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 sets 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 Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world…
As always with Rainbow Rowell’s book, this one was very easy to read, despite the fact that it was more brick like than The Final Empire. This book was basically a parody and a homage to the ‘chosen one’ stories like Harry Potter. In Rowell’s book, Fangirl, Simon Snow was meant to be the thinly-veiled Harry Potter not under copyright that Cath wrote fanfiction about. But despite being like Harry Potter in how you have a magic school, a Chosen One, a wise and powerful Headmaster and various families who consider better than others because they’re ‘pureblood’, it really wasn’t anything like Harry Potter at all.
The plot was far darker than a Harry Potter one could boast, and I mean especially the ending in this point. The ending was very bittersweet to me, despite it going to work out for Simon, and I think if HP had ended in any way similar, there would have been a revolt. But, despite that, Rowell manages to lay the foreshadowing down for it all along the book and even as you have a creeping suspicion that is how it is going to end, you don’t really want to believe it until it happens. Her magic system is very different to Harry Potter and despite feeling a little ridiculous at times with the words, it also makes sense in-universe and that is really all you want from a fictional magic system.
I rooted for all of the characters, even Agatha at the end, because the POV changes meant I really saw exactly how they had different opposing goals and how that didn’t make them bad people, it just meant that some of them didn’t fit together as well as they should. Baz’s secret was a surprise and the relationship between Simon and Baz made everything a lot more interesting as well.
One thing I didn’t like was when the book came to a certain scene, it switched POVs a lot. Like every sentence kind of thing. Very hard to immerse yourself in a book when you feel like you have whiplash.
Despite that, I really want to go back and reread Fangirl after reading this book and wondered what Cath would think if this had been the eighth book in the series. It was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it. Four stars!