Title:  Carry On (Simon Snow #1)

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA,  Fantasy, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: October 2015
Hardcover: 517 pages


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 starts 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.


My Rating: ★★★★

As a fan of Harry Potter, I was really entertained by everything that happened in this book. I haven't read Fangirl so I didn't know anything about the characters in Carry On, and that was perfectly fine because I clicked immediately with this story and ended up loving it.

What really impressed me about "Carry On" is that Rowell used some incredibly beautiful and well-chosen metaphors to describe the effects that the world of magic has on magicians. Unlike HP, where good was good and evil was bad, here the whole world is painted in shades of grey and nothing is what it seems.

Simon Snow is in his final year at Watford, the school of magic where he was brought when he was 11 years old. Simon is the Chosen One and he has to fight a Humdrum creature that can devour magic, together with his nemesis, Baz Pitch. The resemblance between Simon Snow and Harry Potter is immediately noticeable, while Penelope (his best friend) a being a mixture of Ron and Hermione. Simon is the Chosen One who has a magical and dangerous adventure every year while he is at Watford. But in the midst of the magical battles, the two "enemies" Simon and Baz, fall in love. They slowly discover their mutual affection, and the way their relationship unravels is absolutely heartwarming.

I absolutely loved the magical system, it's quirky, funny and refreshing, and I enjoyed seeing them cast spells. In this world, words have power, especially the words we use obsessively, which are always in our memory like lyrics, proverbs, an obsessive line of commercials. There is no Wingardium Leviosa at Watford, but there is a "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to light the stars in your own room.

The plot is well-paced, the characters are relatable and well developed and the established relationships between them, aided by the multiple points of view, made up for the few predictable moments in the story. It's a wonderfully entertaining read for anyone who loves YA novels, LGBTQ+ fiction, or just for those of us who feel melancholy towards the HP world. I can't wait to read more books by this author.