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CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

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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 Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world…

3.5*

So this is the story based on the fan fiction and huge wizard world Cather was obsessed with in Rainbow’s other book, Fangirl, which I LOVED.

But reading this, I wasn’t sure why Cather would really be bothered with it as much? I mean I love Baz and Simon. They were lovely together, and the twist on magical tropes, such as using phrases and well known pop songs for magic, was really something I enjoyed.

But I sort of wish the anticipation of kissing each other and having the truth revealed about their feelings for each other had lingered a bit longer, because as soon as that happened, the rest seemed to be mingled into every other direction. Also, when he finally realises his feelings for Baz, Simon only wonders if he’s gay – like his attraction to Agatha had been a mistake. Granted, he’d never expressly said he felt sexually attracted to Agatha – saying someone is pretty and gorgeous doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a tightening in your nethers – but he couldn’t like girls and guys? Little bit of bi-erasure there.

I hated Agatha, we didn’t need her POV whatsoever, and Penelope probably needed a few chapters at best because, while she was a great intelligent character, she unfortunately didn’t add much to the overall feeling of it. Lo, behold, after the final show-down, we took in the viewpoint/opinion of… Penelope.

After Simon and Baz are bloody battling the end of the world, I want their POV, because they are the heart of the book. Their relationship is what this book, to me, is all about and how they are able to come together. I do not give one toss where Agatha ends up.

So the pacing was a bit off and it took about 77 pages until BAZ my beautiful Baz enters the picture – Baz the redeemer of novels. The first 100 or so were merely exposition and backstory, which I didn’t much care for, but the writing style is easy to get along with. Baz, dear Baz, goes into my favourites, but the book kinda doesn’t, unfortunately. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t capture the absolute Rainbow spirit of other books for me.

 

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