I got this book for Pajiba Krampus because I knew I would love it. I finished Carry On and my husband asked me how it was. I clapped giddily and cried, that’s how much I enjoyed it. It’s based on the fan fiction that Cath is writing of a very Harry Potterish series in the book Fangirl.
This book has a Chosen One character Simon Snow, and his roommate, Baz, who is a vampire. Simon’s best friend Penelope and his girlfriend Agatha. Cath writes her book at the end of the series and not the beginning, and a lot of the set up of the school and Simon’s growing pains are skipped, which was fine. I really loved how this book poked gentle fun of the Chosen One trope (Simon is really bad at it and Penelope isn’t afraid to call him out when he’s being an idiot.) And I loved Baz. Instead of having his dad and step mom wrestle with understanding and accepting his homosexuality, they sweep under the rug the fact that he is a vampire. Best not to talk about it. The reveal scene where Simon FINALLY finds out (as the book implies he’s been trying to get Baz to admit it for years) made me grin from ear to ear. I also love the way the book (through Penelope) calls out the fact that destruction and chaos follow Simon wherever he goes.
Another big plot point that the head of the school, the Mage, is an authority figure who may not make the wisest choices for Simon. Baz doesn’t trust him primarily because of his classicism, but Penelope doesn’t trust him because she uses her beautiful brain. (I really loved her) Agatha is the only character who trusts him implicitly. I really liked her character too, even when she was running away from the final conflict in the story. She never really wants to be a hero, and that’s fine.
I know some reviews of Carry On on this site didn’t find the love story between Simon and Baz believable, but I did. Boys are really dense sometimes. The point that they get together made me swoon. On a personal note, I responded to a random person on twitter about how she finished Fangirl and was looking forward to Carry On that she would LOVE it, and Rainbow Rowell liked my tweet. I was flying high all day. Read this book if you like fantasy, boys kissing, smart girls who are fine with being smart, and swoon worthy sacrifices. I just felt so satisfied when it was over. That’s why I read.