Hello, my dears. Today I’m finally talking about Carry On, from Rainbow Rowell. I know this review is so late, but honestly, it will be one of the most difficult ones that I have ever wrote. Brace yourselves and tighten your seatbelts. Let the emotional rollercoaster begin.
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One of the entire history of Chosen Ones. Wizard with awesome powers? Check. Ass kick fighting techniques? Check. Decent looks? Check. Total control over his actions, words and powers? Not at all. And his problems ironically only increase when his arch-enemy (and roommate) Baz doesn’t show up at Watford after the Summer break. Why can’t Baz just end his suffering by coming back to their freaking last year at school?
Baz is the worst vampire of the entire history of vampires. Blood thirst? Check. Handsome as hell? Check. Intelligent and high-cultured? Check. Big bag fangs? Check. Total knowledge about his powers, nature and destiny? Not at all. And sharing the room with his arch-enemy Simon Snow only increases his problems, as Baz can’t take his thoughts of Simon. Why couldn’t Simon just shut up and kiss him already?
Heated feelings, old grudges, first loves and magic. So much magic. That’s Carry On.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
If you follow me for a while, you may know that I have been on Jen’s place at my hometown and that I finished Carry On in the beginning of last week. You even may know how much I freaked out about Gifted Thief (and I still do, Honour Bound is my next read after The Dark Cycle series!). But nothing prepared me for what Carry On was really about. Since I’ve read Fangirl, I was dreaming of reading Carry On, to be a part of Simon and Baz’s world. I make no secret of how much I enjoy gay romances and Carry On had everything to be the most perfect book ever.
And it was.
And I think I’ll never recover from its perfection.
I seriously can’t remember when was the last time that a book grabbed my heart and squeezed so hard that I couldn’t even breath without it on my hands (okay, I’m lying, it was on 2013 when Ava sent me an ARC of All In With The Duke and I almost died). I actually hugged Carry On every time I got to read it.
I never wanted to let it go after finishing.
I’m so sorry this review is being overly melodramatic, but I was a mess. I couldn’t believe that I had reached the end and that this was such a perfect book. It was my first time crying over a perfect and happy end and I scared the hell out of my friends and family, to the point that my dad had to say that I would meet other books that would make me fall in love again. My rating? Infinite stars.
Okay, five because Goodreads won’t allow me to rate any higher.
The narrative style is first person with switching points of view. Seriously, almost every relevant character gets their time at narrating and you could always tell who was speaking even without Rowell’s labels – yes, there are labels, don’t worry. Needless to say that my favorite narrators were Simon and Baz, right? Hahaha. Other nice thing is that Rowell would do a chapter with some lines, then switch narrators in the middle of the chapter just to write one sentence or simply throw pieces of points of view from random characters that we would understand only at the end of the book. I’m not the biggest fan of first person narrated books, but this is how you KICK ASS doing it. I didn’t care at all for Agatha and I still had not a single problem reading her parts. Seriously. This is perfection.
Okay, I’m okay. Moving on.
The plot was awesome. Simple and involving, with the right amount of romance, mystery, magic, friendship and drama. I missed more adventurous moves on Baz’s part regarding Simon and the fact that they shared a room at Baz’s manor, but I’ll survive. This is one of that boring kinds of review, in which you are so besotted with the book that you just can’t see its flaws.
Okay, I see them. There are many loose ends. Seriously. Not for the reader, but for the characters. We discover things, they don’t. As I’m a really selfish person (?), I’m okay with the characters not knowing it all if I do, so I’m cool with it. Hm, maybe that’s the problem. I fell so hard in love with Carry On that I love even its flaws.
Now the characters. As I may have already said on Fangirl’s review, Rowell’s characters are all girls and boys next door. Even if they are heroes, vampires, ghosts or anything else. I saw myself in Penny, Baz, Simon and even a little on Agatha, who I still don’t care about. This is witchcraft, Rowell. How do you make me like even the characters that I hate? Hahaha
I guess what pleased me the most were Baz and Simon’s flaws, to be honest. They made them too real. I remember when we fell too deep to feel, I remember when the real became too real, I remember when it hurt too much to heal and everything.
I don’t think I have anything really useful to say beyond this. They are real people living a romance and I was a crazy fangirl all the while. I’m sorry, I know I’m being really lame and lengthy on this review.
I saw many people complain about how Carry On was overly inspired on Harry Potter, among other young adult books, but this also didn’t bother me. I actually smiled every time I got a reference in the air. I felt like Rowell was writing Carry On just for me and those were our secrets, you know? And that was one of the stupidest things that I have ever admitted. Along with my hugging book habits above.
The strongest point on Carry On is its feelings. It’s all too real, too beautiful. I seriously have not enough words to describe everything that I felt reading it, just that I was thrown on a rollercoaster and ended it hopelessly lovesick.
Bonus point: the book’s illustrations to divide the story in parts. So cute.
Now, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from the book with you. And sorry if you’re my friend on Goodreads, I may have liked a million Carry On quotes today while doing this review.
“He’s looking at me as like I’m a complete freak. (Which we both already knew it was true.)”
“It’s 6A.M. and he’s [Simon] already banging around our room like a cow who accidentally wandered up here.”
“(Because I’m disturbed. Ask anyone.)”
“I’m thinking violent thoughts at you constantly.”
And this dialogue:
“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I pull back- “And you like that?”
“I love it.” He says.
“Because we match.”
I don’t think I can endure another book hangover this strong ever again.
Thank you for humoring me this far and enduring my interior and very depressed fangirl. I’m pinning badly for another Simon & Baz romance. Also, a special thank you to Jess, of the Mud and Stars, for not blocking me on Twitter after I finished Carry On; to Jenny and her mom, who had to endure a very crying me for at least two days; to Mandy, from The Reading Diaries, that had to hear me whining over this book hangover; to Lindsey from @thepagemistress, that is always there for me; and to my dad, that reminded me that I can always meet another book that will sweep me off my feet.
Ps: I also would like to share this moment of my life: