Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Series: Simon Snow #1
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.
I’m going to be honest with you: I did not expect me to love this book. Like, maybe. But loving it as much as I did was definitely a surprise turn of events.
Last year I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I was so sure I was going to love it just as much as everyone else seemed to … and then I ended up strongly disliking it. So really my nervous anticipation was warranted.
If you don’t know Carry On follows Simon Snow, the Chosen One, during his final year at Watford School of Magicks. During this time, his fight against the Insidious Humdrum is reaching it’s peak, his girlfriend has broken up with him and his roommate/arch nemesis Baz (who he might not hate as much as he claims) hasn’t even shown up to school.
Once again with the being totally honest: I thought this was going to be an almost rip-off of Harry Potter but that’s not what this is at all! Sure the similarities are there and I’m sure inspiration was taken from the iconic series but Rowell takes the tropes and the characters and completely flips them on their head taking you on a wild ride to the point where I could not put this book down.
I thought the magic system was really cool and it definitely contributed to distancing the book from seeming too similar to Harry Potter. It’s simple but imaginative with the Mages making magic out of everyday famous phrases, lyrics and even nursery rhymes. My favourite of these spells, which I can remember off the top of my head, was “Scooby-dooby-do”.
As evidence by this “Scooby” spell there’s a decent amount of pop culture references which is used in combination with the magic that I really liked.
The characters quickly became a favourite aspect of this story for me and I think that’s because the story is told from multiple persons perspective. In my notes I wrote “Penelope <3” so that pretty much sums up my thoughts and feelings for her. I knew I was going to love Baz the moment his dramatic ass was introduced. My absolute favourite description of him is when Agatha calls him “a vampire Tory” and you know what that actually might be my favourite line from the book. And Simon I just wanted to reach through the pages and give him a big hug cause boi deserves it.
And the final thing I loved about this book is how it touched on the mental side effects of being the Chosen One™. There’s only really glimpses of these factors, I’m pretty sure it’s described and explored more in the sequel, but even still I loved this!
So for me reading this now, in the year that is 2020, Carry On is actually the first book in a soon to be trilogy and so that’s how I’ve read and rated this. I’m really glad I read it as the first of three and not as a standalone. I have high hopes for the sequel which I have already ordered which just goes to show how much I loved this book. By the time this review goes up I may even have it in my physical possession.