Book Review: Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis:carry-on-cover

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 On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is 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.


I receieved a free e-edition of this novel courtesy of Pan Macmillan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I did NOT expect to love this as much as I did.

It was a perfect mixture of magic (and boy, was there a lot of magic, there were spells for anything and everything, some of which seemingly a lot more useful than others – there were definitely a few I wouldn’t mind having at my own disposal), humour, snark and Harry Potter vibes (which were admittedly fanfic level at the start of the novel, but it worked in favour of this particular novel)- oh, and THE OTP. I shipped the ship even before it sailed. So, so, so much. It is definitely now one of my favourites to ever set sail.

However, the beginning was a bit slow, and it was largely an info dump which made me enjoy the story a bit less than I would have. Oh… and Agatha… yeah – she posed a few problems as well, I outright despised her and groaned internally whenever she appeared throughout the story…

The book was narrated by so many characters, but somehow I managed to deal with that for the entirety of its length – and it was a lengthy length but after the beginning third or quarter or so whilst we were exposed to Simon’s relationships with everyone in the book, and the entire backstory, the pace picked up to a bearable speed and before long I was so absorbed in the story I didn’t really register the length of what I was reading at all!

The characters in this book… were goshdarn brilliant! Apart from the aforementioned Agatha. I honestly loved everyone else – and their interactions. I definitely thought friendship was a key theme of this book and played a huge part throughout. I really liked Penelope’s characters, she was like the Hermione of the group – but personally, better? I don’t know how that is possible, but I do know that I preferred her that way.

I loved the fact that the romance didn’t overpower the entire plot, it was also a very tasteful mix of teenage angst and tangible love. The balance was struck between the love and hate of Baz and Simon. Baz was also such an interesting character by himself, definitely complimenting Simon’s slightly more mopey and dependent side which really did balance out the story a lot more.

Rowell has a writing style that is incredibly hard to dislike, it is so easy to read and engages with you. More often than not I laughed throughout -there were so many deviations from the norm of fantasy novels, and from Harry Potter on which the book was based. It was truly an original take on fanfics.

I was sceptical of this book at first, but I am so glad that I have – and I can definitely say that I will be returning to it in the future.

My Rating: Solidest of 4/5 Stars

“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”

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ARC Review: Heartless – Marissa Meyer

heartless-coverSynopsis:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


I received an eARC edition of this novel courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, I have not read such an intriguing, well-written retelling in too long. This novel has turned out to be  another of Meyers masterpieces.

The writing style…..  The writing style was truly sublime. Easy on the brain,  no exuberant, over-the-top metaphors yet it was wonderful in its content. I absolutely loved the references to classic works of well known authors which Meyer scattered throughout this book.

The characters, oh my gosh, the characters. I loved Catherine, her story and development gripped me and I truly felt for her throughout. The situation she was put in by her parents was awful… I cannot imagine what I would have done in her shoes, although if I’m honest I probably would have been slightly more annoyed with the King and his goofy, over the top advances, I felt nauseous with how stupid they  really were sometimes and feel that I probably would have had to fight the urge to scream at him and/or tell him to leave.

However, the other supporting characters made up  for his stupidity. Haigha and Hatta  as well as Jest each had their own role in the story, and weren’t they brilliant? The answer to that question would be yes. I fell in love with them, and honestly by the end  I was so invested in their story that I spent the last few chapters heartbroken and grossly sobbing (which is of course the  most attractive combination).

i-dont-know-what-to-do-my-whole-brain-is-crying

The chemistry between Jest and Catherine was palpable and honestly it was the best romance in a fantasy novel that I have had the chance to read in a long while. There was no insta-love, there was of course attraction – yes. But Cath wasn’t falling head-over-heels in love with Jest the moment that she lay her eyes on him. And that itself made the book incredibly special in my eyes.

The only ‘but’ I could possibly have towards this  book (apart
from the fact that it dared  to end) was he fact that the beginning dragged a bit more than  it possibly should. But I did eventually get lost  in the world which seemed to fix  this particular problem of mine.

I honestly feel that Meyers did such a beautiful job of describing  the Queen of Hearts’ journey, it definitely had plot twists  I hadn’t seen coming, it had  development, the world building was so vivid and wonderful. The ending was so abrupt and yet it worked perfectly, I could not imagine a better ending or execution of this story.

This book broke my heart and made me think. But above all, it reminded me of the beauty of certain fairytales and made me crave more of them, preferably written by Meyers herself.

My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars