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Carry On | Rainbow Rowell | Review

Image from Good Reads

"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."

Meet Simon Snow. He's in his last year at Watford School of Magicks, and he's the chosen one. But he's not very good at it. To top that off, his mentor and headmaster is avoiding him, his girlfriend dumped him, and his room mate and nemesis hasn't even bothered showing up at school.

But Simon needs to know what's happening. Why has the Mage been ignoring him? Why is Baz not at school yet? Why is no one too concerned that he is back at school after he and his best friend Penny were taken by the Insidious Humdrum the year before? As the story plays out, Baz finally shows up at school, months too late, Simon tries to discover just where he was and why he was away. When Simon and Baz are eventually on speaking terms that are a little more decent than nemesis talk, the two boys and Penny try and figure out who killed Baz's mother years ago and turned him into a vampire (which he denies half the book).

While the plot line of this story lacks a little, I find I didn't actually care too much about that. Simon and Baz's enemy status was replaced by the realisation that they both loved each other madly, which is everything you expect from a Rainbow Rowell book which has the sentence 'It has just as much kissing and talking ... but far, far more monsters' in the synopsis.

There was a lot of controversy and discussions on various internet platforms about how this was going to be a fanfiction of Harry Potter (Harry and Draco), or that it was going to be Cath's fanfiction which she writes in Rowell's book Fangirl, or that it was going to be so similar to Harry Potter that it would be terrible. I can say quite confidently that it was none of these things. While the world was similar to that of Harry's, with a magical school and a bad guy out to get the rest of the world, and three friends/students working together to defeat it, a mentor-like professor character who was a little mad and slightly aloof, I think people tend to forget sometimes that all stories are similar, whether intentional or not.

I think Rowell created a fantastic world in just one book and while I loved this story and loved the characters, I think I'm happy that it was just one, stand alone story. Of course I would jump straight back into that world if she were to write more, but I'm happy with how it ended and it will definitely be one I will re-read again and again.

[UPDATE in 2018: Rowell has announced that there will be more Simon Snow! It's currently called Wayward Son, and it's not due for release until 2020! Argh! What a wait! Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!]

If you liked her book Fangirl, and were intrigued by Cath's fanfiction in that story, then do pick up Carry On. Or if you like a bit of YA fantasy with kissing and monsters, give this book a go. Tell me what you think. If you've already read it, what did you think? Was it what you thought it was going to be?

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