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Rating: ★★★★★

Rainbow Rowell is one of my all-time favorite authors and I do not know how she comes up with these magnificent books and I love investing myself into these unique stories. My favorite Rainbow Rowell book of all time (so far) is still Eleanor & Park and this beautiful novel comes super close. I have seen plenty of people approaching this novel with apprehension because Carry On is based on characters that were featured in Fangirl. I can prove to you now once and for all that Carry On is not canon to Fangirl meaning you can read this book as a standalone. Rainbow Rowell loved writing about Simon Snow throughout Fangirl and wanted to invest in the character and created an original book that differs from the fan fiction version in Fangirl.

The sole purpose of reading this book is to see gay magicians getting their freak on. I have no shame about that and I believe once you enter into the story for this superficial reason it will change your world and see a beautiful romance blossom through the course of the narrative. Everyone says that this is Rowell’s fan-fiction interpretation of Harry Potterand I can definitely see how certain characters mirrors those who are in Harry Potter but in the end I found the book to be original while using the classic archetypes of “The Chosen One” and British children literature. We are introduced to Simon Snow, an orphan who is considered to be the greatest magician of all time and it has been prophesied that he will be the chosen one who will defeat the greatest villain called the Humdrum. This creature apparently loves to create holes throughout Great Britain destroying what is left of magic. This war has been waged for years and no one has seem to come up with the brilliant plan to destroy the Humdrum and now Simon is entering his 8th and final year of Watford.

While everything is going according to plan except for the fact that his roommate/nemesis Baz Pitch has been missing. Simon believes Baz to be a vampire (which no one has been able to prove) and since Baz comes from a famous line of magicians it can be considered that something bad is brewing within the magic community and tries to gather up intel as to what is going on and why Baz hasn’t returned to Watford. On top of everything else that is going on, every twenty years or so, the veil that separates the living from the dead is temporarily open letting ghosts come to our dimension and speak to their loved ones again. Unfortunately for Simon, Baz’s mother (who was killed while protecting her son) comes into the mix looking for Baz and instead delivers the message to Simon about finding Nicodemus who will lead them to his killer. When Baz finally shows up after weeks of absence, Simon relays the message and makes a vow to Baz that he will help find his mother’s killer.

Throughout the novel we get the point of view of several of the characters which I found to be a neat feature in the story. I can recall vividly that throughout my reading marathon of Harry Potter, I’ve always been curious as to what Dumbledore was thinking, Professor Snape, Hermione and countless other characters during the vital moments of the series. I worship J.K. Rowling and will treasure the Harry Potter series for the rest of my life but it would have been fascinating to read other characters point of view and their dynamic relationship with Harry. In the case of Carry On, my favorite chapters were the ones that we got insight into Baz’s world and his feelings toward Simon. It was extremely predictable on my end but if I were a teenager reading this book I would be head over heals about Baz and make my heart beat a hundred times faster to discover a gay teenager falling in love with his nemesis/roommate.

Overall this novel caught me by total surprise and I loved every minute of it. Whenever I wasn’t reading the book I kept resorting my mind towards what is happening with Simon right now and how is he going to save the world. In the end I need more books because I need to know more about what will happen next to these characters and hope Rainbow Rowell considers writing a sequel or a trilogy because I need all the Simon and Baz action I can get. I love how all these Young Adult novels dealing with gay romance are coming to light now in this day and age because if I had these books as a child/teenager it would have helped me cope with my sexual identity and having hope that someday it will be possible for me to fall in love with a boy. Thank you Rainbow Rowell for writing this epic and phenomenal story. I will miss you Simon Snow and Baz Pitch.

BookTubeAThon 2017 Challenge #2: Read a hyped book.

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