Rainbow Rowling’s…I mean, Rowell’s…latest

51at-2bhwvqlCarry On, by Rainbow Rowell (2015)

Opening Line: “I walk to the bus station by myself.”

We all know I love Rainbow. As my Grandma would say, I would read her grocery lists. So of course I enjoyed Carry On.

For anyone who knows Rainbow, you’ll know that Carry On is a…continuation? Spin-off? of my most favorite Rainbow novel, Fangirl. In Fangirl, main character Cath and her twin sister have spent years developing a fanfiction story based on the characters of their favorite book and movie series Simon Snow (baaasically Harry Potter. With vampires). Their fanfiction story is called Carry On. And when Rainbow finished Fangirl, she didn’t feel done with the Carry On characters. Voila.

Carry On picks up in Simon Snow’s final year at Watford’s School of Magicks. Supposedly Simon is the most powerful wizard that has ever been, deemed The Chosen One, destined to save the world from the Insidious Humdrum, who is sucking up all the magic, and strangely looks just like 10-year-old Simon.  But Simon’s pretty terrible at magic. He can’t control it, which is arguably the most important thing when it comes to magic. Plus, there’s his nemesis, roommate Baz, who happens to be a vampire, and who has not shown up for school this year (which drives Simon crazy not knowing where he is). To top it all off, the Mage, Simon’s more-than-mentor, is avoiding Simon like the plague and Simon’s girlfriend Agatha has broken up with him (for Baz?). Let’s just say, it’s been a rough start. And he really better do something about the Humdrum before he wipes magic off the planet.

There are definitely mixed reviews on GoodReads about this one, due mostly to it’s obvious similarities to our greatest love, Harry. In fact, one of our book club members had a hard time getting over just that. It didn’t bother me much, because like a Goodreads reviewer said, it temporarily filled the HP hole in my heart. Is it as good as HP? Oh god, no. But is it good in its own merit? Absolutely!

Rainbow’s magic is the same here as it has been in all her other works, and her magic lives in her dialogue. It doesn’t seem to matter the setting, the genre, the audience, the plot. I love her writing because of the dialogue. Her characters always feel completely authentic to me because of the way they talk to each other. I can’t get enough of it.

Love. 2.5 stars

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