Ok, this is a controversial opinion to have in these parts of the Internet… but I did not like Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On but I would like to explain myself.
1. The Simon and Baz interludes were the worst parts of the, otherwise amazing, Fangirl. I skipped over half of them.
2. Despite skipping over half the Simon and Baz parts I’m 99% sure the gay thing was an invention of Cath’s fan-fic. So (spoiler?) the romance in Carry On felt like bad fan fiction. I have no problem with mage boys and vampire boys falling in love with each other but it didn’t feel organic. It felt like Rowell liked that idea from the fan-fic world she created so she stole it for this book. But this book is supposed to be the cannon for the fan-fic not the other way around!
3. Writing the 8th book without writing the previous seven meant there was an exorbitant amount of setting up in the first 300 pages. Sure, sequels have call backs. But this felt like too much.
I’m probably not the target audience for this. I’ve mentioned before I’m not big on magical realism and I wouldn’t have read Carry On if anyone else besides Rainbow Rowell had written it. I haven’t even read past The Prisoner of Azkaban in the Harry Potter series!