ending, but I will say that I loved how their relationship was done. I loved their animosity turned attraction and their insecurities. Also, I'm really happy with how the LGBT aspect was handled. It was realistic and positive. (Also, slightly related, diversity! This book has it!) Outside of the relationship, Simon and Baz were both interesting characters of their own with proper character development throughout the book. They're just great. Messed up, with troubled pasts and not exactly care-free presents. They're awesome and they match.Despite the awesomeness of these boys, my favourite character was probably Penelope. She was such a kick-ass character and her friendship with Simon was so great. She was brave and clever and persistent and I know I'm making her sound like Hermione, but that's because I'm bad at this. She's entirely her own person. I adore her and I wish she could be MY best friend. When it comes to Agatha, I think Rainbow did a brave thing with her character and her ending. I can't say I particularly liked her as a person, but I think she was a good character. One that I'm happy was represented without telling the reader to dislike her. There was some good side characters, too. Like Ebb, the goatherd, who was amazing, (view spoiler)[I cried out when she died. That was devastating. (hide spoiler)] and everyone's parents, with their own history and relationships. There was also the Mage, but I don't know how to get into his character, other than to say he was well crafted and interesting. (view spoiler)[Fuck him, though. The arsehole. Glad he died. (hide spoiler)] So yeah, the characters and the evolution of their relationships were wonderful.On the side of everything going on in the World of Mages, we have a solid and entertaining fantasy story. First of all, everything is set in a world where mages can use magic through linguistic phrases (like Come out, come out, wherever you are! or U can't touch this! or Some like it hot!) that are used often enough to gain magickal meaning. That magic system may be a bit silly, but you get used to it and it's really quite cool. Now, there are some wars brewing between a couple of different parties. We've got the Mage, who's in charge of the World of Mages and Watford School of Magicks. We've also got the old families, who hate the Mage. And let's not forget the dark creatures (like the goblins), who've been attacking the school recently. And then, of course, there's the Insidious Humdrum, who seems to be trying to rid the world of magic. There's also Simon Snow, the Chosen One, the Mage's heir. He's supposed to fix everything. But that's not exactly easy.I guess it does start in a kind of similar place as HP, but I promise, it go in very different directions. Maybe I shouldn't hype this part up too far, though, because it's not like this is the best fantasy story I've ever read. It's absolutely a good one, though. The plot is exciting. The twists are good. The mystery is compelling. I don't really know how else to describe it other than "it's cool". It is, though, it's cool. And along with the love story and other character arcs, it make for a stunning book.So all in all, this book entertained my fantasy lover's brain, while also lighting up my love lover's heart. So... do I even need to say that I recommend this book to everyone?--------------------------------------------------------------------Edit 24/04/2015: We have a cover! It doesn't match the Fangirl cover, but it's pretty!--------------------------------------------------------------------I don't have the words to describe how I feel about this, so let's try gifs instead, shall we?Yeah, that about sums it up. :D
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  • Amber Robertson
    January 17, 2017
    “You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can't carry on at all.” I must admit, I've been thinking about this review for Carry On for a few days. But, I have nothing. I can't put my thoughts into words. I can't even think about anything that isn't SnowBaz basically. Honestly, I'm a mess for this otp. I need more. So, to give me more (and ultimately you), I am going to share some fanart I found on Google. You're welcome. The last one is just a re “You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can't carry on at all.” I must admit, I've been thinking about this review for Carry On for a few days. But, I have nothing. I can't put my thoughts into words. I can't even think about anything that isn't SnowBaz basically. Honestly, I'm a mess for this otp. I need more. So, to give me more (and ultimately you), I am going to share some fanart I found on Google. You're welcome. The last one is just a representation of me and my excitement, you're welcome. REVIEW FROM STRAIGHT AFTER READINGIf you know me, you know I have a weird rating scale. I don't give out 5's very often - my group of messy moose friends almost had a heart attack when I said I was feeling like this was a five. My mum is currently shocked by this too, she knows how hard it is for me to give a book a 5. I just couldn't help but adore the world, the story and the characters. It was all just so perfect for me, considering it is, in a way, Harry Potter fan fiction and I love Harry Potter there was almost no doubt I'd love it.
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  • Simona Bartolotta
    February 3, 2017
    “Just when you think you're having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.” •The problem with this book is that you're supposed to take it seriously, while everything in it tells you you should not. It actually reads like a fanfiction (you probably know that Carry On starts out as the fanfiction the protagonist of Fangirl is writing) which is not a good thing. Everything is naive, juvenile, simplistic, in a word, amateuris “Just when you think you're having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.” •The problem with this book is that you're supposed to take it seriously, while everything in it tells you you should not. It actually reads like a fanfiction (you probably know that Carry On starts out as the fanfiction the protagonist of Fangirl is writing) which is not a good thing. Everything is naive, juvenile, simplistic, in a word, amateurish. And it irked me to no end.•The most ridiculous thing of them all is the way Simon's and Baz's relationship develops. Ok, no, probably the fact that it's a retelling that doesn't even try to be a decent one, but let's tackle one problem at a time. Simon and Baz, our main characters, basically go from nought to 100 in less time than it takes you to say "now kiss". If Baz has always been in love with him, why does he still treat him like he's dirt? One would think that in seven years, he's had enough time to sort his bipolarity out. And if the answer is that the problem is his family, why does he just roll with it when his feelings come to light? So nonsensical and unrealistic. Simon, on the other hand, keeps on hating Baz with fierceness for half the book, then abruptly realizes it was lurve. I mean what.So, their dynamics was actually so bad it made it impossible for me to actually care for them -even though it's not as if they don't have their cute moments.•As I said, Simon Snow's story is supposed to be the Harry Potter of Cath's (from Fangirl) universe. As long as Simon Snow was only a name with a few details attached, it was fine to let him be basically a cheap imitation of Harry Potter; but I think that the moment you decide to give him his own book, you have to think it over a little more thoroughly. This is why I say that Carry On is a retelling that doesn't even bother to try to be a good retelling. A cheap imitation it was, a cheap imitation it still is. And what's worse is, its being a cheap imitation is supposed to be funny and amusing. It's not.•Moreover, I was bored. It's still entertaining up to the first half, but after that the story just drags on and you only want to be done with it.➽ While I do recommend Fangirl, which is not in any way stunning or impressive but is still highly enjoyable and cute and hilarious, I do not recommend Carry On. It's nice to have a closer look at Cath's characters, but it isn't worth to go through this sloppy attempt at a proper novel. Re-read Fangirl, instead: even a second read of that one will give you more than Carry On ever could.
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  • Sana Khalid °¤°
    February 12, 2017
    DNF @page 5 *screams* I CAN'T DO THIS. SORRY. I honestly just don't feel like reading this and I don't want to force myself.***I really disliked Fangirl and I'm afraid I'm going to dislike this one as well. I don't know whether to read this or not. Help me friends.
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