Hi, there! Good morning ❤ I hope you’re hanging there on this beginning of week 🙂 It’s Tuesday, so it’s Top 10 Tuesday day! This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and my theme today is Favorite Heroines!
I won’t deny, that one was hard. I hardly like female main characters enough for that, haha! But I could gather 10 from my last five year reads, so let’s go!
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:
Hi, there! It’s Saturday and I couldn’t be happier! Besides eating my uncle’s famous barbecue today, this means that I’m going home tomorrow! Yay ❤
Today’s tag I saw at my friend Kim’s blog, The Spines Breaker. She didn’t tag me, but I liked this tag a lot and decided to do anyway 😀
Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?
The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2), by Kelley Armstrong. The hardcover volume was 7 dollars when I found it and I couldn’t resist, haha! Only later at home, I saw it was the second volume of the series and had to buy the ebook for the first one, haha!
Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?
Hi, there! Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday so far – I am, haha! Today’s book is one of the most talked of pretty much everywhere: Fangirl, from Rainbow Rowell.
Cath is the kind of person that doesn’t deal well with changes. She’s already stressed out enough for going to college, she didn’t need her twin sister Wren shooing her off and announcing that she doesn’t want to share her room with Cath.
Cath also didn’t need a scary roommate or her weird almost boyfriend that doesn’t seem to have a room of his own – if he had, maybe he would spend less time in Cath’s. Cath didn’t need a classmate that only cares about himself and his writing to tag along with her on their assignments as well. Or even the worry that her father may have a nervous collapse any minute without her at home to keep an eye on him.
But Cath had all those things on her life, while trying to finish her Simon Snow fanfiction, Carry On. Her real life seemed to insist on pulling her away from her own world, no matter how hard she fought it.
As the year goes and Cath realizes how people aren’t always what they seem, her offline life starts to show some appeal. Will Cath abandon her Simon Snow fixation or can she balance it with her new self that actually has friends that are not inherited from Wren?
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
I loved this book far more than I imagined I would. Despite not being socially awkward as Cath, sometimes I have some difficulties in living my own life. Books, mangas and fanfictions are way more appealing almost all the time. I thank every day for all my friends, for all the people that I love and that I know that love me back, but sometimes, Anneliseland just wins me over. (A good example is that I’m writing this review while my relatives are all in the pool, on a beautiful summer day.)
That said, I understand very well how Cath feels about the real world. Sometimes, it can be so scaring that we want to just run away. It has been a while since I felt this level of connection with a character. Even so, I couldn’t bring myself to give this book a big five stars because I felt the end was so lacking. Don’t worry, no spoilers, but my impression was that Rainbow was writing on her computer, looked at the words counter and said: “I guess this is enough, I’m tired. Hey publisher, you can send it to the world now!”. 😦
A friend of mine on Instagram (yes, I’m talking about you dear @writerahart! <3) pointed out that maybe this is Rainbow’s way to leave her reader wanting more. I hate when authors do that on standalone books, it’s too frustrating for me. You can leave some loose ends and it can be awesome, but this was just lacking. Still, four stars! 🙂
The narrative pace was slow, but not in a bad way. Rainbow presents us with lots of details, as Cath is very perceptive of everything. The narrative style was third person from Cath’s point of view only. It worked for me and I loved Cath, so I can’t complain, haha!
The plot was simple and so well executed that filled my heart with warm. Fangirl is the kind of book that shows the reader that it is okay to like “children’s things” and still grow up. Simon Snow was their Harry Potter and did not stop Cath’s life, not even when she made us believe that it had. There were some cool twists, but nothing out of this world and, honestly? Fangirl didn’t need to impress with twists. A young adult’s life can be a plot twisting itself and Rainbow was brilliant at capturing that.
Now, the characters. I loved Cath, but she got on my nerves sometimes. She was too stubborn, haha! The funny thing is that, even knowing that she and Wren were identical twins, I imagined them as being totally different. Not the kind “looking in the twisted mirror” different, but physically different. I guess that’s the after effects of both personalities, haha! Also, I hated Wren, even after the twists. I understand Cath for wanting to be with her and I think that she’s right, you have to try to always be your sister/brother’s best friend, but Wren just… She went too far. Same thing with Cath’s mother. She also went too far and I hated her, haha! Cath’s dad was really cute and huggable, I loved every scene he was on and my heart almost broke when he got sick 😦
And then there was Levi.
Ok, I’m kidding, haha! But oh boy, he had guts to like and stick with Cath. She was a difficult person and too afraid of people in general, but Levi never minded it. He was always there, always smiling and caring. Being flawed and real. In my head, he started as an okay boy and evolved as Cath’s feelings did. In the end, I thought him the most amazing and beautiful guy in the world. Like a blonde version of Ian Somerhalder.
Love is a powerful beauty tool.
I won’t even bother to mention Courtney and Nick because they simple don’t deserve to be featured in here, but I will say this: all of Rainbow’s characters could be your neighbors. It is awesome.
Also, we can’t forget about Carry On! Almost a character itself inside the story, it’s Cath’s personal private paradise. The only place where she controls everything and can do and say the right things all the time. Carry On has the power to unite people though something and it is a beautiful metaphor for reading. Besides, a story about a girl who writes gay fanfiction is badass by itself. Golden star for Rainbow! ❤ I can’t wait to actually read Carry On in February ❤ ❤
Overall, this is one of the best books I’ve read in my life, lacking end and everything. If you like contemporary romance and young adult, you just have to read Fangirl ❤
That’s it! Thanks for reading ❤ Do we have any Rainbow Rowell’s fans around??
Hello, again! I know I am a little late to do this, but better late than never, haha! January is going to be insane for me, as my younger cousin is going to be here until Sunday and next week I may start a course – more info as my life goes, haha!
But I’m blabbering, let’s do this:
December Wrap Up
I’m very proud of my reading month! I’ve read 11 books!! =O I’m still wondering how I did it, so I can repeat the dose this month, haha!
Book of Opera, from Arthur Jacobs and Stanley Sadie
The Other Side of Midnight, from Sidney Sheldon
The Devil’s Advocate, from Morris West
Vixen 03, from Clive Cussler
The Name of the Rose, from Umberto Eco
Lie Down With Lions, Ken Follett
An illustrated guide to Dresden
Amar se Aprende Amando, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Antologia Poética, from Vinicius de Moraes
Antologia Poética, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos, from Jorge Amado
Tieta do Agreste, from Jorge Amado
Tenda dos Milagres, from Jorge Amado
A Moreninha, from Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
I know, I know. So many books, haha! I can explain 🙂 14 of my won books were at my uncle’s place, waiting for death. Yeah. So I won a cattle with lots of books and selected the ones that seemed promising 🙂 I wish I could have saved all books that were there, but there were some destroyed ones by the time, others that I knew for being a bore and some that weren’t my thing at all… Anyway, at least I could save some of them, haha!
Freebies that I got this month
Anywhere But Here (The Starborn Ascension Book 1), from Jason D. Morrow
Beyond Secret Worlds: Ten Stories of Paranormal Fantasy and Romance
The Ducal Gift and The Christmas Carriage, from Grace Burrowes
Soar (The Empire Chronicles Book 1), from Alyssa Rose Ivy
Hidden (Dragonlands Book 1), from Megg Jensen
Aloha Texas (Aloha #1), from Chris Keniston
Binarius: Episode I (The Binarius Series Book 1), from Kendra McMahan
Globalização, Mídia e Ética, from Erasmo de Freitas Nuzzi and Clovis de Barros Filho
Good afternoon, now! I hope your Saturday is still awesome, haha!
I was so honored to be nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award! How does my sweet friend Kim, from The Spines Breaker, came to find this blog neat, I shall never know, haha! LOL Thanks so much, Kim! ❤
Those are the rules:
Thank and link the person who nominated you. (thank you!)
Answer the 7 questions your nominator has provided.
Nominate 7 other bloggers and create new questions for them.
Kim’s questions for me:
Favorite Winter reads?
My reading habits were never affected by season or time of the year – I don’t feel the need to read Christmas theme books now in December or beach themed books in summer (that is the currently season on my country, haha!). But I do prefer to read during winter than summer, as I don’t have an AC at my place 😦
Reading, eating pizza (I know, it’s pretty specific, haha!), watch cartoons on TV with a blanket on, drinking tons of hot cocoa… Yummy.
Which country invented the toaster? Joking lol, Coffee or tea?
I highly prefer tea, as my stomach doesn’t agree very well with coffee for some odd reason. (And, if you insist, it was Scotland, haha!)
Read at night or in the morning?
At night, as long as I can! 😀
Your opinion on love at first sight? Or other book tropes (princess running away from arranged marriage, the nerd and the popular, the chosen one….)
I think that every cliché can be awesome in a book if well-worked. It relies on the writer to do the magic 🙂 I believe in love at first sight in books and I have a true fetish with nerd x popular, haha! The chosen one, on the other hand, I usually find a bit boring, but again, it’s up to the writer to do a good job convincing me 😉
Most recent book purchase(s)?
My edition of Fangirl, from Rainbow Rowell, and this Barnes & Noble edition of Peter Pan ❤
Do you have a December tbr yet? If no, what is your current read and how are you progressing?
I do! And, so far, I’m late on it, damn. My currently TBR pile is on this post and I’m afraid that I was too optimistic with it… My currently-read is Cemetery Tours, by Jacqueline E. Smith, and so far, it is awesome! 😀
Hello again! I decided to make a monthly book list with the hottest releases of the month (in my humble opinion, of course <3). So, here we have the October releases! ❤ You can check the previous list here 😉