Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review
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 is a love letter to love stories and the power of words- to every ‘chosen one’ whoever had more on their mind than saving the world…
My Favourite Carry On Quotes:
- “Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”
- “It’s always fire with Baz. I can’t believe he hasn’t incinerated me yet.”
- “It’s the good things that’ll drive you mad with missing them.”
- “Your mum would make a terrifying super-villain.”
- “If you’re as good as your word, words should be good enough.”
- “You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.”
I met Simon and Baz for the first time in Fangirl and I was hooked! I wanted to know more about this world of mages that was all too familiar and yet completely new. Carry On is Rainbow Rowell’s take on a ‘Chosen one’ tale. It feels like she is writing for and about all the chosen ones we have ever read about or may read in the future. There is always an absurd amount of pressure placed on the shoulders of a child. The ‘one’ who can save the world. I think, my one key takeaway from reading this book is definitely the fact that there is no one person who can save the world. But with the right (sometimes downright scary) set of friends and family, you can face any monsters.
Let’s take a look at the group of characters that help the narrative along. Each and everyone is a hero in their own right. Some save each other, some save themselves but most importantly they help Rainbow Rowell weave a beautiful tale of hope and love and friendship. Simon, our resident brave heart, is all about food, teenage angst and self sacrifice. Baz, with his self denial, determination and bad boy charm reminded me of another one of my favourite, green favouring, smirking boy. Agatha is the voice of surprising self awareness. She is a grounded character who refuses to be reduced down to a cliche or a foregone conclusion. My favourite has to be Penelope though. She funny and astute and the boys would be hopelessly stuck with their scheming without her.
I like the world that Rainbow Rowell has constructed in Carry On. It is a refreshing take on a magickal world which is elevated by how well representation has been handled in the book. The protagonists, Simon and Baz, are gay. Penelope’s mom is Indian while Baz’s mom had Egyptian roots. Penelope’s roommate has a girlfriend. The importance of words and thoughts have also been highlighted throughout the book. It has been clearly depicted that words hold power and the our intentions colour the direction of the words. I think that the book does a good job of conveying that we are all capable of bringing a change about in this world. Good and bad.
The choice is always in our hands.
Thank you for reading the review!
You can read my review for the book that first featured Simon and Baz – Fangirl
You can also read the review of Rainbow Rowell’s first young adult novel – Eleanor and Park
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