Happy New Year, YA pals!
My first post of 2019 celebrates a YA classic…
If you’ve read FANGIRL, you know all about Simon and Baz, the main characters in Cath’s fan-fiction. In CARRY ON, YA Queen Rainbow Rowell gives Simon and Baz an entire novel of magic, intrigue, and LOTS of moody staring.
Simon is entering his final year at Watford School of Magicks. But, let’s briefly recap his previous six: Simon is deemed The Chosen One and is forced to defeat the Insidious Humdrum—a villian that is nearly identical to an 11-year-old version of himself. Yikes!
Simon’s final year is no picnic. . . his girlfriend breaks up with him, he can’t control his magic, ghosts are popping up out of nowhere and telling secrets, and his broodingly handsome roommate / nemesis, Baz (who may also be a vampire), has inexplicably vanished. On top of all of that, the magical world—and everything Simon thought he knew about it—is falling apart around him, and he might be the only one who can put it back together.
This book is magical—and I don’t mean in the casting-spells-and-brewing-potions way. But that too, obviously. It’s just so much fun. The spells are taken from common phrases and pop culture references (“The spell for forcing honesty is The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”) and the unique magic system is clearly explained.
CARRY ON truly shines is in its character building. I easily fell in love with Simon and Baz (and Penny, and Agatha, and Ebb…). Every character is fully and uniquely realized. And is there a better trope than enemies turned friends turned lovers? CARRY ON is a Rainbow Rowell novel first and a fantasy novel second, so if you’ve loved any of her other books, you’re bound to love this one too.
If you’re also desperate for more Simon and Baz, fear not—CARRY ON’s sequel, WAYWARD SON, is coming later this year!
Day’s YA Archives: