Thursday, 15 October 2015

Review for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 
Publisher: Macmillan
Release: 8th October 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy, FanFic, LGBT
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour 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 room-mate 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 savour anything.

Based on the characters Simon and Baz who featured in Rainbow Rowell's bestselling novel Fangirl, 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."

The world first met and fell in love with Simon and Baz in Fangirl, another book by Rainbow Rowell about a girl called Cath who writes fanfiction based on her favourite book series which features Simon and Baz. After reading Fangirl I was desperate to know more about the world of Simon Snow and so was thrilled when Carry On was announced.

Carry On is Rainbow Rowell’s take on these characters separate from Cath’s fanfic and the fictional story that Cath reads in Fangirl. It’s a hilarious, quirky and moving love story about coming out, coming of age and, despite the monsters in the world, carrying on.

As you’d expect if you’ve read Fangirl Carry On has more than a few clever and well-timed nods to the Harry Potter series which – not gonna lie- this reader was all over. However what really impressed me about Carry On is that it also stands on its own two feet with a cool and unique magic system that plays with the idea of the importance and meaning behind words. There’s also a mysterious villain in the insidious Humdrum that is sucking the world dry of magic and Simon Snow, the worst chosen one who has ever been chosen, who is supposed to save the world but, in all honesty, seems to only be making the situation worse.

The book feels properly British with British pop culture references delivered with a good dose of English humour and British swears to boot. Credit has to be given to American author Rainbow Rowell whose research was so thorough that national treasures Ant and Dec even got a mention.

At the heart of all Rainbow Rowell books is a swoon-worthy, heart-melting romance and despite straying from contemporary fiction Simon and Baz’s relationship is still central to Carry On showing that there really is a thin line between love and hate. I loved this slow burning romance, the chemistry and sexual tension had me shouting “For the love of God, just KISS!” at my book. Always a good sign.

Carry On was like nothing else I’ve read and is probably like nothing else that I am going to read. It’s a one-of-a-kind homage to fanfiction, the books we love and those crackpot ships that are clearly OTP.

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