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Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry OnTitle: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series:  n/a
Pages:  517
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 8th October, 2015
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
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.


My Thoughts:
Before I start this review, I feel I should explain how this book came about. Rainbow Rowell's novel Fangirl is about, you guessed it, a fangirl called Cath who writes fanfiction about a character called Simon Snow. The Simon Snow books are the world of Fangirl's equivalent to our Harry Potter, I guess, and Carry On is supposedly the full fanfic that Cath writes in Fangirl. You don't have to have read Fangirl to read Carry On, however you should anyway!

I was super excited to get a full Simon Snow story, since in Fangirl you get so many little snippets of his world, but you never quite get to see the full picture. I couldn't wait to fully immerse myself in the world of Mages and get to know Simon, Baz, Penelope and Agatha properly, for a whole book, and I was not disappointed. It's been compared many times to Harry Potter and the similarities are definitely there, however I'm a big fan of HP so it didn't really bother me too much. Although it took me almost a whole month what with uni and life and all that jazz getting in the way, I really enjoyed it.

The book starts off with the start of the school year. I really liked reading about Watford and the setting of the school, and the inside covers of the hardback are colourful maps of the school grounds so that was definitely a bonus! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the novel is set in England which I just wasn't expecting from an American author, and although there were a couple of things that I didn't think a British person would say overall it was very convincing.

Obviously, the relationship between Simon and Baz was the highlight of the novel for me. I loved how it developed from Simon hating Baz at the beginning, yet still not being able to stop thinking about him, to a truce that was almost friendship, to something more. It was especially cute because right from the start, from Fangirl you know they will end up together and it's just a matter of when, so it's impossible not to read and be rooting for them, even when at times it seemed impossible that it would happen! They are so good together and I loved it.

Their relationship is not the only plotline however - Simon also is 'the Chosen One' who must defeat the Insidious Humdrum, and they also have to find out who killed Baz's mother. These plots were pretty good, although again I couldn't thinking of Harry and Voldemort and Penelope's super brain was just like Hermione's, but I think this just made me like it more because I love HP and also that's not to say it wasn't written well and can't stand on it's own. I was surprised by the ending so it wasn't predictable, which is always good. The plot moves fast towards the end so it's hard to put down, and the multiple narrators are interwoven really effectively to keep you hooked in and unable to put the book down. And so , overall it really isn't one to be missed, (especially for fans of Fangirl)!

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  3. I didn't know about this book, but really enjoyed Fangirl. Sounds like this could be fun. Thanks for sharing.

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