Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Not as likable as Fangirl, but still an entertaining and light-hearted read.

Book CWs

  • Paranormal Creatures
  • Character Death
  • Violence
  • Racism (ish)
  • Murder
  • Abuse
  • Bullying

Premise

Simon Snow is known as the highly-prophesied Chosen One in the wizarding world. Unfortunately, he is–and always has been–an extremely incompetent wizard, a fact that his roommate (and nemesis) Baz never fails to remind him of. His spells rarely ever work and if it weren’t for the help of his best friend, Penelope, and his pure dumb luck, he probably wouldn’t have made it this far.

It is Simon’s final year at the Watford School of Magicks and Baz is no where to be found. Paranoid that Baz is simply lurking in the shadows waiting for his final attack, Simon soon becomes obsessed with finding him. In fact, it is 100% his main focus.

Except magic is being destroyed all around the world by a monster wearing Simon’s face so maybe that’s where Simon’s priorities should lie. Magic is more important to Simon than Baz. Isn’t it?

Review (No Spoilers)

My partner had described this book to me as a Harry Potter parody (which is why I was interested in reading it) and that’s kind of exactly what it was. Simon is a complete doofus and the spells are sayings like “you can’t touch this” and “ix-nay on the atford-Way” so the book can be freaking hilarious at times.

The romance really had me going so it’s unfortunate that it begins over halfway through the book–and it’s a pretty big book. I would have much rather had more romance and less buildup but that’s just because I love me some lovin’.

Once you get past the couples and comedy, the plot is actually really tragic. A lot more tragic than I ever thought it would be and a lot more tragic than I think I was mentally prepared for. I am extremely glad that I read Carry On before Fangirl because it allowed me to feel the shock and horror of certain plot twists that would have otherwise been spoiled. I highly recommend taking my route if you want this same experience.

I’d say that the reason this book lost a star was because certain chapters (specifically the Lucy chapters) seemed kind of pointless and unnecessarily confusing. I also am super ambivalent about the ending. I feel like I was disappointed and happy at the same time. You might even say that I was both disappointed and appointed.

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 4.5/5

I liked pretty much everything about this book except for one specific thing.

Book CWs

  • Parent Abandonment
  • Cheating
  • Exploitation
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders

Note: If you’re looking to read Carry On, I suggest reading that first as Fangirl has spoilers for it throughout the book.

Premise

Cath and her twin sister Wren have been Simon Snow fans for basically their entire lives. Together they’ve written tons of fan fiction online and gained a surprisingly large amount of fans.

But when the two of them start college, Cath suddenly finds herself abandoned by Wren. Not only does Wren not want to be Cath’s roommate, she also seems to want as little to do with Cath as possible.

Now alone, Cath finds herself struggling to keep up with her studies while trying to finish her last fan fiction piece, Carry On. Add that to the fact that her roommate is a extreme grump whose boyfriend is always around, her dad is home alone for the first time and has stopped eating real food, and her new fiction writing professor has labeled fan fiction as straight up plagiarism.

With no one to turn to for help, can Cath make it on her own?

Review (No Spoilers)

This book. My god, this book.

The characters in this book were amazingly written. I fell so hard for Cath and her problems as she was basically the written version of myself (minus the fan fiction). I loved her with all of my heart.

The side characters were just as good. I have read countless stories where characters do sucky things and are never really forced to reflect on their actions. But with this book I was very satisfied with the way every arc was nicely tied up. Relationships that I thought should have mended were mended while toxic relationships were effectively cut off. I watched as each individual character grew from what they did (or didn’t do) and it was wonderful.

The romance in this book was like top shelf for me. Trust me when I say that I was living for it. And having read Carry On prior to read this, I actually enjoyed the Simon excerpts a lot. I wish it were an actual book series so that I could read it in its entirety (yeah yeah I know Harry Potter exists).

At this point you’re probably wondering what the one thing I didn’t like was. Unfortunately, it’s a spoiler (sorry!). I will say that involved making a character do something that in my opinion was completely not in line with who that character was at all in order to create conflict. And since that character happened to be my favorite character at the time, I was pissed. My partner read this book before I did and actually warned me before I got to the part where it happens because he knew it would be upsetting. Needless to say, I was still upset.

If I could, I would just scratch out that part of the book and pretend it never happened. I actually might.

The was really the only low part of me reading this book. Everything else was basically as perfect as could be. I mean, aside from the fact that the MCs legal name is Cather and who tf names their child Cather? The name Cath would have literally been just as acceptable for all intents and purposes.