Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: October 2015
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Adventure and Romance

Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2015! Considering it was going to be a “spin-off” novel of Fangirl, it is no surprise that Carry On was a novel I really enjoyed. Carry On was so completely different to Fangirl, that you couldn’t help but view the novel as a completely different book from a completely different genre. Rainbow Rowell, is known for her famous contemporaries but Carry On is a fantasy novel, which steps out of her comfort zone. I was dying to read this novel and on the day the book magically appeared on my doorstep, I was super pumped to read it and I got straight into the novel! I highly recommend it, though I can’t give you any reasons without spoiling it, I can tell you now that if witches, romance and drama are your thing you need to pick up this novel right now!

You will enjoy Carry On the most if you go into the novel without knowing a single thing. However, if you must know, Carry On is very much like an older version of Harry Potter. Simon Snow, the main character, belongs to the magical world of wizards. As he enters the last year of his schooling, he discovers that things this year have started to go awol. The Mage is treating him differently, his roommate is missing and there is something going on that causes Simon to become more and more restless. He alongside his friend Penelope go out to discover secrets and sides to the story that causes them to go on one epic adventure.


I came into Carry On with extremely high hopes, to say that the novel fulfilled my hopes would be stretching it. However, I did really enjoy the novel. What really annoyed me about this novel were the similarities to Harry Potter. The setting was very much similar and the characters were similar to Harry Potter, which originally annoyed me but as the story progressed you could see the differences in the plotlines. It was disappointing to see the parallels of the two stories correlate so closely together, which was one of the reasons that it marked my rating down for my novel.

On a completely different note, the character development was skillfully developed throughout the novel. Simon’s personality really grew throughout the novel and you can clearly see that by the end. His selfless nature was displayed in his love and friendship for both Penelope and Baz. I loved his dorky personality, which always made me laugh. His relationship with Baz, initially confused me. How could he fall in love with someone who he clearly hated? I bet I was not the only one who thought this way but by the end of the novel his love for Baz was romantically cute. His loyalty to the mage was really respectable and his relationship with him intrigued me til the end. I was so shocked to discover that the Mage turned against his back.

Penelope was one of my favorite characters, that reminded me very much of Ron. I really enjoyed reading about her perspective about the situation as she was the “intelligent and logical” one of the group. However, I would have loved to see a final conclusion to her character and I believed more depth could have been added to her character. She was still a lovely addition to the book and it gave at times it was nice to get a break from Simon and Baz. On the other hand, Agatha, like the author’s intention, really annoyed me. She reminded me of a princess and her attitude to Simon and Baz, as well, got on my nerves.

I loved the storyline as it was different to your everyday fantasy. Rainbow Rowell’s contemporary writing shone through at times and I really enjoyed it. It was a perfect twist of a fantasy and contemporary. It’s not often you get to see the extensive character development and the witty conversations of a contemporary in a fantasy but Carry On really delivered it. This was one of the main reasons why I loved the novel, the conversations and the depth of some of the characters made me continue reading. I also loved the complex storyline as it made me feel like a little child reading Harry Potter but the themes were for an older audience.

Overall, the storyline was what bumped the rating up, despite its similarities to Harry Potter. The characters were writen from a unique point of view. This novel is a great novel but it doesn’t beat her other contemporaries. However, it did pull me out of my slight reading slump and I was page-turning by the end of the novel. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a contemporary cross fantasy because Carry On was a novel that left me gripped til the end!

Sorry for not posting in such a long time, I have been really busy this past two weeks but I’ll definitely try and upload new posts more frequently this month! 🙂


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