book reviews

Carry On

Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is The Chosen One. He is the first person at the magical school of Watford to run straight into danger, to defend against the mysterious Humdrum that constantly sends evil his way. Now it’s his last year at school, and as soon as Simon returns he discovers things are even more peculiar than usual. Simon’s roommate Baz, his sworn enemy who also might be a vampire, has not shown up to school and Simon is determined to find out why. Along with his best friend Penelope and his girlfriend Agatha, Simon sets off on one last quest to finally rid the world of evil. But things for Simon Snow never come without complications, and quite a few are soon to be thrown his way.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite make-your-day-better books. Pick this book up to read and you can’t help but feel happy and smiley and here’s why:

  1. It’s short enough to read in one day and has a satisfying ending that, while you still want more because it was so good, leaves you content.
  2. There’s a looovveee story!! (this is very important)
  3. No matter how many times you read it, the characters and plots never get boring. The characters are so fun and interesting that you want to hear their stories again and again.

Carry On checks off all those boxes. What really makes or breaks a book for me is how much I love the characters. Yes, action and themes and settings are important, but they aren’t why I choose to read. I read for the characters who go on emotional rollercoasters and drag the reader along with them. When you smile when a character is happy, when you cry with them after something tragic happens, when you hold in a scream after two characters who are obviously meant to be together confess their feelings, those are the things I want to happen when I read. Simon, Baz, and all the other characters in Carry On make me do those things!

Even though the book is a spoof on all the “Chosen One” narratives (Harry Potter most significantly), the deeper levels of the novel are not lost in the satire. In fact, it’s really interesting how Rainbow Rowell spins the parody while still creating a unique world with individual characters. I’m not the biggest fan of Rowell’s other novels, but the diversity and realness and acceptance that she creates in Carry On and in her other novels is to be admired.

Carry On gets five stars from me. I would recommend Carry On to anyone who is a fan of the “quest” narrative and who is looking for a more lighthearted and endearing story that will draw them in and make their day better. If you aren’t a fan of Rowell’s other books I would still recommend this just because it is so different from her other works. Open this book for the characters, and the messy, complicated journey they find themselves on – it’s a journey worth reading! 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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