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I discovered and read (listened to) Fangirl quite by accident, just about 5 days before Carry On was released. I don't normally go for /regular/ fiction, but I'd read a good, convincing review from a trusted source, and thought, hey, nothing wrong with a break from my usual epic fantasy stories for a light romance read, and the fandom slant was new. I liked it! It was cute, and enjoyable, even if I might not listen to it again very soon. Rainbow Rowell's writing is really easy to get into, and her humor is the winner for me. As I always do when I think I might enjoy an author's other books, I checked out what else she had out once I was done with Fangirl, and saw Carry On was about to come out. I thought about it for a bit, forgot for a couple days, then went back after it'd been released and downloaded it.
I'm so glad I did. Carry On was so much fun, with magic and prophecies and a Chosen One and a nemesis and romance without being what you expect when you read about a book having those things. The characters are constantly defying tropes without ever feeling like they're doing it specifically to thumb their noses at the genre, because they feel real as they are.
And can I just say how much I love Baz? I remember Cath in Fangirl calling him an "unreliable narrator" in her version of the Simon Snow universe, but in Carry On, he's the absolute best, and his POV chapters ended up being my favorites in the book. I found myself laughing out loud (or wanting to) at his internal observations many times, which can be difficult to bear when you're listening on the bus at 4am.
I would suggest reading Fangirl first, if you haven't, before Carry On. I don't think it's necessary, but it will probably increase your appreciation of this story.
I'll leave by saying that this book, while extremely fulfilling in and of itself, also left me wanting more and more and more of this world. It's already a multi-listen book for me, and I'll probably even get a physical copy of the book, which is something I do so rarely these days.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
I read Fangirl, and when my friend told me that this book was out and that it was a continuation of it, I was beyond excited to have the story continue. It didn't register that Carry On was the name of Cath's fan fiction story. Then I realized that the main character or characters would most likely be male (I'm a little biased about the gender of my narrators). But I loved it all :-) and it definitely helped that the reader and setting played into my Anglophilic tendencies. And that though there were multiple viewpoints, they were all in first person (another bias of mine).
The writing was good, each person's voice was distinct. Definitely worth five stars and your reading time.
I would recommend this to fans of both fantasy, and Rainbow Rowel.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful