Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

We can’t just stop living because we’re at war.

I went into this book expecting too much. I do not know why or how I did this; I read Fangirl years ago and it didn’t leave any kind of lifelong imprint on my, and I never felt like Harry Potter was as much a part of my childhood as everyone else. But still I got caught up in the hype surrounding it, albeit years after its release.


Carry on is the most meta book I’ve ever read, it’s the fanfiction the main character in Fangirl writes, about that fictional universe’s version of Harry Potter. So it is not just Harry Potter from a different universe, it’s fanfiction written by the fan of it. The story in Carry On is a background story in Fangirl but since it’s been so long since i read fangirl i can’t say if it actually 100% matches the story seen in Fangirl.

I don’t remember anything about Simon’s story in Fangirl and when i read it I didn’t care for it either. So me going into this book expecting this much was honestly just dumb.


On to the actual book and away from my expectations, it’s very close to Harry Potter for the majority of the first half. This I expected but i was taken aback why just so much. The similarities start to decrease by the time you get to the second half, and th e-book starts becoming more enjoyable then.

The magic lore starts becoming more of its own towards the end as well, and by the end of the book, the story is quite far off from the lore and story of the original Harry Potter story. Creatures other than mages are also displayed more in Carry On than in Harry Potter, especially vampires were prevalent in the story, and the lore surrounding them. But also generally it built up the creatures better than what’s seen in Harry Potter.

Snow says I’m obsessed with fire. I’d argue that’s an inevitable side effect of being flammable.


The angle this book takes on ‘the chosen one’ is very different, especially the ending the trope had, was very interesting and not something I had seen before. This i was not expecting and it’s a big part in how the book raised in rating by the ending.

The ending of the book generally just took me by surprise, and it’s almost to the point where I’ll recommend the book just for the last few chapters and the epilogue.


Carry On was as mediocre book, which only got great in the last few chapters. The book very closely resembles Harry Potter, as it is probably also the intent of the author. It goes more in-depth with the lore than the Harry Potter books do, and it turns the chosen one trope on its head.

Rating:

★★★★☆

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