Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Published Date: 8 October 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

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.

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.
(summary from Goodreads)



PLEASE NOTE: REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I LOVE THIS BOOK! There should be a warning label attached - induces squealing and flailing!

I've been desperate to read Carry On since I first read Fangirl, and the moment I got my hands on a copy I started reading and didn't stop until I'd finished it. I loved it. Carry On is everything I wanted it to be. Cute, funny, romantic, magical and gripping! Rowell has done such a great job writing a stand alone novel that is built upon elements of 7 years of fictional history. We're coming into Simon and Baz's story at the very end, as it were, but Rowell has been able to catch us up without getting bogged down. I admit to feeling some of it is rushed. In some cases I wanted just a little more. I'd have liked more resolution in terms of the truths Lucy revealed. It didn't completely sit well with me that we're the only ones to know the whole truth. Especially in terms of Agatha, who became so invested in the idea of Lucy. Plus, a little sadistically, I kind of wanted Agatha's feelings about Simon and Baz getting together! Other than that, I want to know what happened with Nicodemus. His story ended much too abruptly, considering Ebb's story. Some plot lines definitely fell to the wayside. You'll notice though that I've still given Carry On 5 stars. That's because my sheer enjoyment of this novel is still all encompassing. The thing is, Carry On could have been absolutely perfect in every way and I still would've wanted more! I really do. I truly loved it. The focus is Simon and Baz's relationship and believe me, I'm so okay with that. It's what I wanted to read Carry On for! I'm a complete fangirl for this book. I'm all smiles and sighs over it. I ended it with a squeal of delight and I want to read it over and over again.

I liked how Simon and Baz's relationship developed. Yeah, it's a little cliche, but it's oh so good. Be thankful you can't hear me, I'm squealing again just thinking about it. Their story and their romance simply had me feeling all the feels! It's adorable and hot. I'm a sucker for a swoony romance, and Rowell knows how to deliver. Simon's friendship with Penny, as well as Baz's growing friendship with her, is great too. The care and loyalty between them is heartfelt and genuine. Penny is awesome; clever and witty. I'm glad Rowell alternates point of view between multiple characters. It means we get to know all of these characters better, and learn more of the story. Agatha's probably my least favourite. She's stuffy, but I felt for her wanting a different life. Lucy's story is interesting and so tragic. Hers provided the necessary backstory and kudos to Rowell for crafting such a plot element. Again, it allowed all the history to be revealed without being too much or boring. It made it more emotional. Especially considering The Mage, who, though a major part of the story doesn't make much of an appearance. Having Lucy fill in the blanks in such a way really kept the plot outside of Simon and Baz's relationship flowing. Finishing this book was such a hardship - I simply didn't want it to end. I could read so much more of this world. 

Carry On is fantastic. It's not technically perfect, but the emotion and enjoyment of the story has me fawning. I LOVE THIS BOOK! 

Rating: 



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