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.

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My mini-review:

“Georgie. You cannot be jealous of Dawn—that’s like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb.”

I already hate myself for even thinking this, but, if Rainbow Rowell’s other novels are the sun, then Landline is a lightbulb (in my opinion). The book isn’t bad. She writes everything well and I always enjoy her characters and I’ve never had trouble finishing her books. Perhaps my expectations are just too high because I’ve been so impressed by the other novels. I should also mention that this isn’t really a YA novel. I’m still too much of an adolescent to truly understand stories about marriage, divorce, and children, but it wasn’t terribly hard to read either. It read like a YA novel because Rainbow is good at what she does.

★★★ (3.5 stars) for almost making me look forward to being married (but only if it’s with someone who will never give up on me, no matter how shitty I am).

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

My mini-review:

“I didn’t know love could leave the lights on all the time.” […] “I thought it took more naps.”

This book is so charming. Rainbow’s books (I’ve only read two so far) always charm me. The only way I can describe how I felt while reading this book is good. It is a feel-good book. This is the type of book you pick up to read when your heart is already heavy with other tragedies. It’s upbeat, quirky, romantic, and conflicted enough to keep you involved, even if you are able to predict the ending. Some people might say the concept is silly, or that its predictability was a flaw. I say that it’s like watching a Rom-Com that is sort of like every other movie of its kind, complete with cute characters who don’t understand their own cuteness, but you still watch it anyway because it’s cute and makes you happy. I would also like to point out that I have yet to read another book with this whole plot premise.

★★★★ (4.5 stars) for being cute! I can’t help it. I loved reading this book.