Saturday, October 31, 2015

"Carry On" - Rainbow Rowell

Hellow fellow bibliophiles! Today I have an intriguing review of Carry On by the bestselling New York Times author Rainbow Rowell to share with you. This is the first book in my upcoming newly joined FYA book club! Generally when I am reviewing/reading, I stay up later than I should reading the book and then write the review within the next couple days. But, as I finished Carry On, I felt a stroke of inspiration/brilliance/insanity to write, hence its almost 3 am and I'm scribbling away, pen to paper, West Wing reruns playing in the background. Shout out to Aaron Sorkin for being a literal G-O-D! Am I right?! And yes, I write everything out by hand and then type it. I'm old school.

First things first. Even though this book has ties to Rowell's book Fangirl (check out my review here!), it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. Rowell took Simon Snow, the fictional character from Fangirl, and gave him his own story.

"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 of this, if he were here -- it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't 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."

The story is broke into four "books" or parts. I found it difficult to get started and drawn in with this book. It took me pretty much the entire "Book One," about 150 pages to get into it. After that, I was hooked and didn't put it down until I was finished. It's a typical Rainbow Rowell novel. Full of normal teen-romance-friendship drama that her loyal readers have come to love and expect. Even though it took me a while to get into it, I did still like the book. Rowell is a great writer. She fully develops her characters and gives them a multi-dimensional facet. The only thing that did turn me off a bit, and maybe this is why  I struggled with the beginning, are all the similarities to Harry Potter. I grew up with HP. He embodied my reading years from grade school through high school. It's extremely hard for me to consider anything else that closely resembles HP solely due to the place in my heart it will always hold. Now there is a lot more to Carry On that just magic and evil nemesis' and being "The Chosen One." It is still a great story besides all of that. I LOVED the ending. I almost wish I would have read Fangirl after Carry On. Parts of that book would have made more sense, in my opinion. I often felt the fan-fiction sections in Fangirl that talked about Simon Snow and friends were out of place and by reading it after Carry On, I would have had a better understanding of them and their story. Just something to consider if you haven't read either book! Make sure to check out my other book reviews by Rainbow Rowell. She's quite fantastic! As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions, or recommendations!

Happy reading fools :)

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