Ever since reading Fangirl at the start of the year, I have been impatiently waiting for Carry On, and can I just say, it does not disappoint! In case you didn’t already know, Carry On is the fanfiction story, Cath (a fictional character) from Fangirl (a fiction book) was writing about her favourite fantasy book series (which is like that worlds Harry Potter) and Rainbow decided she wanted Simon and Baz to have their own story.
I wasn’t too sure how I was going to feel about this book, I couldn’t help being a tiny bit unsure about Rainbow switching it up from her usual contemporary romance to fantasy but it contains everything we love about a Rainbow Rowell book just with a Harry Potter twist. So it was amazing obviously.
The characters in this book were amazing, not that that should be a surprise. I think on the back of the book Simon is described as the worst chosen on to ever be chosen and I gotta say that’s pretty damn accurate. He’s a pretty hopeless mage, but he makes up for it with his loyalty, bravery and goofiness. Baz, was hands down my favourite character, he’s very sophisticated, elitist and sarcastic (which, something about that combination just makes an awesome character). Plus his full name is Tyrannus Basilton Pitch which is just too good!! Penelope is like this worlds Hermione and she’s equally as awesome. She’s brilliant, smug, caring and brave. I really enjoyed her chapters. And last, Agatha, I got to be honest and say I didn’t enjoy Agatha’s chapters anywhere near the same as everyone else, she’s a bit of a wimp, and I didn’t like how much she didn’t want to be a part of the magic world. Like, hello! Millions of us want to be a part of your magic club, don’t take it for granted.
As usual in a Rainbow novel, the romance was swoon worth. Baz loves Simon so much I just LOVED it!! It was like heart squeezing to read Baz loving Simon and him not realizing that he loves him back! Simon and Baz’s romance was amazing, they consistently fight and bicker but below that all is love and protection for each other. After finishing ever Rainbow book I need a sequel so I can get more of the characters love!
Now I have a couple of reasons I couldn’t give this book 5 stars, but keep in mind these things are mostly minor.
- There is no way is hell you can read this book as a standalone completely separate of Fangirl. If some person in a book shop picked this up having no prior knowledge that it is meant to be fanfiction of the last book in a fictional series that’s a hell of a lot like Harry Potter they would be so, so, so confused. I can imagine someone starting this book and then goodreads-ing it to check if this is the 8th in a series. Also, I have no trouble imagining someone picking this up and being like ‘this is the most obvious Harry Potter wanna be ever’ and like being so confused why no one is review it and calling it a knock off. (Not that I’m personally calling it a knock off, I’m just saying its Hella similar)
- Ties in with my first reason – the plot twists would have been so much more shocking if we had all the back story that’s only quickly eluded to in this book. Like I felt pretty much nothing when a very, very close character to Simon died, but if this was the 8th and final book in a series I would have probably been a sobbing mess because I would have read all the things that made her so important to Simon.
- I wanted way more romance! As I said above, I loved Simon and Baz but for the most part it felt their romance was a sub plot to the main plot. (And I didn’t care too much about the main plot because this was a last book in a series that doesn’t exist. Does that make sense?)
Overall, I loved this book, the characters are a lot of fun and very unique. I loved that we got LBGQTI+ characters in a YA fantasy – it’s such a rare thing and Rainbow does it so well. I’m not sure how I feel about the plot as a whole, it felt like I was meant to be super connected to a story when I only got to read the last chapter. It’s like reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows without having read the rest of the series. Now, I’m in the same boat I was after finishing Fangirl – just impatiently waiting for Rainbow to publish her next book!
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