Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

carry on by rainbow rowell

Published: October 6 2015

Number of pages: 517

Format: hardcover

Publisher: St Martins Griffin

Genre: fantasy, romance, LGBT, mystery, magic, friendship

Audience: YA

Rating: 3/5 owl hoots

Find it on Goodreads | Chapters Indigo

 

Summary:

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen, or at least that’s what Baz thinks. Baz is an evil vampire and roommate of Simon’s, and enjoys seeing Simon failing to make his wand work and setting fires. Poor Simon’s mentor is avoiding him and his girlfriend broke up with him last semester, and to top it all off, there’s a magic-eating monster on the loose and he looks just like Simon. Baz should be enjoying all of this, but what’s mysterious is that Simon’s arch nemesis didn’t bother showing up in their last semester at Watford School of Magicks.

 

My Review:

I remember it was 2 years ago that I read Fangirl and I was so impressed by Cath’s fan fiction about a wizard and a vampire who, after spending years at a magical school being at each other’s throats, they eventually fall into each other’s arms and become romantically involved. I was so enthralled by the story that I was hoping Rainbow Rowell might end up writing a book based on Cath’s fan fiction, and lo and behold she did! So you can imagine how excited I was when Carry On finally came out!

I love reading the world of Simon Snow and the Watford School of Magicks! The story was cute and the romance was sexy and heart pounding but I didn’t love it as much as everyone else did to add it on my all time favorites list for the year. I like a good story about wizards and sexy vampires, and a magical school of witchcraft and wizardry (didn’t I hear that line from Harry Potter?) but I would have loved this book more if the story was a little less meta and if I had a little more closure with some of the characters.

Before I get to what I didn’t like, let’s start with what I did like about the story. The chemistry behind Baz and Simon was freakin’ hot and intense! I love how their romance starts as a hate/love with the two staring daggers at each other since first semester, and even with Baz trying and not trying to kill Simon. The more I read about Simon and Baz, the more I wanted to see more scenes of them together because they are just so cute, watching them bickering and love/hating each other! The only downside is that they spend so much time quarreling that it gets a little tired that you wish they would finally kiss and make up for heaven’s sake! They finally do but after the second half of the story, which makes this the longest running hate-turned-love relationship I’ve read.

The story drags on from the beginning but until Baz officially makes his appearance do things become a little more interesting. Simon keeps a long and watchful eye on Baz which is perfectly normal when you’re trying to keep an eye out on your arch nemesis in case he jumps behind you, but then things get a little creepy when Simon is way too obsessive over Baz. At first I thought it was just his paranoia but then Simon thinks about things like why isn’t Baz in his bed yet? Or why hasn’t he eaten his breakfast yet? Or why hasn’t Baz stared at me back when I’m always spending long periods of my time staring at him from behind??? Honestly I was getting so tired of hearing Simon’s thoughts about Baz and thinking about the possibility of killing his school rival that all I wanted to do was tell him to just relax for Pete’s sakes! Thankfully there was Penelope to do that for me. Speaking of which, if I had to choose whom my least favorite female character is, it would be Agatha. All she does is moan and complain about Simon and Baz and being a witch that I was getting really tired of her. She is a girly girl who prefers to do manis then sticking up the courage to go and save her friends when they are in mortal danger.

Before I mentioned that I wanted to see a little more closure with some of the characters, I was referring to the Hundrum and Simon’s mentor, the Mage. I feel like I didn’t get the Mage at all, even after his backstory I was still a little confused at what he was trying to do to Simon in the end and what his motive was with Watford and the world of Mages. Was he trying to redeem himself after his wrongdoing or save the magical world in his own way? I also wish we had learned more about the Hundrum; he is the villain of the story and I would have liked it if there was a backstory like how he came to be and what reason he had for eating up all the magic.

I felt like this story was more focused on Simon and Baz, which was great but I would have really liked it if the plot didn’t drag on so much. The entity of the Hundrum is still a mystery to me and I’m still curious as to what happened to the Mage and his growing insanity over the prophecy. But those are only minor things that didn’t take away my enjoyment of reading the story.

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