Book Review: CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

Carry on.png

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: Yes - book 1 of duology


carry on.jpgSimon 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 starts 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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


After a difficult last read, this book was the perfect antidote. It was such a fun read, playing on my favourite trope of all – the Chosen One.

I love this trope, and knew it was going to subvert the whole premise of a Chosen One. It was an interesting way to do it, and the ride to get there was one of laughter and cute moments. The relationship – enemies-to-lovers – doesn’t feel tired out, and the boys’ angry, sparking chemistry is great.

There is also a magic school, but that’s not the heart of the books. It’s more like the stepping stone – focused more on the close-quarters of Simon/Baz, then the lessons. In fact, there are no lessons, so any exposition is woven through the story rather than in a classroom setting.

The use of phrases as spells is genius. Commonly used phrases – but sometimes with a twist – are the most powerful spells. Like “Nothing to see here” to cloak something. It’s a fun, unique twist of magic, and really made it stand out. Not to mention an obvious way that the Normal world influenced the Magickal.

There were a lot of POVs. Some made sense – Simon, Baz and Penny – but others didn’t. A couple only appeared once or a very few times – Fiona and Ebb. I’m not sure what the point of those POVs were, as there wasn’t enough time to get used to those characters and dive into them. Therefore, they had no growth. I think it would have been better not to have those characters.

Lucy was another POV that took a long time to work out what she was adding to the story. Essentially, she’s a backstory giver, but it was quite confusing at first.

It was nice to see Agatha’s perspective, as one of the friends, but her contribution to the story was limited – particularly considering her role in the climax (yeah, nothing).

Overall, it was a great read and I loved the way it played on classic fantasy tropes.

I’ll read the sequel WAYWARD SON at some point, once my TBR isn’t so much a full jar as a few slips of paper!

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