Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐
"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."
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is the first installment in the YA fantasy series Simon Snow.
For fans of this book that may stumble upon this review, beware, because I can say with extreme certainty that while I didn't necessarily hate this book, this was excruciatingly boring.
It took me two tries to read this book. The first time I picked it up, I DNFed it rather quickly. I decided to pick it up again a year later and was equally as bored as the first time, but decided to push through it. I should have learned my lesson and just leave it alone.
Nothing in this worked for me. The plot, the characters, and the relationships were all meh. Since this book takes place years into their schooling, a lot of stuff has already happened and I feel that the plot and character development suffers because of that. You're not really given the time to see them grow up and see their relationships develop and as such I wasn't given enough the time to care about them. The world-building also suffers because you're not really given any context or background information about the world.
The magic system felt really lazy as well. It felt like Rowell put forth the literal least amount of effort. The spells are basically just words being spoken. It also felt like she was banking on the fact that this is more or less a rehashing of Harry Potter to save her from having to build a completely new world and magic system.
I was hoping the Simon/Baz dynamic would at least save the story but it added nothing. Simon was weirdly obsessed with trying to figure Baz out and I didn't really like the 'I like you so I bully you' trope that Baz depicting.
Now, you're probably asking why I didn't rate it lower than a 3 star when I had nothing good to say about this. Well, that is because this wasn't bad necessarily, just extremely boring and unoriginal so I placed it dead centre.
I can say that I won't regret not picking up any more of Rowell's books especially when they are known to be a problematic author.