[583]: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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Carry On \ Rainbow Rowell

R  E  V  I  E  W

Plot-wise, this book is one of those that I shouldn’t have enjoyed. Magic, spells, and mythical creatures are typically not my thing. But since Rainbow Rowell wrote it, not reading it goes against my religion. On top of that, this book features  a couple of characters that I loved – and this from reading about them in a book where they’re not even the major characters! Imagine that. The mark of a great story teller is when you can convince a non-reader to fall in love with your work. Those who have read Fangirl and skipped the fanfic about Simon and Baz may not be as in love as I am, but I’ve got to say, Ms. Rowell did a fantastic job in fleshing out these two characters and giving life to a side story that may not even be in her plans to begin with. In fact, she did so expertly that I’ve convinced myself that fantasy novels are something I can possibly enjoy.

SIMON AND BAZ

Theirs was not an easy relationship from the get go. They hated each other on sight. But since they were chosen to be roommates for life by some cosmic fate, they had no choice but to tolerate each other’s presence. Both are convinced that they’re plotting to kill each other. On the last year of their Watford tenure, their relationship will come to a head. In that, they’ll either kill each other for sure, or go beyond indifference and actually admit that there’s something more between them.

THE INSIDIOUS HUMDRUM

What’s a good fantasy book without the ultimate foe? Simon, Baz, and basically the magic world has been battling the Insidious Humdrum for years. But nobody knows what it looks like until Simon and Penelope (his BFF) was taken hostage by the creature himself. He sucks the world of magic every time he shows up, and sooner or later,  there’ll be no place to practice magic because the Humdrum will have them all.

THE PROPHECY

It was prophesied that the greatest Mage will walk the earth to stop the Humdrum. And the prophecy is none other than Simon, himself. But he’s too powerful. Too powerful, in fact, that he can’t control his magic. The Humdrum is drawn to him because he is like a nuclear power plant of magic. And the Humdrum wants him. Of course, not everything is cut and dry. That’s the beauty of this book. There are facets and twists that may be predictable to some, but I appreciated them in my own way. Call me an inexperienced fool, but heck, I enjoyed the fantastical elements of this book.

ODE TO JK ROWLING

I do believe most of Potterheads will readily say this book has echoes of their beloved Harry Potter books. But since I’ve not read them, I can’t really tell you all the similarities and differences between Carry On and the 7 HP books. I know Ms. Rowell is a big fan of Ms. Rowling, so I’d like to assume that this is her sort of ode to the series and its author. That’s not to say I didn’t miss some of the tell-tell signs, though. I saw Harry in Simon; Hermoine in Penelope; and maybe even a smidgen of Ron in Baz. I can’t really say for sure whether or not it’s a rip-off because as I’ve mentioned, I’ve not read the books.

IN RETROSPECT

 Rainbow Rowell continues to amaze me. I fell in love with Simon and Baz from the little taste she’s given us in Fangirl. And to go and somehow give us a well-conceived plot from that is even doubly amazing.


St. Martin’s Griffin | Oct 6th, 2015 | Hardcover, 522 pages | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


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[536]: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | St. Martin’s Griffin | Hardcover, 455 pp. | September 10, 2013 | Young Adult Fiction | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


I don’t really know why it took me so long  to read this book. Every time I walk by my bookshelves and see it, I kept having one of those facepalm moment when I’ll try to make a mental note to finally pick it up. Had I known the incredible high I’ll experience during and after reading this book, I’d have read it sooner than twenty months after its release. Why didn’t I listen to y’all? To be honest, I wasn’t going to write a review for this. I was just going to feature it in my Photo Vomit post (yes, I loved it so much, I took a bunch of pictures of it!).

It’s just difficult to express my love for this book. So hard to write down the words of all the whys. The easy way to do it, is to advise you that you should believe the majority of those people who gave this book the highest rating. It is all that and then some.

Hello, my name is Cath and I’m a Simon & Baz shipper. 

(I’ve become one, too, for that matter. )Twins, Cath and Wren have always been each other’s best friend since they were born. But college life is about to change the dynamics whether Cath likes it or not. Wren wants to branch out and meet new people, while Cath is satisfied with remaining who she’s always been and who she’s with all her life. She’s an introvert who finds solace in a fandom that she’s become a celebrity without being in the limelight. She finds comfort in books, and the things that are familiar.

Cath knew that she can’t survive College life living inside the dorm with her roommate and her boy-shadow.  Armed with a year’s supply of peanut butter, granola bars and the fictional world she borrowed, Cath is determined to try, anyway.

I think one of the reasons why this book is so popular and well-received is because it connected with a lot of us. She’s given as a character that resonated with us. I know it brought back memories of those years when I used to write fan fiction (nope, not going to tell you which fandom. Ha!) Cath was very insecure and maybe a little bit of a pushover at first. But it’s not hard not to accept all her frailties because I got her. She’s also not easy to get to know because she’s closed off and she has a hard time trusting anyone. Which is understandable considering what happened with her mother.

Levi, the boy for the rest of us. 

In a literary world full of handsome boys, Levi is probably one of those characters that was not cut from the same cloth. He’s not perfectly good looking; he’s got a learning disability. But he makes up for it by being the most charming boy ever to walk the pages of a book.

I was confused by his relationship with Cath’s roommate initially, but  Rowell’s uncanny ability to create unpredictable story arches saves the day.

Rainbow Rowell is for real, yo.

Honest-to-goodness goddess, y’all. I can’t say enough about how brilliant this woman is. She doesn’t write pretty proses ala Jandy Nelson, but her story lines consume me every time I read her book (except for Attachments – wasn’t a fan of that one). She almost never fails to create incredible characters and immersive stories. But one of the best things about this book is how credible Cath is as a writer. I’ve read a few books wherein the character was one, but not of them could light a candle to Cath. Not one of them as convincing, and that’s all thanks to Rowell’s illustrious prowess.

Fangirl is all about a lot of us, who’d become uncomfortable to the point of being scared at one point in our lives. It’s about embracing the fact that we can’t all remain stagnant. Life is about constant motion whether we like it or not. And that’s what I’m taking away from this book…and ultimate love for this author.

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Waiting on Wednesday [8]: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | St. Martin’s Griffin | Publication Date: October 6th, 2015


Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

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.


I just finished reading Fangirl. Do you know what it’s like to be afflicted with book hangover? What am I saying? Of course you do. But if it’s been forever since you’ve had one, let me describe it to you:
It’s like that morning after the most incredible night of your life and you’re still a little drunk. The love of your life cooks you breakfast: bacon, huevos rancheros, pancakes…the works. But just the thought of eating makes you want to projectile-vomit on his face while you curse the day he was born. You just can’t think about eating. ANYTHING.
That’s how I feel right now. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same.  How do I go on? And then I realized, this. THIS book is the cure.
But how do I get a copy? Who do I have to f*ck/kill/marry? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Sigh.

 

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