Rainbow Rowell is THE author you should look for if you want to read a contemporary novel; whether you’re a teenager or an adult, she’s got it all! Each time I read one of her books, I’m convinced it’s the best one yet. With Carry On, a fiction based upon her fictive fiction in Fangirl (which I love so much! Read my review here), Rowell has tried something different: a young adult fantasy. To say that the stakes were high when it came out, isn’t even a fraction of the truth. My fingers itched to start reading this new book of hers, especially after watching Katytastic’s review on youtube.
HOT or NOT?
Eh. Hmm. Good question. Let’s be honest. I’m not a fan. I’m currently at page 279 and I’ve got to admit that I’ve considered DNF-ing. Multiple times. Especially when reading Simon’s point of view.
You might already know this if you follow me on twitter and/or Goodreads. The moaning is intense. I expected so much more of a Rainbow Rowell novel.
There are so many things wrong with this novel but the main issue is the fact that she wrote a book based upon a fictive fiction, in a fiction called Fangirl, that’s clearly based upon the Harry Potter series. It’s not even hiding the similarities. It’s all there for each and every Harry Potter fan to read (and get annoyed with).
That should have been the first hint that it wouldn’t be as grand as all her previous works. After all the commotion of Fifty Shades of Grey being based upon Twilight (and not looking remotely like Twilight, except for the rich Grey family and Anna’s awkwardness), I would have expected things to explode with this one. I didn’t have an issue with FSoG (it originally being a fan fiction and all) but I do have a problem with this. It’s not original. FSoG is original-er (but less good in the writing aspect).
The second issue: the story begins at year eight and Rowell expects her readers to know all about Simon, his world and what happened in the previous years, which makes reading it somewhat abstract and confusing, especially at the beginning.
I don’t know about you but with fantasy, I need world-building. No matter how much it looks like Harry Potter, it isn’t. Even A Very Potter Musical understands this and it IS Harry Potter…or well, a totally awesome parody of Harry Potter, at least. When you add names and creatures, you have to explain them. A pixie in The Mortal Instruments, isn’t the same as a pixie in Harry Potter nor would/could it be the same in Carry On or in the Iron Fey series. Describe what a pixie is, for Crowley’s sake! Or where Watford is situated. You’re writing a fantasy! Not a contemporary. There has to be descriptions and explanations!
Don’t get me started on the spells/incantations!
That’s right, Amy. They’re cringe-worthy, and I don’t even mean most of the time, but all the time! The spells are based upon sayings and children’s songs. Why? I don’t know. Because it didn’t need much “research”? If there’s one thing that makes Harry Potter ah-mazing, it’s the spells and the way you can link it to Latin. There’s an origin and a system in Harry Potter. The spells in Carry On…meh. At least the explanation of why they’re spells is somewhat…okay. Ish.
Each time I see the book resting beside my bed, calling me to continue my reading, I have the exact same reaction:
The only, and I seriously mean the only, thing that keeps me from DNF-ing this book, is Baz. He’s a great character and his point of views are the best. He arrived at the right point. If he hadn’t, I would have stopped reading it already. Now, I’m just high with Baz and I sort of have to see how things develop with him (if you know what I mean, *suggestive eyebrow rolling inserted here*).
Would I say that Carry On is hot, based upon where I’m currently situated in the story? …..Weeeeellll….let’s just say: it’s not.