A Book Review: Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

3.5 Stars


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.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

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.


Published in: October 2015

Pages: 522 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan Publishers)


Carry On was an absolutely wonderful read. I was very hyped up about this book, because I read Fangirl (which I loved). Basically, Cath loved Simon and Co., which made me really interested in Simon and Co. too. After reading this book, I can sort of see why Cath loved the characters so much. In fact, the characters and the romance were what I loved most about this book.

Alkkjsskldjas- The romance in this book is so breathtaking.

In Carry On, the main character, Simon Snow goes to a school for people with magic. Sound familiar? Harry Potter goes to a school for people with magic too! I was really scared that Carry On would turn out to be something that paralleled Harry Potter. When I was reading the first few chapters, my fears worsened, as there were several similarities Carry On had with the HP series. For example, Watford is a boarding school, and both Simon and Harry didn’t know they had magic before they went to their respective schools.

I was also a little bored (that was caused by lack of action, and the similarities with HP) by the first few chapters, which resulted in me putting down this book, and going away to read something else. After many weeks, I finally picked it back up and started reading. It started to get slightly interesting as I was introduced to Simon’s best friend: Penny. Penny was a really interesting character, who is not another Hermione. Sure, Penny gets top in the class (sometimes), but her personality and her background is distinctly different. Penny tends to say and do whatever she wants, which is what I like so much about her.

Carry On only really captured my interest when Baz was introduced. I love Baz’s character as well. He is multi-layered and snarky character who has an interesting background. His chapters were a refreshing escape from Simon’s chapters, which were constantly plagued by Simon’s paranoia (but Simon’s chapters do get a lot better). Plus, I love the way Simon describes Baz:

He’s the same on the field as he is everywhere else. Strong. Graceful. Fucking ruthless.

The book was written in the style where points of view switched with each chapter. Normally, I wouldn’t mind this constant swapping, but there are so many points of view in Carry On, it just gets a little overwhelming. Not only are there chapters in Simon’s pov, there are also chapters in Baz’s, Penny’s, Agatha’s, Lucy’s………… By the way, Lucy was not actually formally introduced, before a chapter in her p.o.v appeared. This made me so annoyed.

The setting in Carry On was also not that well developed. Rowell does not spend that much time describing the scenery, but the geographical location this book takes place in is conveyed. I would have loved to learn more about the history of the mages, as that sort of information would have made the setting so much more convincing.

BUT I loved the spells. The spell names were hilarious, and I just loved the ingenuity of the spells in the book. They even have elocution lessons because of these spell names!

If you liked reading Fangirl and various fantasy novels, I would definitely recommend you read this!


Find it on…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


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