Simon Snow (18) is in his final year at the Watford School of Magicks. For the last eight odd years they have been at Watfor, Simon is convinced that his roommate, Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch (not so affectionately known as "Baz") has been trying to kill him!
When Baz fails to show up for school this semester, Simon is convinced something is wrong. With the help of his best friend Penelope Bunce; his girlfriend Agatha Wellbelove; and his mentor the Mage, Simon is determined to get to the bottom of the Baz business ... all the while saving the magickal world from a mysterious villain who has been haunting them for the entirety of Simon's life.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (19):
I enjoyed this book very much! I expected to enjoy this book, and ended up loving it. I was a little surprised with how much I enjoyed it. There are so many interesting layers to it that I did not expect it to have going in, and it truly was a treat to uncover them all.
Carry On will remind readers of Harry Potter. Simon is a "Chosen One" (like Harry) and I felt like I was reading an alternative version of HP for young adult readers. It gives off a warm sense of familiarity even though we haven't followed these characters in their past seven years at Watford.
That being said, this book is distinctively NOT Harry Potter; Carry On maintains its own sense of uniqueness with a vastly different plot. It is also multi-perspective which adds depth to the story. First and foremost, the plot is incredibly intriguing and unique. The world-building is excellent, and I found myself turning the pages quickly in order to learn what would happen next. Rowell provides a number of different perspectives that help to weave an intricate story.
The diversity of the characters in this book is also a breath of fresh air. The main couple is same-sex, and two of the main characters are people of color whose ancestry is of some import. The characters are also all compelling and incredibly fleshed-out and you can't help but find yourselves rooting for them, even the characters who are more flawed. There are also a bunch of fun cultural references in the form of magickal spells that lighten the mood of the novel!
Fans of Harry Potter won't be disappointed in this unique version of life at a school of magicks! Layers of mystery, interesting relationships, characters with depth, exceptional world-building, multiple narrators ... there's something for everyone.
The plot contains profanity and sexual situations. At the forefront of this novel is a same-sex couple getting together, so there are some romantic scenes. In addition, there is some violence throughout the novel. Overall, there is nothing that I would say is inappropriate for the intended audience.
This is a fantasy adventure that draws on characters from others of Rainbow Rowells' books.
Read this for fun. If you *want* to compare it to Harry Potter, you're in for some fun, interesting discussions. This book offers perspective on race relations (magickal and real), same-sex relationships, class systems, and, to some degree, the patriarchy.
15 and Up
14 and Up
Teen Student Volunteer. Reviewer Age: 19
Buy. I ended up loving this book so much more than I thought I would and ended up buying it myself so I could re-read it!
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