Book Review: “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***

Synopsis:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.”

Characters:

Simon Snow: he is our main character and he is obsessed with Baz. He is characteristically really bad at magic, he is reckless and he does not think. He’s pretty open with his feelings and is friendly to everyone who isn’t Baz (at first, of course)

Agatha: Simon’s long-time girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend, and I have mixed feelings about her. I think she’s a goody two shoes and honestly shouldn’t be in Simon’s life. Which, thankfully, she isn’t anymore. She’s not a bad person she just isn’t really brave at all.

Penny: I love Penny. She is hilarious, a really good friend to Simon and even Baz, and is with him until the end. She is very animated and very good at magic. I just love the friendship between Penny and Simon.

Baz: he is sarcastic, funny, pretty dark, and he is a vampire. He is in love with Simon, and I just really enjoyed his characters. His POV was my favorite to read from. Where he’s dark, Simon’s light, so I think they work well together.

The Mage: I really liked him at first. He seemed like a nice character. And then we realized he just wants all of the power for himself (sort of) and he wants to take all of Simon’s power. He seemed like a father figure (funny that he actually was Simon’s real dad), but now I’m just like…I’m not sad that he’s gone.

Lucy: She is Simon’s birth mom. Obviously she is dead. She is very sweet and really cares for both The Mage and Simon. I just wish Simon could have seen her, really seen her.

Plot:

So the story starts off with Simon heading to what I assume is the train station. His taxi driver ends up being a goblin who attacks him and he eventually gets to Watford (his magic school). I honestly don’t remember a lot of what happened in the first hundred pages because I didn’t really start loving it until Baz showed up. Baz is the reason I loved this book so much. But from what I remember of the beginning, Simon was obsessed with Baz, thinking he was going to just come out and get him, plotting and whatnot. He and Agatha broke up (not that upset; I ship him and Baz; I didn’t particularly care for her character anyway) and it discusses how he and his best friend Penny were kidnapped by the Insidious Humdrum (I’m sorry; I can’t say that without giggling because it sounds so lame), but right before this, Baz and Agatha were together and they were holding hands.

 
And after they were kidnapped, when they got back, they were immediately sent home. While Baz was away, Visiting Day came and that’s when the spirits of the dead can come back and give messages and whatever, but Baz was not there for this. So the spirit of his dead mom ends up giving Simon the message that “Nicodemus” was the one that killed her. So she leaves. Sometime later another spirit comes (we know now that was his mom, Lucy) just to see her baby boy. So then Baz comes in. Turns out he was kidnapped by Numpties, though he won’t tell anyone. He and Simon have several spats (and we obviously know from his POV that he is so in love with Simon and it is just great).

 
Simon eventually tells Baz about what his mom said and makes a magickal oath that he will help Baz find her real killer. So that’s when everything starts to shift. Simon eventually brings in Penny for some ideas and they start working through the possibilities. Now this Dragon comes and attacks this school (it was being controlled by someone) and Simon goes to kill it, but Baz says that will just bring bad luck, so he is trying to spell it away, but the only way it worked was Simon giving Baz some of his magic. They try it a few more times back in their room and Baz can’t take it, but Simon can give it.

 
So Christmas rolls around and Agatha says not to come to her house for Christmas since they are broken up and Penny’s parents like him, but think that he is a spy for the Mage, so he can’t go there either. So he stays at Watford. He goes and visits Ebb (the goat herder) and she tells of how her brother Nicodemus willingly turned into a vampire. So Simon immediately rushes off to Baz’s house to tell him.

 
So after he tells him everything, he sleeps there and the next day they go out and find Nicodemus. He won’t tell them anything, so Baz runs off (with Simon in tow) and tries to set himself on fire in the forest (to stop him from doing it, Simon kisses him. I was squealing.) So they’re just making out. And that stops him from killing himself. BUT THEY KISSED. Anyway, after that, they head back to his house and they kiss a lot. Obviously they go to sleep.

 
So Penelope and Agatha show up and tell them about Lucy, the Mage’s old girlfriend. And they tell Agatha everything (a really stupid decision) and she wants to tell the Mage. So Penelope and Agatha leave and drag Simon with them (he jumps out of the car and runs back to Baz’s house) and he has dinner with them. They kiss a lot. The next day, Simon runs outside and has a run in with the Humdrum and it really hurts Baz. Simon puts a whole bunch of magic into Baz so heal him and the Humdrum steals all of the magic from their land, so Simon has to flee.

 
Simon grows wings and flies to Penelope’s house. They can’t spell the wings off of him. They meet with Baz and figure out that the Insidious Humdrum is just Simon’s shadow and he wants to create bigger holes in the magickal spectrum

.
So Baz goes out and confronts the Numpties and he figures out that the person who had him kidnapped and who had his mom killed (if only partially). He meets with Penny and they have to go back to Watford to save Simon. So Agatha is there and the Mage tries to kill her (Ebb saves her; the Mage kills Ebb). Baz and Penny run in to save Simon. The Humdrum shows up and to destroy him, Simon gives all of his magic to the Humdrum. He has none left.

 
He accidentally kills the Mage by telling him to stop hurting him. After this we figure out that Lucy was Simon’s mother and the Mage was Simon’s father. Simon doesn’t go back to school (his magic never returned), but Baz does and he graduates. Agatha never went back. I don’t think Penny did either. There’s this ball and Simon and Baz dance (oh, the feels!)

 
Simon and Penny get an apartment together and despite Baz having vampire strength, he doesn’t help by getting boxes (this scene was just great). Simon still has his wings and tail. And there’s flirting and it is just great. That’s where the book ends.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. I did see that this was really a bit of Harry Potter fanfiction, but it didn’t really bother me because this was an entirely new magic system. I thought it was cool, fun and inventive. I loved these characters and I really loved the storyline. There were these plot twist to where I was like, “WHAT? WHAT?!” I just really loved that it felt like a contemporary, but it was a fantasy. It was just great.

9
5/5 hearts

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell

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