Carry On // Review


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Published by St. Martin’s Press, Purchased from the Red Ballon Bookshop.

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.


I had an idea of what to expect when I started reading Carry On, but I also had no idea what I was signing myself up for. When I read Fangirl (which I loved) the Simon Snow/Simon and Baz parts were my very favorite. Partly because I feel like seeing those scenes added a lot of depth to Cath’s story, but also because Simon’s world had magic and Cath’s just didn’t… Therefore, I was ecstatic when Carry On was announced!

“He promised to make my life miserable” 150

carryonmapI had the pleasure of meeting Rainbow Rowell at an event the Friday after Carry On was released and she talked a lot about tropes in children’s fantasy novels, which was very interesting. She talked about the “chosen one” archetype, and unusual boarding schools and defeating a dark power, and while she did talk about changing them I didn’t expect Carry On to be so fresh and new. Honestly, I did expect something very similar to Harry Potter, but it was different from anything I have read before in so many little ways and I loved that.

For starters, the magic system is so. cool. I am a total nerd for magic systems, and this one just made my day! I love how it gives a reason for magickal people to protect “Normals” because their magic is dependent upon their language. I also loved how it means there are so many possible spells and that spells basically go through phases as the sayings are used and not used. Ahhhh perfect. I also like how some people used wands and some used other objects!

“We can’t just stop living because we’re at war” 51

I also really loved the characters. Baz was my favorite (from the moment he stepped in the room <3) but they were all so diverse and unique and different and gah I loved it. They also all had great dynamics with each other.

The thing that I probably appreciated the most in this book is that the romance didn’t take over the whole plot! I knew it was coming and it was certainly there the entire book, but it didn’t dominate the whole book. I feel like so often in YA fantasy as soon as there’s romance the ENTIRE STORY becomes romance and, well, can we just not have the entire story be romance please? Thanks. But Carry On totally didn’t do that (even though I really thought it might) so yay!

You should read Carry On if you love Fangirl, if you love magic schools, if you love fantasy or if you love really cool and interesting books. (You should really just read it)