Review: Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

carry_oBook Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is back with her third young adult book and this time she tried her hands in fantasy genre.

If you’re hoping for an intricate plot twist or complex political drama, you’re out of luck. This is, after all, a Rainbow Rowell book. And I do not mean that in a bad way. Rainbow’s power is her strength with words. Her writing is simple yet very addictive. In Carry On, she weaved words so beautifully, and use parentheses and italic to blow your mind and toy with your feelings.
I try to find another word besides “ALL THE FEELS” to summarize this book, but I couldn’t find any.
No problem. The summary in the back cover of the book summed it up perfectly:

It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story-but far, far more monsters.

Carry On is a romance book. It is also a book about discovering yourself, a book about friendship. With magickal boys and girls and ghosts and villains and supervillains. Watford School of Magicks is the setting of (most parts of) the story, and yes since you ask, the book will remind you about Harry Potter. Rowell herself has mentioned that the reference to Harry Potter is intentional. As for me, after the first few chapters, I was able to let go the HP comparison go. I love these characters as who they are and not who they were like in HP. I read this book way into the night because it’s so compulsive and I just cannot put it down.

The magic system

I’d like to talk about the magic system because I feel it’s one of the strength of Carry On. Instead of complicated magic summoning, or using of Latin words as spell, all the spells in Carry On are English catchphrases and idioms. I was in fits of laughter when one of the characters use, “Doe. A deer.” (guess what it does). And another one pulled jedi mind trick with “These droids aren’t the ones you’re looking for.” My only regret is the lack of “Carry on my wayward son” spell in this book (sorry! Supernatural poisons my brain).

The characters

Rainbow Rowell said that Baz is her favorite character she ever written. I have to agree with her. Baz is so hilarious with his sarcastic self-loathing alternating with this-world-is-not-worthy-of-me behavior. Simon Snow is also adorable with his don’t care don’t ask attitude. Penny is your genius quirky sidekick. She talked a lot and love Simon unconditionally. Agatha was Simon’s girlfriend, but she is also more than that. She represents the ugly side of magic world, how it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. In short, I fell in love with them.

Final Words

Was Carry On perfect? No, it’s not. There are plot holes and I feel that some parts of the story are glossed over, but Carry On is so sincere, they don’t bother me.
If Rainbow Rowell ever write another Simon Snow book, you bet I’m going to pick it up.

Final Score

4 out of 5 stars

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2 thoughts on “Review: Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

  1. Oh man you finished it already and I’m glad you liked it! I just bought mine and I’m probably picking it up after reading the entire TOG series! I’ll get back to your review when I finished Carry On to avoid possible spoilers. Ok, I sneaked a little on your post bc I’m just so excited but that’s it for now. 😀

    1. I read it way way past my usual bedtime. It was addictive, for me at least. I don’t think I put anything too spoilery in my post, but if you’d rather be completely surprise perhaps it’s better to leave it alone for now. :p

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