Rainbow Rowell’s CARRY ON is the ultimate young adult book for HARRY POTTER fans who shipped Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. It’s actually supposed to be the fanfiction that Cath writes in Rainbow Rowell’s other book, FANGIRL. Main character, Simon Snow, is a wizard and attends a wizarding school, just like Harry Potter, except he isn’t very good at magic. He, along with his friend Penny, ex-girlfriend Agatha, and roommate/nemesis Baz, team up to investigate and defeat the insidious humdrum.
One of the reasons CARRY ON is so creative is because it is written like it is supposed to be a fanfiction. This means that this book is loaded with over-the-top fanfiction tropes that will make you feel plenty of second-hand embarrassment. This might annoy some readers, but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air if you often read serious-toned YA books released by major publishers. All of the characters in CARRY ON are overly-emotional, witty, and hysterical. The dialogue and banter is so entertaining that you’ll find yourself grinning as you flip through the pages.
Simon and Baz have one of the best relationship dynamics in fantasy YA. It is a classic enemies-to-lovers romance that drives the entire book and makes the 500-plus pages feel like a short story. Simon’s ignorance, side-comments, and jokes along with Baz’s dastardly evil and running joke that he may-or-may-not be a vampire are delightful.
In addition to the romance, this book has a well-developed and interesting magic system that is based on commonly used phrases and songs in the English language. The magic system drives the plot, which although takes a back seat to the romance, is still a major hook for this novel.
This book has wizards, dragons, vampires, magic, other mythical creatures, and an LGBT romance that is written incredibly well. Rainbow Rowell is an amazing writer and does a fantastic job setting up the plot, creating believable and interesting conflicts, and developing characters. She does all of this while still keeping a unique fanfiction feel. If any of thee topics or tropes are even remotely interesting to you, do yourself a favor and read CARRY ON because you will not regret it.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- Rowell imbues her magic with awe and spectacle. It’s a powerful, politically minded allegory about sexual, ethnic and class identity – with a heady shot of teenage lust.
—New York Times Book Review
- Stock up on copies―this one begs to be reread.
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. Wednesday Books, 2013.
- Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013.
- Rees Brennan, Sarah. In Other Lands. Big Mouth House, 2019.