Review: Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On

You know that a book is really special when you want to reread it right after you finish it for the first time, and then again and again and again. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell was that kind of book for me.

The moment I reached the last page, I went back just to read my favorite parts again, and then I figured I might as well give the whole thing another read. In the end, I read it three more times. Just reading other reviews and comments about Carry On online, I see I’m not the only person who had to read it again and again, and this says something about the quality of this book. 

We first met the main characters—Baz a mysterious and gorgeous vampire, and Simon, the curly-haired charming wizard—in Fangirl, another novel by Rowell.

The two were the fictional characters the protagonist in Fangirl was obsessing over, and after reading Carry On I don’t blame her. The story has everything. It has magic, ghosts, adventure, and references to the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. It also features an LGBTQ romance that isn’t a tragedy, and neither of the characters die.

Carry On also realistically portrays the feelings during the beginning of a relationship with the pining and conflicting emotions while you discover yourself, but it never crossed the line from sweet to corny.

This realism was always my favourite part about Rowell’s books—how believable the love connection feels. The way she described those raw emotions when you are first going out with someone and are in love and everything is new, and every touch, and every kiss is magical and explosive—all those things get me every time. I laughed, I cried, and I swear when the characters finally kiss my heart skipped a beat. 

“He smiles and he’s made of trouble,” has to be the best quote in the book. Anyone who’s ever fallen in love knows there is this definitive moment when you just look at someone and they smile, and everything clicks in your head. All those little things they do and the way the carry themselves, you’ve noticed it all, and you go “oh, shit” when you realize because you know you’re done for.

This is one of the best young adult books I have ever read, and I highly recommend everyone should go and read it.