Book Review: Carry On | Rainbow Rowell

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Aleister Crowley. This book. This book is really something.

I believe this is my first LGBTQ+ novel, and I welcomed the change in sexuality eagerly. It was so refreshing, reading about guys loving other guys (Baz) and also being confused by their feelings for other guys (Simon) instead of the typical heterosexual relationship. I think I might start picking up more books with queer characters after this. It’s definitely much more exciting and interesting than books with straight characters. (Oh come on, I’ve been reading about heterosexual relationship drama since Day One, a change would be nice.)

Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in fan fiction of any sort, but since 1) Carry On isn’t an actual fan fic, 2) it’s based on Harry Potter and 3) the main characters are queer, why the hell wouldn’t I be interested in it?! I just had to get it once I finished Fangirl, and I did. There was no stopping me.

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

This book definitely did not disappoint, although the first part of the book moved painfully slowly. I mean, I only bought the book for SnowBaz, I can’t be bothered about the war or the Mage or the Humdrum! But once Baz made his appearance, everything became 10 times better. And romantic. And cute. So cute. All the little SnowBaz scenes made my heart flutter like mad, especially Baz’s first internal monologue where he revealed his feelings for Simon. Oh my god, my heart.

I also like how Carry On was based off Harry Potter, because I was able to delve into the World of Mages more easily as a HP fan. (Carry On is supposed to be a fan fic and doesn’t go into details about the World of Mages.) But, despite being adapted from HP, the World of Mages is different enough from the wizarding world of Harry Potter that it has its own identity and I did not feel like I was reading ‘just another HP fan fic’. I especially love the way magic works in the World of Mages. I love the spoken magic with phrases from nursery rhymes, songs or just phrases that we use in our daily lives that have been used often enough to contain magic when spoken aloud by mages. The part where The Mage was chanting Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen? Amazing.

SnowBaz’s antagonistic relationship undoubtedly is the cutest bloody thing about the book. It’s like, they’re supposed to be arch-enemies, but then they’re also in love with each other. (Well, Baz was in love with Simon since fifth year. Simon was kinda confused about his feelings at first.) Their bickering scenes were my favourite. The kissing scenes too. And the hand-holding scenes. Who knew hand-holding scenes could make me feel so many emotions???

Argh, this book is just a huge ball of adorbs! I need a sequel! No, really, I need a sequel. Not because of SnowBaz (well, okay, maybe 90% because of SnowBaz), but because I have so many unanswered questions after I finished the book. Like

1) How did Lucy die?

2) What is the relationship between the older generation of mages? Ebb, Nico, Fiona, Davy, Lucy, Mitali and the others, what exactly is their relationship? I’d like a sequel that tells the story of their generation.

3) What led to Davy becoming The Mage?

Rainbow Rowell, if you’re reading this, I. Need. Answers. But overall, Carry On is a great book. It’s been a few days since I finished it and I still can’t stop fangirling over SnowBaz! It’s crazy. I’m crazy. And of course I’ll end this review (more like fangirl rant) with some of my favourite, absolutely adorable excerpts from the book:

Baz

And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of—

Blue eyes.

Bronze curls.

The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.

That Simon Snow is alive.

And I’m hopelessly in love with him.

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(Source: Giphy)

Baz

I wish I’d never figure it out. That I love him.

It’s only ever been a torment.

Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire.

He’s constantly drawing you in. And you’re constantly stepping too close. And you know it’s not good— that there is no good— that there’s absolutely nothing that can ever come of it.

But you do it anyway.

And then…

Well. Then you burn.

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(Source: Giphy)

Baz

He shakes his head, and he’s saying something, and I think I might kiss him.

Because I’ve never kissed anyone before. (I was afraid I might bite.) And I’ve never wanted to kiss anyone but him. (I won’t bite. I won’t hurt him.)

I just want to kiss him, then go.

“Simon…,” I say.

And then he kisses me.

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(Source: Giphy)

Simon

“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”

He tries to kiss me, but I hold back— “And you like that?”

“I love it,” he says.

“Why?”

“Because we match.”

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(Source: Giphy)

Baz

“I’m not the Chosen One,” he says.

I meet his gaze and sneer. My arm is a steel band around his waist. “I choose you,” I say. “Simon Snow, I choose you.”

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(Source: Giphy)

Baz

“I’ll never be that again.”

“No. And thank magic.” I sigh forcefully. “The way you were before… Simon Snow, there wasn’t a day when I believe we’d both live through it.”

“Through what?”

Life. You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.’ ”


Rating: 5/5 because SNOWBAZ.

 

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