I started my Rainbow Rowell journey with Fangirl, moved on to Eleanor & Park and finally to Carry On. The last one I read first in Finnish and then in English. I just had to check whether it really was so good as it felt on the first read. And yes, it was.
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: MacMillan 2015, UK
Original language: English
HelMet Reading Challenge 2017: number 9. A book inspired by some work of art.
Rowell clearly has the skill in her finger tips. All three novels are exceptionally good romances, with unique characters and unique plots. She manages to surprise you, touch you and make you feel warm all over with happiness.
While reading Fangirl*, I wasn’t too much into the Simon Snow inserts in the book. But after reading the Carry On on its own, I’m completely converted. It is one of the most beautiful romance descriptions ever, which is incredible considering the characters being somewhat tongue-in-the-cheek magicians in a twisted harrypotteristic world. But this delusion is soon shaken off as Simon and Baz come to their own. They have a relationship and connection that is beautiful, tender and gentle, while being passionate, burning and touching.
I would recommend this book to all those people, who say they don’t like fantasy and deem it as a waste of time. Rowell brings in all the clichés of the sword and sorcery fantasy, paranormal romances and – indeed – fanfiction and twists and turns it so that in the end the reader finds herself having read a story with the most authentic, raw and honest description of human relationships in a long time.
As a bonus to all this, and to the humour imbued in the magical world she’s created, is the fact that this world operates literally by the power of words and phrases. Rowell creates layers into her writing with an elegance and ease that can only be admired.
*Fangirl tells about a girl writing fanfiction, and the story she’s writing is the story of Carry On.
“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 girlsfriend 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 was 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 love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every “chose one” who ever had more on their mind than saving the world…”
Fangirl, in which Simon Snow first appeared:
By the same author: