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Carry On (Simon Snow Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
#1 New York Times bestselling author!
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2015 - Youth!
Named a "Best Book of 2015" by Time Magazine, School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, NPR, PopSugar, The Millions, and The News & Observer!
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 Onis a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.
"Rowell imbues her magic with awe and spectacle. It's a powerful, politically minded allegory about sexual, ethnic and class identity - with a heady shot of teenage lust." ―New York Times Book Review
"It’s a brilliantly addictive, genuinely romantic story about teenagers who can’t be neatly sorted into houses, coping with stress and loss and the confusion of just trying to be who they are. It’s as if Rowell turned the Harry Potter books inside out, and is showing us the marvelous, subversive stuffing inside." ―Time Magazine
"Full of heart and humor, this fantastical tale is a worthy addition to the wizarding-school genre." ―People Magazine
"Carry On is the fantasy book I didn’t know I’d been waiting for for years...Rowell’s mystery, magic, and political intrigue is the sexiest love story I’ve read in a long time." ―Julie Beck, for The Atlantic
"The funny, wised-up dialogue, the tumultuous, sweet, and sexy love story― is grade-A Rowell...almost impossible to put down." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Stock up on copies―this one begs to be reread." ―Booklist (starred review)
"With rock-solid worldbuilding, a sweet and believable romance subplot, and satisfying ending, Carry On is a monumentally enjoyable reading experience. Hand this to fans of Rowell, Harry Potter, love stories, and magic." ―School Library Journal (starred review)
"Carry On is a triumph. Thrilling and sexy, funny and shocking, deeply moving and very, very magical. Trust me, you have never, ever seen a wizard school like this." ―Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians trilogy
About the Author
- ASIN : B00V35U13W
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin (October 6, 2015)
- Publication date : October 6, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 5844 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 529 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #50,936 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2018
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I didn’t give “Carry On” five stars just because it’s amusing, literate, gripping, and filled with fascinating young characters. This marvelous book by Rainbow Rowell, a best-selling YA author of whom I’d never heard before, has given us the gift that J.C. Rowling never did.
“Carry On” is a rather startlingly obvious take-off on Harry Potter and the world of Hogwarts. It is clearly deliberate, and part of the fun of reading it is to see how the author has tweaked every little detail to both remind us of Rowling’s epic series and to affirm that Rowell has made it entirely her own. My favorite detail is the name of the magic school itself: Watford School. For all of its medieval antiquity and mysterious changeable buildings, Watford is a bland suburb near London (with its own well-known football team). Rowell’s magical folks live entirely among the Normals. They have to: their ability to control the magic around them and within them depends entirely on their skills with human language. It is a brilliant conceit that becomes the lynchpin of the entire, page-turning story.
Simon Snow is a foundling, abandoned or orphaned as an infant. He was found by the Mage, a powerful magician who is both the headmaster of Watford and the head of the Coven—the governing body of the magical world. The Mage made Simon his heir in order to get him a place at Watford—because Simon, it turns out, is the most powerful magician ever born, and is destined to save the magical world from some terrible evil.
Simon’s best friend is Penelope Bunce: super smart, obsessive about history, fearless. His girlfriend is Agatha Wellbelove: blond, beautiful, but more interested in her horse than in her magical heritage (or in Simon, as it turns out). Simon’s archnemesis and roommate is Baz—Tyrannus Basilton Pitch-Grimm: aristocratic, brilliant, clearly up to no good. He’s been trying to kill Simon ever since they started Watford at eleven years old. Baz’s family wants to oust the Mage and return control of Watford to the old magical families. And Baz, it seems, might just be a vampire.
You see the parallels, but it’s all a bit off, and that off-ness makes it fresh and contemporary and somehow more real. These magical teens have cellphones (at home); they know pop music and films. They use lyrics from Queen to power their spells. And the thing that makes it most wonderfully off is that, right at the bright, pulsing center of this story, is an unexpected recognition of love between two boys. But only unexpected if you aren’t paying attention.
The book is set up as if it’s the last chapter in a long series. It feels like you’ve dropped into the story with no bearings, but skillful writing fills us all in on the essential facts of the past half-dozen years at Watford. And this is where it all gets so deliciously twisted: our understanding of good and evil does not entirely mesh with what we understand to be right and wrong. As the story moves forward, things only get more complicated. Simon and his friends—and this includes Baz—must ultimately decide what they have to do, whether or not it jibes with what they, as children have been taught by the adults in whom they have placed their trust all their lives.
Rainbow Rowell is s straight woman from Nebraska, and I’m a little floored at how briliantly she pulled off a gay YA story set in England. “Carry On” had its origins in “Fangirl,” one of Rowell’s best-selling YA novels, and therein one sees how, and more importantly, why it is connected to the Harry Potter world. For the legions of gay Harry Potter fans who have consistently felt cheated by J.K. Rowling’s refusal to include an LGBT character in her fictional world, Rowell has given us a pearl of great price. Rowell’s power as a highly successful author within the confines of mainstream publishing made this possible. I hope other successful mainstream writers in all genres will follow her example.
Carry On is a full length Simon Snow novel. Simon Snow is similar to another series with a famous boy wizard, but it is wholly original. Carry On takes place during Simon’s eighth year at Watford, a school for magical children. Simon plays a unique role in the World of Mages; he is seen as the Chosen One, who will deliver them from evil. Namely, the Insidious Humdrum, who takes on the form of Simon as an eleven-year-old boy.
Simon has a best friend- Penelope, and a girlfriend- Agatha. Simon also has an archnemesis/roommate- Baz. When Baz doesn’t return at the beginning of term, Simon is suspicious. Is he planning something? Tensions are running high at Watford, and there is a divide between the Old Families and people who want social and political reforms.
When Baz finally returns at Watford, things are different. Instead of hating Baz, Simon is concerned about his welfare. And instead of wanting to kill Simon, Baz only wants to kiss him. As the World of Mages begins to crumble, Simon and Baz realize that they are stronger as allies than as enemies.
I loved this book. I loved everything about it. I loved Simon, and I loved Baz. I especially loved Penelope; she was smart and confident, and her fierce loyalty to Simon was so poignant. I loved the allusions to previous Simon Snow escapades that took place before Carry On; coming into the middle of the story was fascinating. I loved the way that Rowell developed her own language of magical spells by taking snippets of songs and popular phrases. I loved the multiple narrators; everyone has their own perspective, and the whole story wouldn’t have resonated as well if we only had Simon’s point of view. I loved the way that the tension between Simon and Baz built up slowly, so when they finally did come together, it made sense and it felt right.
I would absolutely recommend Carry On. I loved the Simon Snow excerpts in Fangirl, and I was so thrilled when Rainbow Rowell announced that she was going to write a Simon Snow novel. I devoured Carry On, and I know that this is a book that I am going to read multiple times. I have an Audible credit in my account, and I am going to use it to buy Carry On- probably as soon as I post this review! My only regret is that this is probably the end of Simon Snow- is receiving the rest of the series too much to ask for?
Top reviews from other countries
Then I got over myself, because it’s not like Rowling invented the ‘Chosen One’ story or wizarding schools, and while Carry On is very much a response to Harry Potter, it still feels like its own thing.
(Also, unlike Harry Potter, Carry On isn’t afraid to be queer as hell.)
Written as the final book in a series that doesn’t really exist, Carry On is surprisingly easy to follow and, when we’re told what Simon’s already been through, it doesn’t feel like an info-dump, which is quite a skill considering we’ve missed out on around seven years of adventures.
Simon Snow is the chosen one, plucked from foster care by The Mage when he was 11 to fight the Humdrum, an entity that is essentially an absence of magic terrorising the magical world.
Simon is the first student from the Normal world to attend the Watford School of Magic which was previously run by a headmistress who believed the school should teach only the most elite. The Mage took over the school after she was killed in a vampire attack in which her son, Baz (who just so happens to be Simon’s worst enemy and, unfortunately, roommate), was turned into a vampire himself.
Simon and Baz have never seen eye-to-eye, in fact they hate each other, but when Baz doesn’t show up at the start of the school year and Simon receives a visit from his mother’s ghost, he knows something isn’t quite right. And that’s all I’m going to say, because this novel is so much more enjoyable if you let the story unfold for you one piece at a time.
I’ve read Rainbow Rowell before – her adult novel Attachments and her short story in My True Love Gave to Me – and didn’t love either of them (although I didn’t dislike them either) so I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of this novel. If nothing else, I knew Rowell’s writing style is incredibly readable and, even though this book is on the chunkier side for a YA novel, I flew through it and ended up really enjoying it.
One of the things I was most nervous about was Rowell, an American, writing about British teenagers, not because I think authors should only write about people of their own nationality – that’s ridiculous – but because I think teenagers in particular can often be written badly, even by authors who do share their nationality. Thankfully the British slang Rowell used never felt out of place; Simon and his friends all sounded British, and not in a Hugh Grant kind of way either.
Considering there’s so much we don’t know about this world I thought Rowell did an excellent job of explaining everything, so much so that this world felt real to me. It’s very heavily inspired by Harry Potter, but rather than feeling like a rip-off it feels like a response to it. While Hogwarts is staffed by House Elves who seem to do all the cooking and cleaning for no apparent pay, Simon tells us how the kids at the Watford School of Magic serve their own meals and do their own laundry. Where Harry himself is our narrator throughout his series, albeit in third person, Carry On is told from multiple first person perspectives so that we get to know Baz, Simon’s friends and even some of his teachers as much as get to know Simon.
It was little tweaks like this that made this story so refreshing, as well as how utterly and unapologetically queer it is.
I ended up loving Simon and Baz’s relationship a lot more than I expected to. I love a couple with good banter and these two have plenty, but there are also moments of genuine warmth and tenderness that made the romance in this book so lovely to read as well as so validating.
J.K. Rowling told us Dumbledore is gay after she wrote the series and then continued not to write him as gay in the Fantastic Beasts films, whereas in Carry On Baz says the words ‘I’m gay’, and it makes a difference. Not everyone uses labels, and that’s fine, but when authors don’t use labels and also don’t make their characters’ potential non-heterosexuality clear in some other way, it doesn’t have the same kind of impact that saying the words outright does.
I loved this book. There’s very little I want to say about it in a review because I think the real joy of this book is reading it for yourself and finding all those tips of the hat to Harry Potter alongside a much more inclusive, much more queer, wizarding world.
O livro é do c*ralho e chegou em ótimas condições. comprei no sábado e chegou na terça-feira, amei amei amei
Reviewed in Brazil on July 10, 2018
O livro é do c*ralho e chegou em ótimas condições. comprei no sábado e chegou na terça-feira, amei amei amei
One of the main problems of the YA genre as a whole is that it is often the case that GLBTQI+ characters are not often seen as the main protagonists. Actually, fiction as a whole has an issue with diversity, but let's focus on this one right now. Simple to say, this book does not have that problem. As it is based off of Cath from Fangirl's fan-fiction, the book is primarily about the development of a romantic relationship between characters Simon Snow - the worst Chosen One to ever be Chosen - and Baz Grimm-Pitch - clearly a vampire. There is also - as any good magical 'series' should have - a mystery to be solved, and a big evil to fight. And the twist on that big evil is so damn clever that I could not stop squeeing about it. Seriously, I think I annoyed the person I was talking to.
The characters are so memorable in this novel, it genuinely did feel like I was coming back to a set of characters that I had known for years. This was actually my first Rainbow Rowell novel, and I have been assured that this is a common thing of her books. Penelope may be one of my favourite ladies of all time, and I loved that the relationship between her and Simon was shown to be platonic love at it's best and that there wasn't even a question of them ever hooking up. When accused of disliking Simon's relationship with girlfriend Agatha, Penelope answers with a basic "it was making you both miserable" which is true. Speaking of Agatha, she's an interesting character. Rowell has succeeded in creating a character whom I hate, but at the same time I completely understand why she is doing the things she is, and I support her decisions and just want her to be happy in life. That is a special talent.
Simon and Baz are the focus of the novel and their characters are the most fully developed as well as the most fun to read about. I'd say it's especially fun to read Simon's point of view, and then to straight to Baz's, simply because of how wrongly Simon reads things. He may be the Chosen One, but he is an oblivious idiot. Which, actually, makes him the type of hero character I enjoy. I have a type. I do not see this as an issue.
I would love to say more about this novel, but I feel like even spoiling the smallest thing about it could completely ruin the experience for someone else. Needless to say, this is one that I think people should pick up. Especially if they liked the Harry Potter series. Rowell drops us into a world fully created, and yet we never feel lost or as if we're missing information. We run alongside the characters as their problems escalate at a rapid speed, and never feel as though the pacing is off. It's a slow build leading to an explosive finale, and I'm glad I read it.
...I really would love to read some of Simon Snow's other adventures too.
However, Carry On totally surprised me in the best way!
Although the inspiration is evident, Carry On is very much its own story. At the beginning it may be inevitable to draw comparisons between the characters and the places in Harry Potter and Carry On, but the more I read, the more I forgot about it and found the characters and story unique and utterly fascinating in their own right. The world building and magic system was also fascinating, - funny and ironic at times – and never felt underdeveloped.
I also loved that the story was told from different points of view - mainly Simon’s and Baz’s but also some secondary characters’. It worked really well with this kind of story and made me more invested in all the character. Baz was definitely my favourite, his point of view one of the most interesting. And I absolutely loved the romance!
Overall, Carry On was such an enjoyable and fun read!
I really liked this book, okay. I’m not sure I can say I loved it but I think it’s completely adorable and I certainly did love Simon and Baz and their relationship.
Also, Simon’s friendship with Penny was the loveliest thing! They were just so loyal to each other and you could just feel the love they had for each other every time they were together. One of the nicest friendships I’ve read in a book.
As far as the story goes plot-wise, I felt some of it was a little predictable. Like the villain at the end and the truth of Simon’s parentage. However, it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable.
Something else that niggled at me were the spells. I understand they had to be words that were always relevant to the culture or time period, that got stuck in people’s heads, but I just found them quite silly and couldn’t take it seriously when people were casting them!
But overall, I thought Carry On was just the cutest thing. Full of humour and that satisfaction you get when two characters you want together finally get together. Ugh, so satisfying.
Summary of pros and cons:
+ Simon Snow: constantly hungry magician, brave, loyal, a man of his word.
+ Baz: Beautiful, brooding, snarky vampire desperately in love with Simon.
+ Penny: Simon’s best friend, powerful, funny, as loyal to her best friend as he is to her.
+ Simon & Baz: a relationship I’ll be shipping endlessly. I LOVE THEM.
- The spells: I just couldn’t take them seriously but maybe that was the point?
- Agatha: boo Agatha, didn’t like her at all.
- Predictable: only a few things and it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable (so only a small con on that part).
Do I recommend? Absolutely.