Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

'Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who's ever been chosen', that's what everyone thinks and what Baz, his school roomate says - who may be evil and a vampire and a git, but he's right. Simon is useless with his magic, half the time time his wand won't work and the rest of the time he sets himself on fire; and on top of all of that he's girlfriend is acting strange, his mentor is ignoring him and there's an evil magic-eating monster wearing his face running around the place. Baz is having a field day with this, well he would be if he had turned up to school this year - it's his last year at magic school, and Simon's annoying nemesis doesn't even bother to turn up.'

This book is honestly one of the best YA books I've read, Rainbow has really out done herself. This book follows the story of the fictional characters of Baz and Simon who were featured Rainbow's previous book: Fangirl; however, I haven't read Fangirl (I know, I know, I'm a disappointment) and I followed the book and the plot without any trouble, yet I would recommend reading Fangirl before just for continuity.

The characters in this book are honestly beautiful, there is no other word for them, I loved each and everyone of them, because they're all unique and brilliant and wow. Just wow. Simon, the 'chosen one' is sarcastic and witty, and he's just fun to read about even though he's the worst magician I've ever encountered in a book. Even though he may whine a little, and sometimes he frustrates you as a reader beyond belief, it makes him a rounded character with personality and you fall in love with him.

I'm sorry but I've got to say Baz was my favourite character in this book, if you don't love Baz just leave right now, there's no place for you here (I'm just kidding please stay). But how could you not love Baz? He's gorgeous and funny and I'm scared to say I relate to him a lot - I'm the sort of person who does things just to annoy people too; but we can't forget how frickin' cute he is as a character don't you just want to wrap him up in blankets and give him tea and listen to him grumble as you do it? No? Only me then...

And can I just say how grateful I am that this book has a female and male best friend relationship in it, this doesn't end up as a romantic relationship, that happens way too often. You could argue that it doesn't happen for an obvious reason but it's so nice to see one not fall in love with the other and get rejected, or for them both to fall in love. So Rainbow, I humbly thank you as a girl who has a guy best friend who has not fallen in love with him, that you wrote about a platonic mixed-gender friendship.

Besides the characters being all different, amazing, unique, and just darn right adorable, the plot of this book was amazing. Some may argue it was quite stereotypical but honestly I didn't see the plot twist coming, although that might have been because I was too absorbed with falling in love with the characters. The plot either way was stunning, it ran seamlessly from one revelation to the next and it had funny parts that made me laugh, especially the incidents involving Baz, and it never confused me despite me not being able to see where it was going.

All in all, this is one of the best YA novels I have read in a while, and I would recommend everyone to go and read it as a 'pick-me-up-novel'. I've only ever read one other book written by Rainbow Rowell, but needless to say I think I'
ll be buying more from now on.

Rating: 5/5


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