Saturday, May 21, 2016

Carry On: Meta As Heck

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Macmillan via NetGalley

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
Review by Nara

I think when you read this book, you need to understand that you're reading it on two levels. The first is that this book is a fanfiction of a fictional parody of Harry Potter, and so there are going to be certain aspects of the book, particularly the plot, that are very tongue-in-cheek. The second is the book at actual face value, with its LGBT romance and conflicting characters.

I feel like Carry On is best described as a rather clever book. It's very odd reading an author's version of a book that exists in the world of another book that's actually a fanfiction of a parody of a book that exists in real life (and pretty confusing to explain; this probably makes no sense haha). It's interesting, because Carry On is sort of the equivalent of The Deathly Hallows, and so there's all this assumed knowledge that you have to kind of gather from your own knowledge of how this genre of fiction normally plays out (because obviously the first 6 books don't actually exist for the Simon Snow series).

Baz and Simon's romance was so good. I loved everything from Baz's point of view, especially his snarky comments, which were hilarious. Hate-to-love romances are among my favourite romance tropes and the way it plays out in Carry On is just fantastic. It never got annoying or angsty even if there was a fair bit of conflict/drama.

This book is definitely one you should read if you enjoyed the Carry On excerpts in Fangirl (I almost preferred the excerpts over the actual story, because I am, at heart, a fantasy fan). And actually a book that you'd probably enjoy if you're a fan of Harry Potter (by which I mean everyone, of course).

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5