Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, LGBT+
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 6th 2015


“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”

Simon Snow’s life as the chosen one has always been rocky. Sure he has unimaginable power, but being able to use it properly is an entirely different problem. This year is shaping up to be the worst yet. The Mage, his mentor, barely has any time for him. His romantic relationship is falling apart. Worst of all his evil vampire roommate is missing. Which can only mean one thing; he’s plotting to end Simon’s life once and for all.

Carry On feels like a classic tale of a chosen one and a big bad. There is such a vast wealth of stories about a special child being powerful enough to defeat evil, and this novel is refreshingly aware of that. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time manages to weave a “magickal” story full of adventure, friendship and romance.

The story is told through several POVs, Simon and Baz being the main voices. Penelope and Agatha also get quite a few of their own chapters along with a few other characters. Each character is so well written, the dialogue feels in place, it’s beautiful character crafting.

The relationship between Penelope and Simon is beautiful. Books will never have too many platonic female/male friendships. Penelope has her own romantic prospects but she never has to choose between Simon and her boyfriend.

Readers can see shades of their favourite Harry Potter characters, settings and tropes, but Rowell has made them her own. It’s easy to forget it’s linked to Harry Potter at all. For a series that started as just a fictional series in Rowell’s Fangirl the finished product is stunning.

It feels like a Chosen One story. It plays with the tropes masterfully but just as often turns them on their head. The happy ending is not always what you think it will be. People are multi-faceted and stories should always have some shades of gray. Rowell has taken a small idea and build a magical, complex world with lifelike characters and has surpassed every expectation.

A expert spin on “The Chosen One” trope as well as a fantastic story in it’s own right.


Read this if you’re a fan of: Harry Potter


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