Review: ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell

Welcome to my first review!

This book by Rainbow Rowell is termed as ‘teen fiction’, a genre I personally don’t understand. Surely teen fiction differs on the teen?! Although this book was a great, light, holiday read, it tackled some themes that I never expected and was a perfect mix of romance, fantasy and comedy.

I have to admit, when I started reading ‘Carry On’ I was cynical: a book about a boy who doesn’t have any parents then realises he’s a wizard, goes to a school for wizards and attempts to solve the problems of the wizarding world with his intelligent female friend, Penelope. Sound familiar? I saw this as just another Harry Potter spin-off. However, as I got deeper into the book, I found the plot twists and characters were completely original and I loved the way that Rowell brought in twists of romantic tension.

The book begins from the point of view of Simon, a young adult finishing his last year at the magical school, Watford. He is constantly on edge, as his roommate and enemy, Baz, has not yet returned to school, and he worries that Baz is hatching some big plot against him. Added to this there are constant attacks on the school by the Humdrum, a magic eating monster that, bizarrely, is in the form of Simon when he was 12 years old.

I’m going to be honest here and say that I found Simon’s character a bit annoying and preachy, but when the narrative switched to the point of view of Baz the book really picked up pace. I loved how the book continued to switch between all the different characters, even those that seemingly didn’t play a key part in the storyline. This helped to really confuse the reader (in a good way!) and then gradually everything became clear towards the end.

This isn’t the sort of book I would read- I normally opt for romance or historical fiction, not books about ghosts, vampires and wizards- but this book made me realise that you shouldn’t just stick to one sort of book and that by trying different genres you can find different interests. I certainly found that! So I would definitely recommend this book for someone who fancies reading something they will not be able to put down and for anyone that either loves fantasy- or is willing to try something new! Be prepared for plot twists that will blow your mind!

If you have any thoughts on books that you read time and time again, or you simply want to talk to a fellow book-a-holic, comment below!

Happy reading x

Currently reading: ‘Jamaica Inn’ by Daphne Du Maurier

Photo credits via GoodReads

10 thoughts

  1. This is a great review! I really want to read this now, especially after Fangirl. I agree about stepping out of your reading comfort zone, I did recently by trying to read more classics rather than fantasy and romance. I hope you enjoy Fangirl! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! It is amazing, I really do recommend it, the romance in it is just beautiful, but then again Rainbow Rowell’s romances are always adorable! I think it is important to try other genres you wouldn’t normally read- the blurb of this sounds crazy to me but I read it nonetheless 🙂 . Thanks, I’m going to order it from the library, can’t wait to see Simon Snow in it! x


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