Published by Pan Macmillan on October 1st 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Love & Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Source: Bought for Myself
Click here to buy the book from Amazon •Booktopia • Book Depository • Angus and Robertson
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.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as meta as Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On. For those who have read Fangirl, you may be familiar with Simon Snow – a teenage wizard from a famous fantasy series Cath is in love with. Carry On is the fanfiction which Cath writes in Fangirl – how do you even describe that? A book of fanfiction from a fictional story which may or maynot be heavily influenced by the fanfiction phenomenon caused by Harry Potter…
Carry On is a fantasy novel which can be read independently of Fangirl but to be completely honest I’m not sure I would have picked it up had I not walked past it in a bookstore and got a little excited over the fact that Rainbow published Cath’s story (yes -I’m completely aware Cath is a fictional character and therefore didn’t actually write anything).
This was an interesting book to read for a few reasons. Firstly it picks up just before Simon Snow goes back for his final year of schooling at the magical school of Watford. There is a lot that we don’t know and we get to pick up bits and pieces of Simon’s life over the course of the novel.
Another fascinating thing about this book is how it is written. It’s meant to be the story which Cath wrote and I think it read that way. There is this sense that this is a book set in England but written from an American point of view – that is so wonderfully fanfictionish of it. And there’s the love story. Having read Fangirl, I knew what to expect in terms of the romance and I wonder how well this book works for a reader who is completely unfamiliar to the world of Simon Snow. I loved how everything unfolded but because I knew vaguely what to expect I think the anticipation made everything a little more intense and wonderful.
Ghosts, vampires, magical castles and big bad guys – this book does have it all. As a standalone fantasy story, it is a solid read but I’m not sure I’d have been as impressed had I not read Fangirl. And that said – I kind of glossed over the Simon Snow parts in the other book and maybe I shouldn’t have been so flippant back when reading the fanfiction sections in Fangirl.
Carry On is a fun and interesting take on fanfiction come to life. The romance was a pleasure to read and I loved how everything came together for the characters at the end. Carry On was not my favourite Rainbow Rowell novel but an entertaining read with quirky characters and a plot with plenty of surprises to keep you guessing.