Carry On

23734628by Rainbow Rowell
YA Fantasy
3 of 5 stars

This book is such a meta experiment I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! A story about a fictional fanfiction character? I don’t know that it’s ever been done on this level. As it turns out…there’s sort of a reason for that. Although I loved a few scenes and plot twists (and of course, Baz) overall this just didn’t do it for me.

I think part of the issue is Carry On is supposed to be the 8th book in a series similar to Harry Potter. If you skipped to the last book, you miss a lot of the emotional significance, not to mention adventures and clues to the ultimate ending. The first third of Carry On attempts to catch you up on seven books’ worth of relationships and events, and it’s rather dull. We weren’t there for the journey, and recapping it doesn’t really matter. Once Baz shows up things get moving, but there’s still a sense of detachment. I found it difficult to connect to Simon’s—or anyone’s—narration, Baz being the exception.

The story takes a lot of risks, and I definitely appreciate that, but I found myself wishing Baz was the main character and wondering what he sees in Simon. I would say the last quarter or so makes up for the slow start, but coming from Rowell’s other novels, I just felt like this didn’t live up to her potential.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Carry On is available on Goodreads and on Powell’s store website here. Powell’s has several locations in Oregon, and is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!


Similar reads:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – The most obvious comparison, yes. But it really can’t get more Chosen One and Magic School and The Fate of the World Hangs in the Balance than this series. As someone who grew up on it, of course I think it’s better!
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – The story Carry On stems from, written by college introvert Cath, who is trying to cope without her twin sister for the first time. This story is cute!
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments series might actually be closer to Simon and Baz’s world than The Infernal Devices trilogy, but I enjoyed these more. There’s the same feeling of students in magic saving the world (in secret) all the relationship drama you could hope for mixed in with the adventures.
  • Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George – Cousins Dacia and Lou are whisked away to Romania to learn some–unexpected–family history. Maybe not Chosen Ones, but definitely chosen within their families, the girls must decide what to do with the strange destinies pushed upon them. See my review here.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – Hazel and Ben have lived in the shadow of the faerie forest their whole lives. Hazel dreamed of being a knight and saving the town from the faerie mischief–and menace–that lurked within, but she thought that time was over. Until she realizes if she doesn’t become a knight now, the forest’s power will swallow her home and everyone she loves. See my review here.
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – Although this isn’t the most original YA urban fantasy novel, it was so much fun to read! Echo is a thief who has grown up with the Avicen in New York City. The only certainty in her world is the war with the Dragon Prince, and that the firebird is the only thing that can end it. But finding the firebird might be the first heist she isn’t ready for. See my review here.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – The epic finale in this trilogy forces Alina to make harrowing choices and risk everything she has for future of her country. As the reluctant Chosen One, Alina has finally accepted she can’t stay in the shadows any longer. This is one of the best trilogies out there right now, I highly recommend it!
  • Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman – I really need to read the second book, but anyway, I enjoyed this one immensely! Eon has trained for years to become a Dragoneye, someone fortunate enough for one of the twelve dragons to bestow its power and governance on you in a magical but deadly bond. This isn’t the most dangerous thing Eon’s done–that was pretending to be a boy to get there in the first place. If her true identity as Eona is revealed, she’ll be killed. This is “Mulan” meets “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” See my review here.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Simon is only “out” to his email pen pal (and boy he is crushing on) Blue. When a classmate discovers an email and threatens to reveal Simon’s (and Blue’s) sexual orientation to the whole school, Simon must juggle the blackmail with the demands of junior year. This story is adorable and well-written, pick it up! See my review here.
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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erinkbay
    Nov 10, 2015 @ 12:24:15

    Yay!! I can’t wait to read this!!! I’m interested to see what it’s like!! Bah, jealous you guys get to meet Rainbow Rowell!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Amanda
    Nov 10, 2015 @ 15:55:21

    I wish you could be here!!! ❤

    Like

    Reply

  3. Amy
    Nov 10, 2015 @ 17:08:08

    This is exactly how I felt!! Like it was so plot driven but I didn’t give a crap about the plot!

    Like

    Reply

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