Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is a fan fiction story about Simon Snow, a character introduced in Rowell’s previous book, Fangirl. The main character in Fangirl, Cath, is an avid fan of the Simon Snow book series which follows a boy wizard in the UK (sound familiar?), and she is writing her own fan fiction called ‘Carry On’ as she waits for the final book in the series to be released. Rainbow Rowell herself said she wanted to write a Simon Snow story as she enjoyed coming up with the world for Fangirl. However, this version of ‘Carry On’ is not the same one Cath is writing in the book. So this book is a fan fiction of a fan fiction of a fictional character of a fictional series in another Rowell book that heavily references another fictional series. IT IS ALL TOO META TO HANDLE. Which is probably why it took me way longer to read this than I expected.
I honestly had to listen to the audiobook while reading this. The multiple perspectives kept throwing me off too much to actually hold my focus without the audio. One thing I noticed is that the narrator was reading a proof or an early draft because some of the words and sentences were not the same in the book as they were in the audio.
Once I started to get a little more into the book I started to enjoy it. The story focuses primarily on Simon, the Chosen One who kind of stinks at being the Chosen One, and his roommate, Baz. Simon is convinced that his roommate and nemesis is a vampire and obsesses over it the entire time. Baz, on the other hand, is wrestling with the knowledge that he doesn’t actually hate Simon. There is also a story surrounding a point of time when spirits can return to the mortal world to visit with their loved ones and a secret power that could potentially save or destroy the magical community.
I did enjoy the story for the most part. I found all of the characters, with the exception of Simon himself (he could be kind of annoying), to be very interesting, especially Baz and Agatha. There were a lot of references to previous years at Watford that sounded a bit more interesting than some of the scenes we did get, but as this is supposed to be a fan fiction to an existing series in the Fangirl universe, I suppose we will just have to imagine those other adventures on our own. The only thing to me that was a little wishy-washy was the romance. The Simon-Baz story had some cute moments, but most of the time it came across as obsessive infatuation (specifically on Simon’s end). I might read this again, or at least listen to the audiobook during a commute to work, but if you are interested in giving this a try, check out from your local library first.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars.
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Thanks for reading!