Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Summary: 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 the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. (From Goodreads)

What I expected: thinly veiled Harry Potter expies.

What I got: What I got: Well developed characters!!! Strong females!!! A touching love story!!! MAGIC!!! LOVE!!! WORLD BUILDING!!

You GUYS. Look, I feel guilty for going in with those expectations. I never read Fangirl, so I had no knowledge of the Simon Snow universe going into this book. But guys. GUYS this book is so good.  What I thought was going to be a magical boarding school Harry Potter ripoff story turned out to be so engrossing and so vivid that I stayed up all night to finish the book.

I feel like I cannot emphasize how much I loved the world building. I highlighted so many passages just because they straight up TICKLED me with glee (“My dad loves marriage rites. Any sort of family magic, actually. He and my mother are bound together in five dimensions.”) I remember a Tumblr post a while back that was like “I want fantasy mixed with modern technology,” and I want to shove this book in the air and say “LOOK HERE!!!!”

Also, I usually hate stories that switch point of views. I feel that it’s sort of a cop out for the writer, a simple way to tell not show. But it works in this case. It doesn’t just switch between two characters, but between almost everyone which was great because sometimes the Chosen One’s POV can get boring.

The love story ended up being very touching and natur

al. You could see the Harry/Draco inspiration in how Simon was obsessed with Baz and how Baz was a rich douchebag from a prominent family. But it evolved into its own story so fantastically that they grew past this inspiration.

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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