Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Simon 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 sets 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.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My mini-review:

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

First off, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading Fangirl. Cath is probably one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read about and that made Fangirl an immediate favourite of mine. And even though the fanfiction segments were my least favourite part of that novel, I was still a little obsessed with Simon and Baz’s relationship. So, that’s what brought me to read Carry On.

My initial thought was that it felt like reading an increasingly long fanfic (which it indeed was), and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve never not liked Rainbow’s characters or her writing style—that’s what makes her books so enjoyable—so it wasn’t difficult to finish. It was just nice to read, despite some of the dragging bits. I probably would have given it 4 stars if there was something more. I don’t know.

★★★★ (4 stars) for making me “ship” a couple for the first time in my life. That’s a feat.

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My mini-review:

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”

Relatable. So relatable. Like, unbelievably relatable. I imagine that my life would be written a lot like this if it were a YA novel; however, Fangirl is far less tragic and far more cute than my story. Also, I don’t normally “ship” people—nor do I even use that phrase—but I have to say that Simon and Baz make me want to use the word “ship”. I ship them. So there. I did it.

★★★★★ (5 stars) for reminding me why I love and embrace being a nerd. This is probably now one of my all-time favourite books.