Addicting Take on the Chosen One Trope

CarryOnCarry On

By: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: Hardcover


Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.


My Thoughts

I’ve not read much from Rainbow Rowell but after hearing so many great things about Carry On I picked it up and immediately dove in. I really didn’t know what to expect though I had heard this book was less contemporary and had paranormal elements. I’ve not ever read Fangirl– the novel where the main character of this book, Simon Snow, was introduced. You don’t need to read Fangirl prior to this one though it might add some things that I missed. I’d like to know from someone who have read both books.

This novel was Rowell’s take on the typical trope of the ‘Chosen One’ and though it had elements that felt very much like other books I’ve read (Harry Potter comes to mind-which from what I can tell was totally intentional) it still brought in some fresh twists and introduced characters that were lovable and a joy to read about.

Simon Snow was the main character (as I mentioned) and he was so wonderfully flawed. I loved that he had trouble dealing with his chosen one status. He never felt worthy or that he was truly the one prophesied. There’s nothing new about a flawed main character- or one that the world relied on. But, something about Snow did feel new. He was so REAL. Rainbow Rowell has the unique ability to make her characters so incredibly human and relatable no matter what their lives are like.

I was very curious to see how Rowell would handle magic in her first fantasy book. I’d say this was really light fantasy. It’s similar to the Harry Potter world in that it took place in and around London (so lots of British slang and tea). Also, the magic was incorporated into the world we live in. Carry On introduced another magical community that hides in plain view from the mundane or normals. Though this had been done before it was nice to go back to a light fantasy that still incorporated magic and a dragon. Dragon’s are ALWAYS a good addition in my world.

The magic was very clever in this novel. To cast spells the magic user needed to say quotes from main stream music, popular phrases, etc. It was incredibly clever and a really humorous and creative way to incorporate spell casting.

The romance in this book was super cute and between two guys which was in itself a different take from the typical trope. It was really well done and executed and you really enjoyed watching these two characters wrestle with their feelings and realize how much they meant to one another.

It’s really hard to relate how this book felt to read because it was really an experience. The pacing was a tad slow in the start but it picked up and really took me hostage near the end. I stayed up far too late finishing it because it was a ‘one more page’ type of book. The fact that Rowell was incredibly aware of what type of book she was writing and how it could be compared to other popular fiction just added to the book in my opinion. It was so cleverly executed and never took itself too seriously. I say that but, the content did approach some very serious topics and though Rowell handled things with a light hand the reader does take away some really heartfelt and important messages.

Final Thoughts

Anyone with a desire to read a clever, heartfelt fantasy written in a highly addictive manner should pick up Carry On. Of course, fans of Rainbow Rowell will not be disappointed.



  1. says

    I just picked this up at the library and was debating if I should not read it since I haven’t read Fangirl so thank you for making me feel better about that! I have loved all the other Rainbow Rowell books I’ve read so now I am excited to start this one soon.

  2. says

    I highly recommend Fangirl, I don’t usually read contemporary but I finished it yesterday and it was AMAZING. I found it so relatable. It’s funny, it’s smart, it will totally make you cry as well. Carry On is next on my list, as soon as I can decide whether to read it or Illuminae XD

  3. Kaitlyn A. says

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed this book! I have only read one of Rainbow’s books, but i did enjoy it! Lovely review!

  4. says

    I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book, because I wasn’t a huge fan of Fangirl. However, you renewed my interest with your review, because a light fantasy novel is something I would really like to read these days… We’ll see! 🙂

  5. says

    Ah, wasn’t this book just glorious? I love how Rowell took on the Chosen One trope, and at times, took the piss out of it entirely. So much fun to read, and I loved the banter. Also, Simon + Baz = I will go down with this ship. <3

  6. says

    I’ve read Fangirl before and didn’t like it, but I do love the Simon & Baz snippets. I think it feels like reading Harry Potter for the first time again, but with different twists. So I’m really excited to read this book!

  7. says

    I’ve been dying for this one ever since I first heard about it. I loved Fangirl and the Simon Snow parts were fabulous. When I found out there was going to be a whole book, I was ecstatic. I’m glad to hear you liked it even though you haven’t read Fangirl. (Um, you need to get on that like now.) I’m definitely going to read this as soon as I get my hands on a copy. Great review!

  8. says

    I loved this book SO MUCH. <3 So glad that I got you to read it too, lol 😀 And so so happy that you liked it, despite not fully loving it like I did, lol 🙂 Loved reading your thoughts about it Kristen. <3 Hugs. I still liked it more than Harry Potter, lol. But hmm. It has been TWO YEARS since I read Fangirl.. and I can't really remember much about these characters from that book. But thing is, Carry On is the story told by Rainbow. In Fangirl it was told by Cat or the "author" of the books. Carry On by Rainbow is different 🙂 So yeah. You don't need to read Fangirl. But I did give that book five stars, so you probably should anyway, lol 😀 Anyway. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *