Carry On was October's 'Book of the Month' and, boy, was it a good one! It reminded me of a Harry Potter fanfic but I really enjoyed that. It made me feel sort of nostalgic even though it was brand new story with a whole set of new characters.
Carry On is a spin-off book from Rainbow Rowell's book Fangirl but you don't necessarily have to read Fangirl first. It's perfectly fine to jump straight into Carry On- it will still make perfect sense. If anything, Carry On has just made me want to re-read Fangirl as I want to read all the Simon Snow sections from it (that, if I'm honest, I skim-read when I read Fangirl).
Carry On follows Simon Snow- the worst 'Chosen One' who's ever been chosen. The book had a great and...original...world of magic and was fun, easy and enjoyable to read.
SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
From the very beginning, I aligned Harry Potter characters to characters from Carry On (while also aligning my ships as so). I couldn't help but sort everyone into Hogwarts houses as well...
Simon=Harry Baz=Draco Penelope=Hermione The Mage=Dumbledore Ebb=Hagrid
Obviously though, as I read on, I could see the differences and the characters became their own for me. (Dumbledore would never be so evil).
I kind of feel like it was as if I'd jumped into The Deathly Hallows without reading all the previous Harry Potter books. They kept referencing things that happened in the past years (being kidnapped, fighting dragons) and it felt like I'd skipped a whole bunch of books in the series.
Let's start with Agatha. Personally, I didn't like her. I don't know what it was but she just irritated me. She expected something from Baz, lead Simon on and was generally a bit whiny for my taste. She was very unappreciative of what she had and how lucky she was and it just irked me.
Penelope, though, I loved! She was sassy, Hermione-like and so cool! She was such a great friend to Simon and I would love to have a friend like her!
Simon. I loved him. Everything he did was endearing and sweet! He was the clumsiest 'Chosen One' ever and I just found him to be so adorable. Rainbow Rowell wrote his passages very casually and in a conversationalist way and it made me warm to Simon immediately because he's just so damn funny and random (he does go on a bit of tangent at times).
Baz was my favourite character, though, without a doubt. He was awesome. I don't know if it was from me reading Fangirl first but I instantly starting shipping Simon and Baz (and this was before they'd even had a conversation in Carry On). I don't know if it would've been different if I hadn't read Fangirl but the bottom line is that Baz and Simon are so freaking cute together.
I wish Baz had been in sooner (we missed him in the whole first section of the book) but when he was around, he took all the attention. He was a very dominant character and his very presence just demanded attention.
You could tell that Simon secretly kind of liked Baz because he would not stop talking about him! Everything Simon talked about eventually circled back to Baz and it made my heart all kinds of happy. What I wasn't expecting was for Baz to be already, completely in love with him. That hit me as a bit of a shock but made me so happy at the same time. From then, my ship was endgame and I wouldn't listen to anything different.
I liked how the storyline was kind of split into two. We had the issue with the Humdrum and the plot of Baz's mother and who murdered her. I think this kept things interesting though I was way more interested in Simon and Baz getting together rather than actual plotlines... I'm a romantic- what can I say?
This book had something that I think every single book needs: humour! The narrative voices of each character was unique, funny and they went in random tangents that had me laughing despite the very random placement of them.
And Rainbow Rowell sure has a knack for making up spell and creature names! (Sense the sarcasm?) Honestly, they were pretty bad but I loved it anyway- it gave me a good laugh. Numpties? They sound like the most least-threatening monster in the world. And the song lyrics used for spells were genius, I swear.
Overall, I thought it was an amazing book and I just wanted more Simon and Baz after finishing.
Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts. Stay amazing!