Carry On

Author  Rainbow Rowell
Date Released  6 October 2015
Rating ★★★★★

Another re-read! Haven’t had much time to search for any new books. Any suggestions?

Quick intro: **This story was inspired by another of Rowell’s books, Fangirl, in which the main character, Cath, writes an extremely popular fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz Pitch, apparent archnemeses.** Simon Snow, orphan, is the most powerful mage/sorcerer dude in the world and arrives in the magical world just as a powerful evil being they call the Insidius Humdrum begins creating spots around the country where magic is absent. Simon goes to a magic boarding school during the school year and his roommate is suspected vampire Baz Grimm-Pitch, the son of the magical boarding school’s previous headmistress, who was killed in a vampire attack on the school when Baz was little and shows up as a ghost to Simon at some point in the book. Baz and Simon hate each other’s guts (Simon thinks Baz is trying to steal his girlfriend and thinks he’s a monster/vampire (vampires aren’t allowed at the school), Baz thinks Simon is an idiot (he kind of is)), but they have to work together to find out what’s going on with Baz’s mom and what’s up with the Insidius Humdrum. Simon really can’t control his magic, like, at all, so it just kind of explodes in huge powerful bursts sometimes. As Baz and Simon work together, they realize some things about their relationship.

Carry On 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.”

I picked up Carry On for the first time when it first came out. I’d read Fangirl, and as a fangirl myself, thought it was a really cool story (you should check that one out, too). Carry On is pretty different, though. Instead of a college campus and a boy and a girl, it’s a school for magic, with powerful creatures and people, deception, ghosts, and puzzling occurences, and it’s a boy and a boy. The best part of this book was the fact that, as each character narrates a section, we get glimpses (just little glimpses) into the truths behind the characters’ actions, so we see how each character realizes the changes around them. Also, Simon Snow just doesn’t think. About anything. Which makes for interesting character and relationship development. He’s surprised so easily, even by himself. And it’s hilarious and endearing. Baz (roommate/sort-of enemy) kind of agrees with that assessment.

Rowell does a really god job of using the style of narration to keep the readers up to speed on all the mysteries and puzzles going on without giving the solutions away. Again, so good at the surprises. It’s really hard to surprise me after I’ve read so much, but this book was full of them and I loved it. Also, Rowell creates a future for her characters without stating it outright – Snow has classes (in what? where? not at the magic school.), Baz is finishing up at Watford (the magic school), Simon’s ex-girlfriend leaves to live a different life, Simon and Baz mix up the roommate situation after living together for seven years at school. We don’t know what their five-year-plan is, but it seems like everything’s going to be as good as you can expect from life (this book also is exceptional at keeping things relevant to real life, even with the magic and drama) without being super cheesy.

Also, Simon and Baz are so fascinating to read about as they interact. And they’re so good together.

I will totally let you know when I come across a book I don’t recommend that you read (although you might want to read that book anyways just to be exposed to all degrees of book awesomeness), but this is not that book. Read Carry On if you’d like to read about magic, insecurities, mystery, oblivious boys, strength, trouble, and friendship.

Mar sin leat,

Magic separates us from the world; let nothing separate us from each other.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve spent my whole life looking for the map or key that would make Watford – the whole World of Mages – make sense.

He looks uncharacteristically thoughtful. I wonder if he’s forgotten that he’s holding my hands.

“You have to be alive to change.”

(Kiss him? Kill him? Improvise?)

“I just – I really hoped there’d be sandwiches.”


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