“I know that things will only get better if good people fight for what’s important.” — Rainbow Rowell (Carry On)
“Carry On” Review
This post may contain spoilers.
We’ve all heard of this book, right? Based on a fanfiction created by her character in “Fangirl,” Rainbow Rowell wrote “Carry On” when the premise took a life of its own.
The characters and plot are rich and easily sweep a reader away into the world of Watford, the school for wizards in this world. It has an interesting take on the Chosen One plot, what with the character Simon Snow shouldering the idea that he is the most powerful wizard in the world.
Except he’s not that good at magic.
The supporting characters — Baz, Penny, and Agatha — are all unique and fun to read about in their own right. Penny was a particular favorite of mine. Intelligent and quick, she was quirky, had no filter, and knew her way around in the magical world. Agatha was the girl who wasn’t enamored with her world and yearned for a way to escape the magic for a normal life. Baz was the anti-hero and the love interest, and he was deliciously snarky throughout both roles.
Simon, I felt, could have used more development, especially in regards to his feelings towards Baz. While we could see Simon’s attention zeroed in on Baz a majority of the time, his infatuation seemed to get lost until it was suddenly thrown at you.
One of the biggest accomplishments of this book was having the main couple be homosexual. The book itself doesn’t hinge on the characters’ queerness, as it shouldn’t, despite the hype and excitement that surrounded that particular aspect of the novel. Then, of course, everyone is making a point to mention that there are two boys kissing, but it just proves to the publishing industry that, HEY, readers want more sexual diversity in their books.
All of the characters had their places in the plot, which tied up satisfactorily with a twisted bow. It was the kind of read that made you want to turn page after page with the quick point of view changes and lines of story that eventually weaved together into a masterful tapestry.
When I had first read “Fangirl” and the character’s obsession with this series that involved wizards and a magic school and all that good jazz, my mind instantly went to the Harry Potter franchise, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. That’s not a bad thing, of course, as it was originally just supposed to be a fake fanfiction inside of another fictional book (reminds me of Inception, actually). However, with that fanfiction getting a novel of its own, it’s hard not to see the similarities.
With that said, I suppose after the Harry Potter franchise, it’s just difficult to not think of Hogwarts whenever someone comes out with a school for wizards.
My biggest gripe about this book is that I felt it was too quick of a read. With the Harry Potter franchise we got seven amazing books. With “Carry On,” it felt as if I was reading the seventh book out of series, like I was missing something. If this had been a couple of books, maybe a trilogy, and it led up to “Carry On,” perhaps I would have felt better about it.
All in all, though, it’s definitely recommended for those who enjoy fantasy, magic, and witty dialogue from the mouths of teens.
“Carry On” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.