Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published February 25, 2016
I had serious HIGH hopes for this book. This is supposed to be a spin-off for Fangirl which, as you can tell, I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened here but I did NOT enjoy Carry On. I found the plot to be confusing and slow; the characters to be dim-witted and not at all relatable; and the overall book was just so meh that it took me a lot longer to read than what I had expected. I mean, Fangirl was so good. What happened?! Also, I want to point out that I am not the only one who thought so. This book was picked for my book club and from what I saw, a lot of them did not enjoy it either.
First of all, the plot. Can I just ask, what the hell happened? It kept twisting and turning and not in a good way. I mean, I love plot twist, but that “plot twist” was just way too out there. It was also incredibly confusing mainly because the author wrote the book in the perspective of about 50 people. Some of them made sense like Simon or Baz or even Penelope. Then others did not make sense at all and would only show up for a chapter or two such as Nicodemus or Ebb. Was it really necessary to make one random chapter from the perspective of someone else? It was hard to follow and not at all necessary.
Also, I want to mention that this whole World of Mages thing seem WAY too similar to Harry Potter. The whole 7 books series, the usage of wands even though everyone knows that magicians don’t use wands to perform their “magic”, the spell casting even though, again, everyone knows that magicians don’t cast spells, etc. Everything is just so similar to Harry Potter but in a really, really cheap sense of way. It doesn’t have the same character richness or the amazing plot that Harry Potter has. Honestly, it really makes me wonder about Fangirl and how/why exactly does she love the Simon Snow series so much. It’s really not that great.
Then, let’s talk about the characters. In Fangirl¸ the characters literally made the book. In Carry On¸ the characters were such a flop. Simon was so dim-witted (even Baz, in the book, mentioned it so many times). I mean, he couldn’t even figure out if he was gay or not and this was after having intense makeout sessions with Baz. Baz was pretty much the typical angst vampire and until he mentioned that he was in love in Simon, I didn’t get the hint at all. There wasn’t even any kind of chemistry between the two – more of an obsession especially from Simon’s end because he was literally always thinking of Baz and how to overcome any “plots” he might have. It was a little ridiculous, to be honest. Even Penelope (or should I say, Hermione) wasn’t that great. Sure, she was smart but she was annoying and I felt no love for her.
Overall, this was really not a great book. The ending was horrid – it was so out of the blue and it seemed as if even the author herself lost interest and simply wanted to wrap the book up. A lot of things didn’t make sense and it didn’t even make sense to the characters! That was the most ridiculous things. How do you expect the readers to understand when even the characters in the plot are questioning the same thing to no avail? Anyways, I definitely recommend Fangirl but that’s it. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.