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Carry On | Rainbow Rowell

“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you.”

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy. 
Number of Pages: 522.
Perspective: First Alternating. 
Location: England.

Carry On is the story of a “chosen” wizard, Simon. When his arch-nemesis keeps creating chaos, Simon, his love interest, and his best friend must figure out what is happening in order to save all of the magic world. For a complete summary, you can go here.

OK, so this book needs a little bit of backstory. In one of Rowell’s other books, Fangirl, the character writes a book that is similar to Harry Potter. The story within that book got so much attention that Rowell decided to turn it into a full standalone novel. That leaves us with Carry On. Technically, it should be considered Harry Potter fan-fiction. 

I was worried that I wouldn’t get some of the subtle connections to Harry Potter since I have only read the first book and watched all the movies (Gasp! I know). But that problem was solved when I discussed this book with my book club. They clarified any small links that I didn’t pick up on. During the first part of this book, I was rolling my eyes since it was too much like Harry Potter. It would be like if Rowling summarizes the first six books in the first few chapters of book seven. We don’t get to experience Simon’s first years as a wizard. So the book was moving very slowly. Until there was a HUGE twist a few chapters in that made it all so much more interesting and it separated itself from Harry Potter and other popular fantasy stories. 

As a fan of Rowell’s other books, I expected a great book. However, I wasn’t expecting her to be able to create a fantasy world so well. I think world-building is one of the hardest skills to master as a writer. It was a little bit of a quirky fantasy story and not as serious as the Harry Potter series. My favorite part is that their spells were common phrases and idioms used by nonmagical people. The more often a phrase is used, the more powerful the spell. The twist is that the magicians never know exactly what the spell will do. 

I loved this story! The reasons why I didn’t give it a 5 star review are because I liked Eleanor and Park by Rowell so much better, it had a slow start, and the ending left a couple of lose ends. 

I think anyone who likes young adult or fantasy stories would love this book. It is probably one of the easiest to read fantasy stories I have read. You don’t have to be a fan of Harry Potter to read this story, but you may appreciate it a little more. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

“Just when you think you're having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”

 4/5 Stars

Check out my review of Rainbow Rowell’s other book, Eleanor and Park! 

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