We know, we know, it’s Friday, not Wednesday.  But we have plenty of excuses: Book Club was moved to Thursday this month, we accidentally drank too much wine afterwards and got home too late. Nevertheless, here’s our November Book Club pick review, Carry On By Rainbow Rowell.  It also happens to be our first tag-team review!

From the back 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 sets 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 is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Overall:

Ann-Eliza- Carry On takes the idea of secret magic, being The Chosen One, an evil which must be vanquished, growing up….all things we’ve read before, and turns them into something entirely other. I dare you to read Carry On and not feel ALL the feelings. The only problem is now I want to read all the fictional books that lead up to Carry On.

Carmen-Rainbow Rowell has managed to fit all the depth and complexity of the Harry Potter series into this clever 525 page novel. I think she used, magic, but I can’t be sure.  Either way, I am definitely under this  book’s spell.

Judge a Book by its Cover:

Carmen-Two boys + Tension = One electric cover!

Ann-Eliza- Silhouetted Simon and Baz. Color blocked. Almost close enough to kiss.  The only thing better than the cover is the UK cover. Where they actually kiss. *sigh*

Me Talk Pretty:

Ann-Eliza –Baz has the sultry dialogue of a snake. A sexy snake. Simon is definitely in his thrall. The scenes between Simon and Baz are charged with energy. There’s a thin line between love and hate.

Carmen-All the best lines in this book belong to Baz, whose searing sarcasm compliments the escalating action of the novel.  Baz aside, though, Rainbow does a clever job of unfolding Simon’s fate as The Chosen One through a series of flashbacks and by telling the story through a total of 7 (or is it 9?) differing narrators.

Kick-Ass Factor:

Ann-Eliza- Where there’s a Chosen One, there is inevitably an evil to be vanquished. Simon’s evil is as internal as it is external but there is ass to kick nonetheless.

Carmen-This is by no means an action book, but there is a lot of action that results due to the fact that there is a magic-stealing Insidious Humdrum loose.  The best action results when the characters are together.

The Chosen One:

Carmen-Rainbow Rowell takes the Joseph Campbell Hero Myth and sets it on its ear.  Simon is the worst Chosen One, like, EVER, willing to take his fate, but also a victim of it before it ever comes to fruition.  But while being the worst, he’s also the most powerful Mage in Magicdom (is that a word?). Simon must deal with this dichotomy. Luckily for him, he has stalwart friends like Penny and Agatha (and possibly his roommate/mortal enemy Baz) to support him through his anxiety and doubts.

Ann-Eliza- The premise of Carry On is all about The Chosen One or rather sucking at being TCO. Rowell does a remarkable  job of depicting what it would really be like to have your entire adolescence defined by being the one person to save all of humanity, even if it means sacrificing yourself. It would totally suck! You’d never know if people liked you for your status, the celebrity factor or worse, pity you because they figure you’d be dead soon. Simon oscillates between self-pity and self-righteousness, the way any angsty teenager would in his shoes, which makes him one of my favorite TCOs.

Don’t Believe the Hype:

Ann-Eliza- If you can’t already tell I LOVED this book then you’re not paying attention. Rowell turned the world of fanfic on it’s head by writing a book about fanfic, then writing a entire book about her fanfic. Initially I thought it could be wonderful or an utter nightmare. But let’s face it, it’s Rainbow Rowell! Of course it worked. Seriously, this woman can do no wrong. Carry On, Rainbow.

Carmen-We declared the Summer of 2014 “The Summer of Rainbow Rowell,” if you missed it, then start now.  Read all her books straight through, no sleep, and get on the bandwagon because she is MAGICAL!

Open tab/Last call:

Ann-Eliza- Drinks on me, Rainbow. And I’m not talking happy hour specials. I’m talking big girl drinks like real Champagne (from France) and duty bottles of wine. Treat yo’self!

Carmen- Keep my credit card on tab FOR LIFE.  In fact, I suggest you finish this review and go buy Carry On RIGHT AWAY.

 

 

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