P L O T
For those that loved the fan fiction elements of Fangirl, this is a must. But, if you’re expecting the same story Cath was writing that we got lucky snippets of, you’re in for a bit of a shock.
Carry On is a completely new story. It’s not what the fictional author Gemma T. Leslie created. It’s not what Cath wrote on her beloved laptop. It’s 100% Rainbow Rowell’s creation, though Rainbow and Cath harbour the same homoerotic tendencies when it comes to Simon and Baz.
Set in the magical school of
Hogwarts Watford, Harry Potter Simon must defeat Voldemort The Insidious Humdrum while falling in love with Draco Malfoy Baz, the vampire. As you can see, it’s basically a spoof of what Drarry fangirls wanted to happen in Harry Potter. If you can get past the parallels, you’ll be fine, but if like me, they became so glaringly obvious, you were wondering why you didn’t just read Harry Potter instead, maybe Carry On isn’t what you need.
Overall, too much time was spent explaining what the characters didn’t know, there was barely any action. The plot progressed at a glacial pace, and this wasn’t helped by the page long description of Watford banquet food. For 500 pages, I waited for something, anything to happen.
R O M A N C E
When you’re reading a Rainbow Rowell book, this is probably what you’re reading it for. Rowell has this amazing way of crafting love stories that you wish you could just read about forever. Simon and Baz….they’re not the next Cath and Levi.
First of all, Baz isn’t in the book for the first 150 pages. For a book over 500 pages, I guess that isn’t a lot, but to me it felt like I was constantly waiting for his entrance. I was there for the love story! The first 150 pages felt like plot filler.
Secondly, the relationship between the two felt extremely rushed…like, well, fan fiction. I couldn’t believe Baz’s feelings towards Simon were genuine. They sounded whiney and tortured, but not truly there. Simon’s conflict over whether he was gay or not annoyed me too. Things don’t always need a label. Go with what feels right! Argh, I was stressed out when Baz wasn’t there, and even when he did arrive, the trouble didn’t end.
Sure, I enjoyed the moments they were together, but it felt too fabricated for my liking.
C H A R A C T E R S
They all felt a little too stock. Nearly every single character had a Harry Potter parody. The Mage, or Dumbledore as most of us know him, fulfilled exactly the same role. But, if you’ve read Deathly Hallows, you know Dumbles isn’t all bumbling cuteness like he was in the first book. He’s got a dark side, and surprise, surprise, so had the Mage. When he turned out to be evil, I was 100000% NOT shocked. I was expecting it from the beginning!
Agatha, I think, was the most original character of the story. (Although, I do have a soft spot for Agathas.) She didn’t parallel with Ginny or Hermione or Luna. For once, I was reading about a new character, but she was given the least amount of voice in the whole story. Basically, she’s played by both Baz and Simon, and we barely get to scratch the surface of her feelings! This for me, was the biggest injustice.
As for Penelope…she was the equivalent of what would have happened if Hermione got with Krum instead of Ron. Enough said.
C O N C L U S I O N
I hate to do it, but I’m only giving Carry On 2 stars. It just didn’t deliver what I wanted it to. For those that want to relive Harry Potter, this is perfect, but I was expecting something completely different. The plot twists were see-through, the characters were cardboard and the romance felt too rushed for my liking. On second thought, I’ll stick to Fangirl.