Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Digital Copy
Content Alert: language, lots of boys kissing boys
If you read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, you probably remember Simon and Baz. Cath, the protagonist of Fangirl was obsessed with Simon and Baz, two of the main characters in a Harry Potter-esque series by Gemma T. Leslie. Cath wrote fanfiction in which Simon (Harry) and Baz (a mashup of Ron and Draco Malfoy) finally got it on in their final year at boarding school. In Carry On, Rainbow Rowell writes her version of what happened in that final year-- including evil wizards, vampires, magic, and lots and lots of kissing.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Carry On. On the one hand, I think the idea of the book (that's she's telling her version of a story she created for another character to write fanfic about in another book) is pretty fascinating. On the other hand, I think the book draws so many obvious parallels to Harry Potter that it's hard not to compare the two, and the objectives of Rowell and Rowling are very different. While Harry and Ginny Weasley liked each other, their romantic relationship definitely took a back seat to the action and adventure and magic in the 4,224 pages of the Harry Potter books. By contrast, Carry On is 522 pages, and it contains ten times as much kissing as all of Harry Potter. Not that I don't like kissing-- it just seems that Rowell sets herself up for comparison with Rowling, and the comparatively small size of Carry On makes it nearly impossible for the kind of immersive experience someone gets from Harry Potter. So anyone looking for the book to be epic adventure might be a little disappointed. If you're looking for epic love story between teenage boy vampire and the wizard who was supposed to save the world, then you won't be disappointed.