Book reviews

Review: Carry On

I seem to be in a bit of a writing slump but I’ve told myself I can’t start reading a new book until I’ve gotten this review written. It’s bad enough that I’m not bothering with a review for Touch by Claire North or a blog post about the cards I made yesterday, so I just need to get on with this one and be done with it.

It’s Simon Snow’s final year at Watford School of Magicks and not only does he have to contend with the Insidious Humdrum (i.e. the greatest threat to the World of Mages) as he becomes evermore powerful, there’s also multiple wars on the cusp of breaking out as well as problems with his long-term girlfriend. Oh and to top it all off his roommate who has already tried to kill him several times hasn’t arrived for the start of term and is probably away plotting yet another murder attempt. Not the greatest start to the school year all things considered. Poor Simon – if only he knew the worst was yet to come…

Ok, so I know that’s throwing you right into it whilst not really telling you anything at all, but that’s how this book works. You have to bear in mind that these characters have already had seven years of adventures together – we just haven’t been able to read any of it.

That’s because the world of Simon Snow is a twice fictional one. In Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl (you can read my review here), Cath is a huge fan of the Simon Snow series of books by Gemma T Leslie and has been writing a popular fanfic titled Carry On. These books and the author don’t exist in reality, but Rainbow has taken the characters and their setting and given them their own novel. You don’t need to have read Fangirl in order to read Carry on as neither Cath’s or Gemma’s versions in that book are the same as Rainbow’s version in this book (that probably makes zero sense). Sure, reading Fangirl gives you a little bit more of an introduction to the characters but it’s not essential. After all, there’s still so much more information about the characters’ personalities and previous experiences that you pick up along the way.

What did I make of it then. It took me a little while to get into the writing style and appreciate the characters but once it got going I found myself rather liking it. I have to admit though that this was mostly due to the romance storyline rather than the magic storyline (chapter 61 ❤). There were elements of the plot that I figured out straight away but now and again it surprised me so it was fairly balanced in that respect. I liked Penelope’s personality and, like many other people it would seem, I somewhat fell in love with Baz. I was left with a few questions though as there were a couple of loose ends that never got tied up at the end (e.g. just what did happen to Lucy?)

I gave the book 3 stars which is the same as I gave Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, so it’s become apparent that whilst I find Rainbow Rowell’s books good enough I’ve yet to be amazed. I’ll probably give Landlines and Attachments a go at some point so maybe I’ll enjoy her adult fiction more.


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