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 – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.
This review contains no spoilers, except for one at the end that you can avoid if you don’t scroll all the way down.
This book was bought with my own money.
I want to start off this review by saying that Carry On became one of my favourite books of all time. As you can tell from the picture above, I marked many sentences, passages, and sometimes even entire pages. Halfway through the book I had to cut the page markers in half, because I started to run out of them. And the thing with books I absolutely love is that it’s hard to write a review. Honestly I just want to scream “AAAAHHH READ THIS BOOK, IT’S AMAZING!!!!!! I LOVE SIMON, BAZ AND PENELOPE!”
If you have read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you already know about Simon Snow. The main character writes fan fiction about him and there are little snippets of that throughout the book. I really didn’t like them. But I heard from many people that Carry On was way better and because I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, I decided to give this book a shot anyway. (And I’m really glad I did!)
This book takes place in a world that will remind everyone of Hogwarts. I mean, there’s a chosen one going to a wizard school, a smart friend, a nemesis classmate, a questionable headmaster, and a monster they all have to fight. But it didn’t bother me at all and though there were many resemblances, it was also very different. I think that’s mostly because Rainbow Rowell added her own things to the story and created interesting characters. One of my favourite things is that spells are rhymes or songs. That was so clever but silly at the same time.
Simon Snow is an amazing main character. I thought he was funny and interesting. Most of the things I underlined were things Simon said or things Baz said to Simon. The banter in this book was amazing and felt natural.
I actually really like it when the hero of the story is quite incapable of doing what he needs to do to save the world. That usually results in amazing friends staying by his side, and that was the case in Carry On as well. Simon would’ve died at least three times if Penelope and Baz weren’t there to save him. The only character I didn’t like was Agatha, but she didn’t get that many lines, so it was okay.
There was never a boring moment in this book. Whenever the story was about to slow down there was a plottwist or some added mystery. The book has multiple points of view and sometimes goes back in time for a few pages, which definitely gave the book more depth and more insight in the characters. To be honest, the story itself wasn’t that exciting. It were the characters that drew me in and made me turn page after page. I really started to care about them. Also the romance in this book is amazing! Every time Rainbow Rowell writes romance, it’s very swoon worthy.
Can Simon and Baz please get their own tv show? I would love that.
I am really excited to read book 2 which comes out next year! (It was supposed to come out in 2020, but a few days after I finished Carry On, it was reveiled I would be able to read it one year earlier. Best book news ever.)
Whenever I saw posts about people shipping SnowBaz, I thought it was the same as how some people ship Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. While reading I was like ‘Yeah, I understand why people ship Simon and Baz. The tension between them is real.’ But boy was I wrong. I almost screamed when I found out it was canon. Definitely one of the cutest and best relationships in YA.