Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Synopsis (From GoodReads):
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 starts 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 - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.
The origin of this book is wonderfully strange. This story was originally written to be the fanfic of a character in Rainbow Rowell's book, Fangirl. In Fangirl, Cath was obsessed with a series of novels that were very much like the Harry Potter series. I loved that book because it was as much about the writing process as it was a coming of age story. Cath changes the story and envisions Simon Snow and his long-time antagonist, Baz to be secretly attracted to each other. We never learn the ending to the fanfic in Fangirl. But this book, Carry On, is written as a complete novel. We get to learn about the world of Simon Snow and it is such a treat.
Rainbow Rowell's take on the Chosen One story is unique. Is Simon Snow the Chosen One? What price must he pay for being relied upon to be the answer to everyone's problems? The story does a great job of being very rational for a book about magic! I liked that the answers to the story's problems were explained and made sense (sometimes, Harry Potter tends to get muddled in that universe's logic).
The love story that is at the center of Carry On is very sweet, filled with the confusion and longing of first love. When I read Carry On, it made me think, "Well, why didn't J. K. Rowling include any LGBTQ characters?" But then I remembered that Harry Potter was written almost 20 years ago. I think if it was written today, there would probably be some LGBTQ characters amongst the teens. Having Carry On shows what that may have looked like. It is utterly important for marginalized groups to be shown in YA fantasy (as well as other YA genres) if it is to be relevant to today's teens.
Release Date: February 15th, 2016
Source: Bought by me
Format: Kindle E-Book
Recommendation: For fans of Rainbow Rowell (and Harry Potter), this is a fun take on the Chosen One story.