Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: CARRY ON

Wow, it's hard to believe that March is almost over! It really will be April before we know it. April holds some exciting prospects for me, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that everything will go well.

In the meantime, I'm going to be reviewing CARRY ON, a recent-ish book by Rainbow Rowell. And if you are thinking something along the lines of "wow, that took a while," you aren't wrong. It did take me EONS to get my hands on CARRY ON. You, dear reader, have probably read it, but for those of you who haven’t, I’m going to share my take on this book.

(source: Goodreads)

For those of you who don't know, the characters of CARRY ON are introduced in Rainbow Rowell's FANGIRL. I would definitely recommend that you read FANGIRL before reading CARRY ON.

Goodreads says:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

My take:

Full disclosure: I almost gave up on this book.

CARRY ON has a slow start, and on page 148, I swore on the River Styx (proof that Rick has infiltrated my life on multiple levels) that if Baz didn’t show up in the next five pages, I was going to abandon the book.

Baz, of course, showed up on page 150.

Once Baz showed up, the book improved dramatically. However, I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with CARRY ON.

To be fair, it’s been forever since I read FANGIRL, so I didn’t remember very much about Simon and Baz from their appearance in Cath’s story.  Maybe rereading FANGIRL before starting CARRY ON would have made the first book (CARRY ON is split up into four “books” and an epilogue) less of a chore.

I liked how CARRY on is told from different perspectives. Baz’s parts were my favorite, and in my mind, they single-handedly saved CARRY ON. Baz is so witty and amazing, and I really wish CARRY ON had more of him. I thought that Simon’s chapters improved significantly when they revolved around Baz. Can you tell that Baz is my favorite character?

And if we are talking about favorite characters, I might as well tell you the identity of my least favorite character. Here it is: I simply couldn’t stand Agatha. Rowell tried to make it so the reader could understand her, but she was just so shallow. Even after the part that was supposed to redeem her, I was annoyed whenever she was mentioned or given a chapter. 

I really wanted to yell, “Sit or stand, but don’t wobble!” at CARRY ON. It tries to be both an adventurous Chosen-One and a romance story at the same time. Rowell tries to give the audience equal amount of both, but it ended up feeling like there were two major subplots (the love story and the prophecy) and no real direction. I wish she had just picked one of the two and focused on it instead of trying to give both an equal amount of sway.

I think this is book was really just okay. I’m glad I read it for the Baz chapters, but it didn’t blow me away. A solid 3 stars out of 5.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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