Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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Title:Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating: 4.25 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.35

Summary (Goodreads): Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.


Cover: 4/5

It’s really eye catching and lovely to look at. And when you take of the jacket *giggles* it gets so much better.



Review: When people say that they flew through the pages of a book I think yeah yeah course you did, but Crowley, when I was reading this book I was on page 109 one minute and 259 the next. It felt like magic, how could of have only been reading for an hour and made such progress? So when I say this is a fast paced book- I seriously mean it. I had to make a conscious effort to not read for long periods of time just so I stretched out this novel a bit. I could of easily finished this on Tuesday, but a hung on a bit longer and I am very glad I did. This book was highly amusing and fun to read! I was smiling stupid while reading it!

Plot: If I said the chosen one, a smart best friend, a sworn nemesis, a ‘wise’ mentor, a magical school, wands and a magical war you would probably think Harry Potter. And you would be right to think that, but now two names are going to pop up into my head: Harry Potter and Simon Snow. These are only a few similarities with Harry Potter that I pointed out. It’s like Harry Potter with a fresh in cast and a new adventure to follow. Sometimes I felt myself rolling my eyes in a half joking matter and other times gasping in shock because I thought they were going to take the simple and predictable route, but took a different turn. So to put it simply- Carry On isn’t a carbon copy of Harry Potter, but more like a heavily Harry Potter inspired story.

I will stop talking about Harry Potter now because it wouldn’t be fair- this is a new novel in its own right.

There are many POV changes during the book (seriously, one line then another POV) but they are never really infuriating (maybe Agatha’s towards the end) and I loved getting inside other characters brains so quickly and then leave a moment later, which made the book very quick to read. The book is definitely character driven and I could tell this because whenever someone asked me what the book was about, I felt that I had to tell them all about the characters to explain the plot (does that makes sense?). Nothing really wrong with that but after I finished the book it did make me wonder what the hell I read for 517 pages. All of the action seemed to happen in the last 100 pages so what happened to the other 417 pages? But it did feel like a lot of stuff was happening- it now feels like an illusion.

Even though all of the ‘action’ was taking place I felt hollow. I don’t know what that means because I did really enjoy reading the book, it’s just that the story didn’t hold my head under water, like other stories do. But because it is a character driven story I will talk about this more on the character section of this book.

Lastly, I loved how they cast spells in this book and all of the British and pop culture references, those were appreciated!

Characters: Simon Snow is a typical chosen one, brave, naive, too trusting and rather special in everyone’s eyes. Simon was a pretty likable character overall, I never felt his character was annoying and I rather enjoyed reading his POV chapters because those chapters had bucket loads of world-building unlike some (cough cough Lucy cough cough).

Penelope was pretty likable and 5 points to Rowell because she was half Indian and English and not just a full on English gal she could of easily been. Her witty comments were really appreciated! I wish I could of learned more about her and her life because she did seen genuinely interesting.

Baz. Oh how I loved Baz’s character! He was funny, smart and dark and yes yes YES! The whole vampire part was not roadkill in my opinion but nicely written for his character. His and Simon’s conversations were entertaining to read and I don’t think you can’t help but like Baz though he can be a bit rude and lovey dovey and angsty.

HOWEVER, even though I am saying all of these nice things, I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters. I wish there was much more deep character development. They stayed flat and I hate flat! And with this being a largely character driven story I feel that I should of felt more for these characters.

What I liked:

  • How fast paced the book was
  • The writing was on point! Smooth and enjoyable.
  • The twists and turns of the plot
  • British and pop culture references

What I disliked:

  • That the characters didn’t have many layers to them
  • How the plot seemed missing sometimes
  • (Too many Harry Potter-like things?)

Verdict: A great, quick read with some light hearted and dark moments mixed in together, though the flat characters and missing plot sometimes let it down slightly. But I still recommend this novel to fans of romance, fantasy and maybe Harry Potter!

-Astra