Book Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters
To be honest, I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I just know that it was a Rainbow Rowell book and that was enough to spark my interest. What I got was a complex fantasy based on of the fan fiction characters from Rowell's book Fangirl (Which is amazing. If you haven't already read it, please go do so now!) I enjoyed many, many things about this book, which we will get to shortly. However, I think there are a few things that prevented me from loving this even more. It felt like the final book in a series, without the series. I think I would have been more invested in the characters had there been a series to start with. Also, the pacing seemed a bit slow to start, but no worries, it doesn't take long to pick up!
Simon is super friendly and already has a few close friends, but it's quite clear that Penny is his BFF. They make a great team and I love their shared scenes. Along with friendly, Simon is trusty and reliable. He does what he says, and he means what he says. His connection to the Mage seems a bit off to me. For being Simon's mentor, the Mage seems rather aloof and secretive. Like he's holding back from Simon. That gave me some trust issues. Penny is smart, friendly, and loyal. She makes a great BFF for Simon. Agatha was a bit of a wild card to me. She seemed more of someone I should like, rather than someone I actually liked. Finally, Baz. The main concern surrounding Baz...is he a friend or foe. Despite several warnings, I had a soft spot for Baz. He just didn't seem to be this bad guy that his reputation had been built up to. Again, if there had been prior books, I may have felt differently.
I loved the overall theme of love conquers all! Because it does and should. I also thought that treating magic with respect and honor was a prevalent theme, as it should be. Finally, family doesn't have to have to be the family you're born with. Good friends make a wonderful family. Another good theme!
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It took a while for me to get in stride with the pacing, but once I did, it was difficult to set down this book. I would highly recommend Carry On to Fangirl fans and new Rowell readers alike. However, I would also encourage readers to read Rowell's other works as well. She is such an amazing author and while I enjoyed Carry On, some of her other books are even better!
Cover Art Commentary:
Wow...it took me a loooong time to realize that the blue and yellow are actually faces of characters! That's kind of cool. Otherwise, the cover definitely isn't as special as the story.