Now I know what you’re thinking; “we haven’t had a booktalk in ages, why the change?” Well I’ll tell you why! I just finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and it is that amazing and I have that many thought, I have to share it with you. As per the usual setup this will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler sections.
Non-Spoiler: Carry On is a kind of spin off from Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece, Fangirl. The protagonist in Fangirl writes fanfiction for the Simon Snow book series she is obsessed with (a Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson kind of thing). Carry On is the fanfiction that she writes and it was so good! The story is supposed to be the end of the series but it wasn’t confusing, and it wasn’t that weird. It was just really good. It was told from duel perspectives; Simon, Baz, Penny, Agatha, Lucy and the Mage. Simon and Baz are the two protagonists and there is a really amazing storyline that follows the two of them. I really do recommend this to everyone. It has something everyone will love; romance, fantasy, kick-ass characters. I do recommend reading Fangirl first though because it gives more context to the story and gives you more of the previous storyline. It was an amazing book though and you should all read it.
Spoiler: Alright so the book opens with Simon explaining his past, which kicked the book off well because, being a fanfiction, it didn’t have to. It gave context to Snow’s character, to his life at Watford and to who (and what) he valued most in the world. It was already really interesting that Agatha didn’t even place on Simon’s list of most amazing things at Watford. I hated the Mage from the start, I know he wanted equality but he didn’t achieve that. The Mage and the original families were radicals in their own way. Neither of them made positive change when they could’ve.
The story, for me, really kicked off when Baz came in. Before then it was really fun to read but the story wasn’t completely developed until then. I was really intrigued when Baz’s Mum came to visit Simon from the veil. Baz was the most adorable character in possibly the entire world (sorry Jamie) and I really wanted to give him a hug.
I loved when the fight with the dragon occurred because the way that Simon pushed his magic into Baz without hurting him, while with Penny it did hurt, because it meant that were basically soulmates.
I loved when they were all working together because, I think, Penny and Baz were really similar and could be pretty good friends (if Penny would open up more). Penny was another really unique character. I connected pretty strongly with her and her magic ring and blatant disregard for rules was pretty cool.
The story was at its peak when Simon went to stay with Baz for Christmas. When they went to see Nicodemus (totally called that he was Ebb’s brother by the way) and when they Baz tried to die. When Simon saved him. When they kissed. When they finally admitted their feelings. It was amazing and special and great. But I was also shadowed by a feeling of sadness, sadness for Nicodemus. He was one of the most powerful magicians and he gave that up to be a vampire but ended up having his fangs removed so he was useless! He threw away everything for greatness and was given nothing in return. I loved that he went to see Ebb sometimes, see her in secret to just listen. The ending of the story was amazing. I totally knew that the Mage was evil and wasn’t that surprised when it was revealed that it was he that killed Baz’s Mum. I was surprised though that he was Simon’s “father” (if that’s the right word). Lucy (his mother) had a really interesting story and I want to learn more about her. I want another book that focuses on her story.
Simon being the hero and the greatest evil was one of the most interesting plot points I’ve ever read. I liked the ending but didn’t like the fact that Simon lost his magic and that he kept his stupid tale. It was a good ending though, with Baz and Simon being together, and Penny and Simon finally moving in, the spots closing and Agatha getting to be Normal, which is all she ever wanted. It was a really amazing story, I really did love it.
So that is it for my booktalk. Let me know your thoughts and opinions down in the comments and let me know it you plan on reading it (because you should)
Signing off, Verity