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Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

522 pages, Hardcover

First published October 6, 2015

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About the author

Rainbow Rowell writes all kinds of stuff.

Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS, LANDLINE).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK, FANGIRL) .

Sometimes — actually, a lot of the time — she writes about lovesick vampires and guys with dragon wings. (THE SIMON SNOW TRILOGY).

Recently, she’s been writing comics, including her first graphic novel, PUMPKINHEADS, and the monthly SHE-HULK comic for Marvel.

She lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

More at rainbowrowell.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 35,882 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
August 9, 2022
Hello 911 yes I just finished Carry On and I’d like to surgically remove my feelings.

I'm telling you right now this is less a review and more a messy, spoilery stream of consciousness mess so if you haven't read this book, avert your eyes right now. Just know that this is basically just Drarry fanfiction. The good kind.

“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.”

✨ first of all, the version of myself who kept putting off reading this book for so long is not the version I want physically representing me....because this was such a good book why did I make the concious decision to deprive myself of it??
✨ me looking back at my decision to not read this sooner: well that um…. really sucks for her
✨ anyway, I am so grateful for fictional characters and otps for filling the void in me where love should exist as an actual thing and not just an abstract concept. tbh I don't know where I would have been as a person and in society without the option of listening to music and staring at a window while my mind slips away into an alternate reality and I could make up different scenarios involving my favorite ships
✨ yeah let’s just move on before I sound any weirder


✨ I can't walk up the stairs without wheezing but I would very literally fistfight the fucking moon for Simon Snow
✨ actually, if I loved him any more, I’d be Baz Pitch
✨ listen, I have an extreme weakness for characters who are such trashboy dorks their guardian angel probably facepalms himself a lot
✨ but I also relate to Simon because I, too, am irresponsible and aggressively bisexual and I will always assume that you hate me unless you explicitly tell me you love me and then periodically remind me
✨ here's a little [ (:: 💖::) ] bandaid for his little heart I hope he's doing his best even though we're all doomed
✨ most of all, I hope he knows that he wasn't a fraud magician. That his parents were two of the most powerful mages the world of magic has ever known. That he was loved and that his father's awful misdeeds are a reflection of himself and what he values out of relationships. They were never a reflection of Simon or of his worth as a person!!
✨ anyway I love Simon and I hope the people around him match his capacity to love and also get him lots of cherry scones, god knows he earned that
✨ even though he drinks butter like it's a fucking smoothie. jesus fucking christ


✨ [gently rests my hand on his cheek] I love you but you’re kind of an ass
✨ listen, Baz is basically me: 1) emotionally, I too identify as the sunglasses emoji: the only reason I wear my shades is to hide the tears. 2) I, too, expect people to like me for who I am without actually giving them anything to like while also having about a 2% tolerance for all of humanity. 3) I'm kind of an asshole too but I’m also very kind-hearted and I like making people happy and if I love you I will love you with all my heart and all my soul but don't be confused, I’m also such a fucking asshole. Oh and I also consider salt and vinegar crips a good substitute for actual food.
✨ so Baz Pitch is a vampire, both literally and figuratively. Figuratively as in, he likes to suck the joy from any situation and also continues to age and wither on all levels except physically
✨ look, if you want me to bring out the official adoption papers, just give me a character who comes off as rude and unapproachable until it’s revealed that the reason for this is because they’re fumbling dorks who just don't understand how they're socially supposed to act
✨ Baz is actually pretty cool. You just have to give him like 10 tries before he gets it right, you feel?
✨ I mean he would drag you through the fucking dirt while holding a fucking capri sun in one hand and graham crackers in the other but still
✨ my only christmas wish would be his health and safety
✨ and that he never gets kidnapped by fucking nupties
✨ also, @Fiona, let the child take the front seat he’s been through enough


✨ ok so my question now is how in the FUCK am I supposed to live without this ship??
✨ I know at some point in the future I'm gonna have to get over it but today is not that day. tomorrow wouldn't be either. In fact, come back in sixty years and you would probably still be disappointed
✨ listen, shipping the (ง︡’-‘︠)ง one with the (◡‿◡✿) one is the reason I was put on this earth
✨ no trope fucks me up more than having the obnoxiously smug one of my otp be the one who is actually expertly incapacitated by their crush
✨ the universe was assembled from nothingness so I could witness the stoic and cool person of my otp (baz) get so flustered when their lover just like, looks in their general direction and just overall be so in love with them that they could cast an incredibly difficult spell that requires true love to work
✨ also, let's make it clear that the whole-hearted, good-natured and angst-ridden pining filled with lovesick gazing and chest aching and fluttering touches is my literal endgame
✨ if you ever briefly consider that I will grow bored of the unrequited love trope, the answer is no
✨ with that being said, can we just fucking appreciate the fact that we didn’t get a slow realization on both sides?? instead we literally got Baz Pitch straight up telling us on his first day back at school that he was hopelessly in love with Simon Snow
✨ I honest to god read that passage ten times just to make sure my eyes weren't actually betraying me
✨ also, remember when Baz couldn't believe that agatha and simon broke up because he literally couldn't fathom how anyone would VOLUNTARILY broke up with simon?? he even went out of his way to explain to simon that there was nothing between him and agatha and never has been, all just because he wanted him to be happy even if it physically hurt him to do so??
✨ I think of that a fucking lot
✨ but with all seriousness, what the fuck Basilton??
✨ I mean Baz and Simon were roomates foR EIGHT YEARS. how does that even work?? how do you get the universe to align in your favour like that??
✨ if I were Baz, I wouldn't waste time playing hard to get!! like, I can talk to a girl for five minutes and already picture our domestic life together let’s get this love train going!!
✨ it's funny because canonically, Baz was the first one to fall hard and fast but never forget that Simon never shuts the hell up about Baz that Penelope literally forbid him from talking about him unless he “presents a clear and present danger” and should not take “more than ten percent of [their] total conversation
✨ he spends ninety percent of his productive time thinking about baz, passionately describing Baz's eyes, obsessing over his eating and sleeping habits. like? simon, sweetie, you’re doing a terrible job of pretending to not care about him
✨ also, can we talk about the fact that Baz was actually about to set himself on fire and didn’t mind it at all because at least his path intertwined with simon long enough for him to have something to miss?? but then the love of his life walked into a burning forest and kissed him and he finally had a reason to live
✨ the only romantic gesture
✨ for real though, I'm just really grateful to Snow for walking into that burning forest and being there for baz since I couldn’t do that myself
✨ and not to be dramatic but whatever chill I still had by that point left my body when Baz called Simon love
✨ was that really necessary I nearly fucking breathed my kidneys. jesus
✨ anyway, I hope they're happy and married and living on a mountainside somewhere near the sea and with honeysuckle blossoms blooming almost all year round!! I love them


✨ oh you mean my baby cinnamon apple cloud muffin sugar plum princess peach angel face doll fairy my world my sun my moon my stars??
✨ I love Penny and I strive to be as vibrant, as full of love and good vibes that people absorb like warmth from the sun as her
✨ I hope she's always treated very gently and smells like vanilla and wears only matte dusty rose lipstick
✨ also her friendship with Simon is the kind of good friendships that are the most healing and light things in the entire world and I love it


✨ hmm
✨ I don’t really like Agatha but we share the same unenthusiasm for any physical activity and I too am always really exhausted for someone who only ever does the bare minimum requirements of getting by so I put up with her, I guess
✨ I don’t even blame her for running like she did. homegirl just wanted to hang out with her Normal friends, she didn’t sign up for no crazed magicians and deaths. Come on


💀 any ideas how to rewrite this book so that he dies in chapter one??
💀 let it be known that I fucking hate him with a casanovian passion and that I hope he's on a rollercoaster that only goes straight down to hell where he belongs
💀 what kind of douche kills an entire nursery of babies??? kills a woman to get her job?? KILLS EBB WHO’S A LITERAL BUN OF JOY AND EVERYTHING PURE?? sacrifices his own son??
💀 he's lucky he's only fictional, otherwise he would've gotten a taste of my KNUCKLES sandwitch!!
💀 [Eleven's voice] mouth-breather
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.8k followers
January 8, 2016

I don't even know where to start. Obviosuly I loved this book, but I'm not sure if I loved it enough to be a TOP favorite of mine, though I really FEEL something, like... I think it'll become one of those books that I'll love more and more with every day that passes. But for now, let's just say that Rainbow Rowell did it again... I'M IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING SHE WRITES.

The first part of this book was a little slow, but as soon as Baz makes his official appearance, everything gets SO MUCH BETTER! Oh, I love that vampire boy so much. But I also love Simon. And Penny. Those three made me laugh so much. I care deeply about them.

One thing that surprised me was the Magickal World Rainbow created! I was amazed by it! The spells were so silly and clever (I burst out laughing when the Mage was chanting Bohemian Rhapsody!) and I loved the simplicity of them! I loved the similarities with Harry Potter that at the same time were SO DIFFERENT! And I also loved that Rainbow could manage all that world building in just one book :). I'd definetly read more about this world.

Okay, okay, but now let's talk about Simon and Baz TOGETHER. OMG. I couldn't stop giggling in their scenes!!! The synopsis didn't lie: There is SO. MUCH. KISSING. AND I WANTED MORE!!! Rainbow has talent with these cute romantic scenes and all these cute silly banter! I love how their relationship developed and I SIMPLY LOVE THEIR LOVE.

I was fangirling so hard I'm sure tears fell from my eyes, I was squealing and yelping whenever they kissed or showed their love for each other. And the ending, OH, THAT ENDING.

I mean, it was a little bittersweet (the ending, I mean), and I didn't expect it, but I'm kinda okay with it. And also! This feels like the less open ending that Rainbow has ever written! BRAVO! (But at the same time, she left so many questions unanswered! I wouldn't mind a sequel, I really wouldn't. And I hope Simon gets another chance, if you've read it, you'll know what I mean).

BUT YESSS, I'm so happy I finally read this! It was one of my most anticipated reads of this year and it didn't dissappoint :). I think it may become one of my favorites.






"It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters."


October 7, 2015
Sorry, this book is just too meta for me, man.

This book is about a fictional character who was the subject of fascination in another fictional character's life from another book. It's a story about a made-up character from a series that's fictional inspired from another fictional series? Does that even make any sense? I don't even know. It's just too meta, man!

Besides the ludicrous premise of a fictional Harry Potter (can you even have a fictional fanfic of a character who is fiction in the first place? I guess that's what you call <.i>Twilight?). It is all sorts of ludicrous to read a book about a character who is a parody of another character. This isn't tongue-in-cheek so much as it is absolute lunacy.

I didn't give two shits about Simon and Baz in Fangirl to be honest. I don't remember much of them at all besides the fact that Simon is the fictional Harry Potter in the Fangirl universe. And I started this book not really giving a damn, hoping the book can convince me otherwise. It didn't.

There is no plot.

Not having cared about Simon's story in Fangirl, I still don't care about Simon's story now in a fleshed-out book.

There is no plot.

Literally nothing happens in the book.

There is no plot.

I have never been so bored reading about a world where vampires and unicorns and ghosts exist.

Maybe there is? I don't know. I don't care. I was falling asleep by page 10.

Furthermore, this book is just a sad parody at slash fandom. Baz's unrequited feelings towards Simon felt empty and pointless. Let's get this straight, it's not that I'm anti-gay in the least. It's that if you are to include homosexual and bisexual characters in a book, they should be there as a person. There should be a point to their character. They're not there for the purpose of OMG HOT MAN ON MAN ACTION. This may be a little controversial, but I am largely against slash fiction because I feel they're disrespectful to gays, to rewrite a character's sexuality just for the purpose of titillation.
Baz’s mouth is colder than Agatha’s.

Because he’s a boy, I think, and then: No, because he’s a monster.

He’s not a monster. He’s just a villain.

He’s not a villain. He’s just a boy.

I’m kissing a boy.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
September 13, 2018
jk rowling could N E V E R, honey

i blame twitter for this honestly. but as an adult person, in 2018, i think i like this better than harry potter. i know what you're thinking. how dare you blaspheme the original boy wizard. but this book does SUCH a good job at pointing out the issues in the source material that this was a riff off of.

let's count the ways
- diversity... not only in name but in ACTION (hello indian hermione and gay draco)
- simon/harry actually expresses his annoyance at having to spend his summers in abusive situations
- mage/dumbledore has an explanation for being gone at inopportune times (in this book he's in charge of the whole magical world)
- simon/harry isn't stuck with the "perfect" woman and instead we get to see his relationship grow with his chosen significant other (fuck ginny/agatha honestly)

i mean holy shit. harry was in an abusive situation his entire childhood. he is charged with having to defeat all that is evil once he escapes said abusive situation. and he is PERFECTLY adjusted and never needs to talk to a therapist? horse shit.

after the events in this book, simon is pretty rattled and we get to see that in the final chapters. he's talking to a therapist and trying to figure out what he's going to do now that his life has changed. instead of a hastily slapped together fanfiction style epilogue 10 years later.... *cough*

in conclusion, simon snow is superior. you can all choke, goodnight.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
December 26, 2015
4.5, I feel like if I give it more thought it'll be a full on 5 stars. I just felt like the beginning portion of the book dragged a bit.
While this book definitely had elements that we're similar to other fantasy stories, it had it's own refreshing style. The characters we're brilliant (as most of Rainbow's characters are) and the story itself was fun, mysterious, and exciting!
Profile Image for Kenchiin.
262 reviews106 followers
October 30, 2015
Thanks God I'm already gay, because after reading this I would probably want to turn into one.
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
130 reviews98.4k followers
January 18, 2021
4.5 Stars

This book is by no means perfect and I don't think it's for everyone. The world could have used a bit more development, there were some plot lines that deserved a little bit more attention, and it's pretty meta, so if that isn't your thing, you may have a tough time with this.


This is genuinely one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I cried, I laughed, I texted my friend screaming in all caps, I cried again.

Carry On is Rainbow Rowell's take on the "chosen one" trope, and I think she tackled it brilliantly! It was clever and witty and down right hilarious. This book was not what I expected in the best way possible.

If you're anything like me and prefer character based novels over plot based ones, I think you'd enjoy this, because this book is all about the characters. Every single character is funny, three dimensional, and flawed, and I love them ALL (don't even get me started on my love for Baz because I'll never stop). There were so many fantastic relationships between the characters, but above all else, I LOVED the romance. The romance tore my heart to pieces, and I don't think I'll ever recover, but it was absolutely perfect.

I never thought I'd say this after Twilight, but this book actually made me like vampires again.

I just loved it. I absolutely loved it.
Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023

Really really enjoyed it
Profile Image for gio.
1,037 reviews385 followers
March 4, 2016
"I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review."

Me and 2016, see, we were good. 'Til this week. Had one of the worst weeks ever and now this.

I started reading when I was six. Well, everybody here did, but what I meant is: after they taught me how to read I kept reading. I never stopped. Sure, there were years in which I read less (middle school. Worst period of my life.) and years in which it seems like the only thing I could say was "more books.", but I never stopped. And well, by now I can usually tell, after 50-100 pages, whether I'll like the book I'm reading or not. In this case I didn't need 100 pages, because I knew after chapter 3 that Carry On was doomed for me. But, as I (almost) always do, I carried on AH. kept reading.

This is how it went. Warning: it's bad. Like, really bad.

> You don't spell "Magic" like "Magick". You can, but please, don't. It's ridiculous.
> The Harry Potter references started to get on my nerves after the first 2 chapters. And actually, I wasn't even finished with chapter 2.

"Like in our sixth year, when he practically ignored me. Every time I tried to talk to him, he told me he was in the middle of something important."

Duh. That's Order of the phoenix.

"I don’t know what Penny’s even worried about; she’s had a boyfriend in America since our fourth year. (He was an exchange student at Watford.) Micah plays baseball, and he has a face so symmetrical, you could summon a demon on it."

And American Victor Krum.

"I started helping out Ebb the goatherd during my second year at Watford. And for a while, hanging out with the goats was pretty much my favourite thing. (Which Baz had a field day with.) Ebb’s the nicest person at Watford."

Female Hagrid here.

And Simon following Baz around...oh, look, it's like sixth year, when Harry was obsessed with Draco! Ooooh.

I know there are so many people who were able to ignore all the HP references and similarities, but I'm not like that. If you write:

"Why did I have to fight the Humdrum? The Mage has answered that question a dozen different ways over the years: Because I was chosen. Because I was prophesied. Because the Humdrum won’t leave me alone. But none of those are real answers. Penelope has given me the only answer that I know what to do with. . . . “Because you can, Simon. And someone has to.”"

I'll just tell you that this doesn't feel like a book at all.

> The spells. Were they supposed to be fun?

"He steps away from me. “Simon,” he says. His wand is out. “Stay cool!” I fumble for my own wand and start running through spells. “Keep it together! Suck it up! Steady on! Hold fast!”"

My reaction: .______________________________.

"Down in the winding tunnels of the Catacombs, I use every revealing spell I know, and every finding spell. (“Come out, come out, wherever you are! It’s show time! Scooby-DoobyDoo, where are you!”)"

Are you serious? If it's a comedy, well, it isn't funny. At some point Simon uses this spell: "It is what it is!". I'll tell you what it is: the crappiest magic system ever.

> The book lacked balance in terms of pace. The first half was so slow I wanted to DNF it so so so badly.

> Simon is pretty plain. I just...didn't click with him. Actually none of the characters truly did it for me. Penelope was supposed to be the Hermione of the group, but she really wasn't able to shine in my opinion. Agatha was just silly, easy.

> The plot...give me a minute so I can look for it. Seriously, it was...flimsy. Predictable at best to be honest.

> Romance! Uhm. I thought Simon/Baz had a lot of potential ship-wise, but...they didn't give me any feels to be honest. I liked Baz (he's actually the only thing I liked in the whole book.) but I didn't feel any chemistry there. I didn't like how silly Simon's character development was. Like, it was clear that his relationship with Agatha was doomed (come on, it was so ridiculous) but sadly his first move towards Baz felt very anticlimatic to me. I mean, he kissed Baz and that was it. There's not any character development when it comes to Simon's sexuality or personal growth and he didn't even think much about his relationship with Baz. It didn't feel natural to me.

Is there anything I actually liked? Baz. I'm not fangirling over him, but he was like, the only character that seemed an original character and not just a poor copy of the original ones.

Please please tell me this book is the result of a riddikulus spell. It would be acceptable then.

So, listen, lots of people loved Carry On, but I didn't, couldn't and barely managed to tolerate it. When I heard that Rainbow Rowell would publish this I was so so freaking excited, you have no idea. I even wrote a pre-review with cute Legend of Korra gifs (and that says something) but as time passed I realised that I liked the idea of it more than anything.

This is my opinion, and I don't want to offend anyone, but to me Carry on felt like a bad joke. One of those jokes that are supposed to make you laugh but make you cringe instead. It gave me this fanfction vibe that I couldn't shake off. And I'm sorry, but I've read better fanfictions.

I love fantasy and I feel like this is kind of insulting for the genre. And if it was meant to be a parody it was even worse because...I'm not laughing. Please Rainbow, stick with comtemporary novels.

If you got to the end of this review and didn't kill me, ponies for you.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
October 26, 2022
”You’re so alive, Simon Snow.
You got my share of it.”

This is probably going to be the most incoherent review I’ve ever written but I just can’t seem to be able to contain myself!!! I mean we’re talking about SIMON AND BAZ!!! BAZ AND SIMON!!! <333

Their love reduced me to a babbling and giggling mess and I can’t stop to grin! I’m still grinning like a Cheshire cat and it’s starting to hurt!!! BUT oh god, how much I loved those two!!!
There are no words that would do them justice so suffice it to say that I died at least a thousand deaths!! <333 They are too freaking adorable and I want more!! I just want more!!! Rainbow do you hear me?!

I. WANT. MORE!!!! *dies*


Oh, sorry! Was I out cold again?

Anyway!!! =)

And Baz and Simon GAVE ME LIFE!!! <3333

They obviously gave me cardiac arrhythmia too and I think chances are high I’ll never recover!!! Still, I’ll never regret that I read this book and it will forever have a special place in my heart! =)))

This said I’m heading straight to the characters section because I’m pretty certain that you all know about the plot by now! ;-) If not: The Insidious Humdrum (Haha! What a name!!!) is threatening to destroy the magical world and Simon Snow isn’t only the most powerful mage of the world but also the only one who seems to be able to stop him.

Okay, from now on there will be a ton of spoilers and quotes and uncontrolled, incoherent stuttering! If you still want to continue: You’ve been warned!!! ;-P


”I don’t know”, he says, closing his eyes. “I guess I’ve never thought much about what I am. I’ve got a lot on my plate.”

Simon Snow!!! He’s clumsy, completely oblivious, he doesn’t get anything right and he’s basically a catastrophe walking on two legs! And for some reason that makes him adorable as hell!!! *LOL* Seriously, Simon is like a puppy you just want to cuddle! I can understand why Baz loves him so much and can’t seem to be able to get enough of him! Gosh there were so many moments between those too! It was so funny to see how obsessed Simon was and to read that he had absolutely no clue why he was even so obsessed with Baz! XD I mean Jeez Louise!!! He noticed that Baz looked thinner than usual and that he’s limping and he ran to his house at Christmas just to tell him what he’d found out! Ohh and how he almost lost his mind just because Baz wore jeans!!!!! *LOL* I loved their conversations, because they were always so tender and sweet! Even when they still claimed to be enemies there was always tension in the air!!! <333

”I don’t get to choose a plan. I just take it as it comes. And someday, something will catch me unawares or be too big to fight, but I’ll fight anyway. I’ll fight until I can’t anymore – what is there to think about?”

”I’ve never turned my back on you. And I’m not starting now.”

”He’s not a monster. He’s just a villain.
He’s not a villain. He’s just a boy.
I’m kissing a boy.
I’m kissing Baz.”

CHAPTER 61 WAS MY UNDOING!!! I read it 8 times!!! I just couldn’t stop to read it!!! It was so damn sweet!!! What they thought, how they reacted! AREAFDKASDLFASDFKASFDJA!!!! I CAN’T EVEN!!!!

”I’m going to die kissing Simon Snow…
Simon Snow is going to die kissing me.”


”Why are you already weeping?” he snarled. “You’re ruining my plans to push you to tears.”

Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch!!! THAT BOY LITERALLY KILLED ME!!! I loved everything about Baz!!! Oh god, I can’t even!!! I’m fangirling so hard here I have to calm down so I can write a proper sentence!!! XD Okay, I think I can write now! I loved how rude he was, how his actions were in stark contrast to everything he thought!!! ARGH!!! AEDKLASDLKFASKD!!! His attitude!!! I mean he really “dared them fucking all” and it was sooo damn amazing to watch!!! XD BUT oh god! His thoughts were so hilarious and tender and I couldn’t get enough of it!!! Baz’s chapters gave me LIFE and I loved each and every single one of them!!! I loved how he noticed that Simon was too thin and how he tried to get him to eat something when they were about to solve the mystery of his mother’s death! I mean he even thought about bringing Simon food, because he knows that he needs it to function properly!!! And he didn’t let him go on Christmas!!! Every single one of Baz’s actions was performed with deliberate care and Simon never realised anything!!! <333 Haha! Oh and that moment when Baz called Simon “love” for the very first time? IT WAS THE DEATH OF ME!!! <333

”And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of –
Blue eyes.
Bronze curls.
The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.
That Simon Snow is alive.
And I’m hopelessly in love with him.”

”It dawned on me during our fifth year. When he followed me around like a dog tied to my ankle. When he wouldn’t give me a single moment of solace to sort through my feelings – or try to wank them away.”

”Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire.
He’s constantly drawing you in. And you’re constantly stepping too close. And you know it’s not good – that there is no good – that there’s absolutely nothing that can ever come of it.
But you do it anyway.
And then …
Well. Then you burn.”

”You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.’ “


I was so glad that Simon had her as a friend!! Penelope is amazing and I loved how she bonded with Baz!!! XD Their conversation about his mother was so intriguing and I think their friendship will be awesome! =))) Plus I loved how Penny thought about Simon. Her POV was always so nice to read because she truly cared about him and always wanted his best! She wanted him to be okay, to survive and if it would have been possible she would have even run away with him!! Penny is intelligent, brilliant and blunt and probably the best friend anyone can have! In short: She is amazing and Simon was more than just lucky to have her at his side!!! <333


”I can’t break up with Simon for a Tory vampire – my parents would disown me. And I don’t even know what that would entail. Would I have to be evil?”

I didn’t like Agatha!!! She was such an egoistic and spoilt brat!!! She was so self-centred; she never even spent a thought about what other people wanted! To read her POV was horrible and the more I read about her, the more I disliked her! How can anyone be so shallow-brained? Plus, she ran away and never even thought about helping her friends!!! What a stupid girl!!!

”I wish I were wearing something other than leggings and Ugg boots. I always figured I’d make a more beautiful corpse.”

The Mage:

”The Greatest Mage is our only hope now.
But our greatest mage is fundamentally flawed. Cracked. Broken.”

The second character I didn’t like! The mage was so mean! All he wanted to do was to use his son and poor Simon would have done almost everything in order to please him!! I hated how he thought about Simon and I felt really sorry for Lucy! She didn’t deserve to be used like that! =( It makes me sad that Simon never found out who his parents were and I kind of hate Agatha for keeping it a secret! I mean if she would have told them about Lucy and Davy, Simon and the others sooner or later would have figured it out! I’m sure of that!!! But since she was a coward and ran away they never even got a chance to think about it!

All told, I really loved this book and I never ever wanted it to end! I swear I’m going to buy a physical copy of “Carry On” and then I’ll take it to my bed and cuddle it until I fall asleep!!! *LOL* Yes, that’s how much I loved it!!! <333

So if you want some fluff in your life, if you want to grin like a Cheshire cat and if you want to laugh out loud while sitting in a train: READ THIS BOOK!!! You won’t regret it! ;-P

”What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I hold back – “And you like that?”
“I love it,” he says.
“Because we match.”

Artist credit: mitsouparker @ tumblr: https://mits-archive.tumblr.com
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
May 15, 2020
Oh. My. GOD!

A ver, desde el momento en el que este libro salió a la luz sentí que era un poco de coña. No me escondo. En plan: ¿sacar novelas en las que se basa un personaje de tus libros para hacer un fanfic? Me gusta lo meta, pero me pareció demasiado. Sin embargo, con los años he ido viendo mejores y mejores opiniones, y mis seguidores habéis sido bastante insistentes con que le diera una oportunidad. Además, he de admitir que últimamente me llamaba bastante la atención: enemy to lovers, un toque de humor, romance gay… En el fondo, era my kind of shit.

Pues bueno, lo empecé en plan: vamos a ver qué nos presenta esta señora llamada Arcoíris. Y me enganché. ENSEGUIDA. No llevaba ni treinta páginas y ya me sentía totalmente sumergido en la historia de Simon, su enemigo Baz, el Mage, la escuela de magia… Todo me sonaba y a la vez era algo nuevo. (Recordemos que esto no deja de ser un fanfic de Harry Potter.)

bueno, esta escuela no es tan rimbombante como Hogwarts pero you get the idea

He disfrutado muchísimo de la lectura de Carry On. Muchísimo. Me ha dado todo lo que me gusta y necesitaba: una lectura distendida con sus momentos más y menos oscuros, unos personajes de diez perfectamente construidos, unos protagonistas to-die-for, una trama de misterio, aventuras y mucha magia. Pero sobre todo me ha dado carcajadas. ¡Y quizá eso no me lo esperaba tanto!

El estilo de Rainbow Rowell hace que esta novela pase de una más sobre El Elegido Que Debe Salvar El Mundo a una novela original, atrevida y diferente. Le da un toque de sátira sin dejar de lado los sentimientos y una muy buena construcción del mundo y de un sistema de magia bastante logrado. No deja de lado los pensamientos reales de los personajes, sus miedos, sus alegrías… Lo construye todo de manera ágil a la par que con calma, parándose en detalles. Pero entre medias, para que no sean descripciones pesadas sobre las familias o la historia de la magia del universo, introduce pequeñas chispas que te hacen desternillarte de la risa. Como parodias a escenas de Crepúsculo, sin ir más lejos.

varitas, espadas, anillos... se hace magia con todo tipo de objetos

La novela se narra a través de los ojos de Simon en gran parte, pero también de Baz, Penelope, Agatha, el Mage, Lucy, Ebb… Varios personajes que van apareciendo y que van teniendo importancia. ¡Pero no os agobiéis! Eso hace a la novela aún más entretenida y divertida. Sobre todo en ciertos momentos clave… ejem ejem. La voz de Baz es una de mis favoritas, sin duda alguna. Es un personaje brutal del que NECESITO Y EXIJO saber mucho más en las siguientes partes.

No sé de qué más hablar, si os soy sincero… Es que me ha gustado mucho. Creo que también resumir la experiencia de un libro en lo que te ha hecho sentir es igual de válido, pero nunca quiero dejarme llevar demasiado por los sentimientos, y extraer alguna que otra lectura más de todo lo que leo. Es por eso que hago un esfuerzo en… sacar aún más cosas positivas. #OLE

Uno de los puntos fuertes del libro es cómo está construido, dejando de lado que tengamos diferentes puntos de vista. Sino que Carry On es realmente el último año en la escuela de magia de Simon. ¡El último! Constantemente tenemos pequeños flashbacks o menciones a eventos pasados. Es arriesgado, la verdad. Es como empezar in medias res pero en una carrera de siete años en vez de en un punto álgido. Es empezar en un momento crucial habiendo pasado ya decenas de ellos, y presentarte todo un cast de personajes y sus experiencias, tanto en el presente como en el pasado casi al mismo tiempo… Wow. Me ha parecido una proeza por su parte.

el fuego es una parte muy importante de la novela

Quizá su tuviera que ponerle un pero es la trama romántica. Y es que sinceramente parecía que la cosa iba a tirar más por ahí, más enemy to lovers y tal, pero al final de cuentas no me ha molestado tantísimo que poco a poco la historia fuera yendo más hacia la identidad, el peligro del mundo, el villano, etc. Porque todo está tan bien presentado y construido que te sumerges de lleno en la historia.

En serio: me he enamorado. Ya tengo en mi mesita de noche Wayward Son, la segunda parte. ¡Necesito saber más de estos personajes! Si os gusta Harry Potter, leed este libro. Si no os gusta Harry Potter, leed este libro. Todo el mundo debería leerlo, es una muy buena forma de darle la vuelta al cliché de El Elegido. Mis dieces para Rainbow Rowell. She did that!
Profile Image for Maria.
67 reviews8,578 followers
March 16, 2019
4/5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you.”

This book was MAGIC. Literal magic. I enjoyed it tremendously. The beginning, though, was a chaos for me. It started off too strong, with too much information thrown at me, with no concept. The story started off from Simon's 8th year in Watford. So, there were many things that had happened in the previous years that the author tried to explain briefly. The first 100 pages were very confusing and disorienting for me, I was trying to keep everything in my head, but after a while I succeeded. And I enjoyed the ride extremely much.

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

I have to admit, I should have read this book before Fangirl I would have a better understanding of Cath's obsession with this world and I would have grasped the meaning behind her fanfics. I should read the passages now, actually. I have heard that many people never read the passages of Simon Snow between the chapters. I was one of the people who did, knowing I would read this book next. But now I understand that I would have liked Fangirl more if I read Carry On first.

The world of Harry Potter was very prominent in this book. The entire time I was reading this book, I was imagining Hogwarts and I was getting the Harry Potter vibes. Which was what the author wanted to do, I suppose. There hasn't been an official statement that this world is based off on Harry Potter, but come on. I relished in the fact that the spells were lyrics from songs or common phrases or funny expressions, they made the book so much more unique. And it was like Rainbow was parodying her own book, which I found hilarious. I don't even know if "parodying" is a word but we'll go with it. Also, oh Rainbow you're such a Drarry shipper. I have never been one myself but how can you not ship Simon and Baz? But we'll talk about them later, cause I have feels to discuss. Plenty of plot parts were similar to Harry Potter, too. The feud between the families, the Chosen One trope, the Humdrum being basically Voldemort plot. But they didn't seem like she copied off of J.K. Rowling work, it was everything its own world. And I truly appreciated that.

I was fond of Simon and Penelope's relationship so much. It was irrevocably platonic, which doesn't happen often. Authors always love to make a boy and a girl fall in love or have romantic feelings for each other or something romantic happening. This wasn't the case here. Their friendship was friendship goals. They were always there for each other, supporting each other, accepting each other. It was beautiful. Penelope was HERMIONE. I got the vibe so strongly, sometimes I would picture Hermione in her place!!! And I loved her to bits!

Agatha on the other hand... She shouldn't even have existed. What a wasted opportunity of a character. She was literally useless and totally unlikable. Her chapters made me die inside a little. Her relationship with Simon was toxic, she treated him like trash, they were both bad for each other. And when I thought she would get a character redemption arc, she ran away. She left her friends... you know... to fucking die! I totally disliked her and I hope we don't see much of her in the next book.

AND NOW... THE ROMAAAAAAANCE. Oh shit dawg. Starting off, I ADORED the fact that Baz appeared after a long while. It made the anticipation so much better. And when he appeared, I was dying to know more about his character. He was pictured in a specific way by Simon and everyone else, and there was so much mystery surrounding him. The anticipation was truly worth it.

Let me tell you, the enemies to friends to lovers trope is my favorite. I can't get enough of it, especially when it is done right. And with those two, it was incredible. They were the cutest shits I have ever witnessed! When Baz first admitted that he is in love with Simon, I was surprised to be honest. I was certain the whole situation would start off with Simon. And I wasn't wrong. FUCKING SIMON INITIATED THE KISS. Which I didn't expect either. Good job Rainbow. I'm thrilled that I can add one more ship to my ships collection. It's always frustrating when I read a new book and don't add a new ship to my list. I'm a ships person, shoot me.

I have to discuss here some punctuation issues that really bothered me in this book. I watch lots of Booktube and there are many people who talk about punctuation and editing and all these things. I didn't used to notice them, but after them, I do. Thanks, you have ruined my life. In this book, there were so many redundant parentheses, I wanted to shoot myself. Also, dashes. Dashes everywhere. But the dashes weren't as significant as the parentheses. Sometimes, I would count three uses of redundant parentheses, in the same page. After I noticed them, I would read the sentence again and a parenthesis wasn't needed at all. They just existed to piss me off, it might seem. But anyway, I feel like this is lazy writing and it shouldn't exist.

Overall, this book was truly something magnificent and magical. I can't wait for the next book, which comes out too late for my liking! Carry On my Wayward Son THERE'LL BE PEACE WHEN YOU ARE DONE. Fucking Supernatural feels, man. The smartest use of titles I have ever seen. I have to say, Rainbow Rowell you have seriously pleased me. I have read three books of yours, and all of them got 4 starts from me. I will read more of your books in the future. And till the next one... K BYE!
Profile Image for Chantal .
343 reviews832 followers
November 28, 2015
So…Carry On.

I really wanted to like this book. It had potential. But ultimately, this book let me down. Frankly, it was a bit of a mess.

The big question everyone seems to be asking about Carry On, is whether or not you need to read Rainbow Rowell’s contemporary novel Fangirl first, since the two are somewhat linked. The clear and definite answer to this is: no. You won’t get anything more or less out of this book having read Fangirl first. HOWEVER, you do need to have read Harry Potter . People might disagree with me on this but I feel that if you haven't read Harry Potter, this book will make no sense to you. Why? Carry On is basically bad Harry Potter fanfiction. There, I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against fanfiction. But this book just relied on Harry Potter nostalgia too heavily. When you have an entire book that relies on the reader knowing and loving the world and premise of another, that’s not really satisfying to me. I didn’t feel like this book could stand on its own.

See, when I first heard people talking about this book I was very intrigued. People kept saying how well Rainbow Rowell plays with common fantasy tropes, how she inverses them brilliantly. If you know my reading tastes at all, you know how excited I get when I hear about these kinds of books. Now, I do agree that Rainbow Rowell had good ideas, but the execution didn’t work for me. It was trying too hard to be different, was too satirical and, as a result, felt disjointed.

There was a certain psychological aspect to this book that had to do with said inversion of tropes and it could have been AMAZING. However, I don’t think Rainbow Rowell managed to pull it off well.


First we have Simon, who is not only totally flat and uninteresting, but also seriously annoying. After having read this book I still feel like I don’t understand him at all. He doesn’t seem to have any strong opinions on anything and never thinks things through. To be honest, I actually thought he was kind of stupid. Overall, I didn’t care about what happened to him and thus I lacked engagement in the story.

I did really like Baz’s character, he was multi-dimensional and layered and he did make me swoon a little at the beginning. I thought his inner monologues were interesting, especially his moral dilemma about vampires. However, I don’t think the author took it quite far enough. I wish she would have explored his inner psyche more, would have gone deeper into his thoughts. His character was good, but could have been better.

I also really enjoyed Penny, she was a smart, strong, independent female character, but again, she was basically Hermione. That would be fine, it’s impossible for authors to come up with totally original characters all the time, but in the magical school setting with everything else being so similar, it was just too much for me.

Then we have Agatha who is an unnecessary character if ever I saw one. She added nothing to the story and her POVs bored me to death. It felt like the only reason she was there, was because Rainbow Rowell wanted to have an original trio, just like in Harry Potter.


In the beginning, I loved the romance. New OTP, I thought. The pre-relationship angst was on point. I can’t help but love the hate-turns-to-love trope, despite how often I have seen it. But when the love interests were finally together, I lost all my feels. I couldn’t really understand why they actually liked each other, they didn’t fit and Baz’s infatuation suddenly seemed very out of the blue and meaningless. Also, for a book who’s strongest element was arguably the romance, the second half had entirely too little of it.

Plot & Pacing:

Though I had many issues with this book, the plot was definitely my biggest problem. It was an absolute mess. This book was boring. It was predictable through and through. Rainbow Rowell did try to write in some plot twists but I saw them coming from miles away. There also wasn’t any build-up of suspense; I was never scared for the characters. The novel starts off with a whole lot of info-dumping (since we start in what is supposedly the seventh book in a series) and after that the story just kind of meanders around pointlessly. The climax ended up being disappointing and there were times in the latter half where I seriously considered DNFing.


Wasn’t well-done and relied entirely on Harry Potter to carry it through. Zero originality. World-building is one of my favourite aspects in fantasy novels but I found this world to be completely uninteresting and bland. It’s fine if you want to have vampires/ghosts/dragons/pixies etc. in your book, but please make them somewhat relevant.

The magic system was kind of cool (although I’ve seen it done before), however, it wasn’t fleshed-out or thought through enough. Had the magic system been different, this book would still have been the EXACT same, which just goes to show that the author added it in more as a gimmick than an actual plot devise.


Rainbow Rowell can write, no doubt about that. Her writing is very readable and her dialogues are fun and realistic. When it comes to fantasy however, I really don’t appreciate pop culture references. I’m aware that this is a completely personal opinion and a case of “it’s me not you” but Carry On felt a little like the author was trying to squeeze a fantasy and contemporary novel into one. The result was a misshapen hybrid.


Although I can see why this book is getting so much hype, I personally cannot jump on that bandwagon. This book disappointed me despite the fact that I went into it with little expectations and I don’t recommend it.
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
June 5, 2020
“You have to pretend that you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”

This review contains *spoilers*.

This was my first time rereading the whole book instead of just reading the really cute scenes over and over.
Fangirl was one of the very first books that got me into reading Young Adult and because of that Rainbow Rowell will forever hold a special place in my heart.

So, of course, when Carry On came out back in October it instantly became one of my all-time favorites—not only because of its place in Fangirl but also because of how good it is.
It’s the kind of book (the best kind) that you can’t stop reading and keeps you up all night.


This was everything I wanted to read right now; it was adorable, funny, and just the right amount of heartwarming. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. There’s just something so special about it that gets me emotional every single time. She can make me cry and laugh and swoon in a single page. And the humor in this book was so well done that I found myself laughing out loud at several times.
I really really really love her books (even my mom knows how much I love Rainbow’s writing) .

Rainbow Rowell also has this unique way of making her characters seem so real to me. Whenever I read one of her books, I find myself feeling incredibly attached to them. I would be watching a great movie or reading an amazing book and think— Wow Cath (Fangirl) or Penelope would definitely love this one.
I miss Rainbow’s characters every day, even when I tell myself not to.

(What I was telling myself while reading.)

In Carry On we follow Simon Snow -'The Chosen One'- that’s been destined to save the world from The Insidious Humdrum.

“The Insidious Humdrum is the greatest threat the World of Mages has ever faced. He’s powerful, he’s pervasive. Fighting him is like fighting off sleep when you’re long past the edge of exhaustion.”

And we start this book in Simon’s point of view, freaking out over Baz’s absence (I was honestly smiling every time Snow mentioned him).
I especially loved how Simon was secretly wishing for Baz not to arrive before the start of term (“Nobody wants to miss the welcome-back picnic on the Great Lawn tonight. It’s always a big to-do. Games. Fireworks. Spectacle magic. Maybe Baz will miss the picnic; he’s never missed it before, but it’s a nice thought.”) a when Baz actually didn't show up, Simon got really sad and worried.
(“I know I should be happy about Baz being gone—it’s what I’ve always said I wanted, to be free of him—but it seems so … wrong. People don’t just disappear like this.
Baz wouldn’t.”


The one scene that definitely had me in tears was when Baz’s mom, Natasha Grimm-Pitch, came from The Veil to tell her son something vital. Reading that part the second time around did not make it any easier.

“Where is he?” she asks. “Where is my son?”
“I don’t know,” I answer.
“Did you hurt him?”
“You can’t lie to the dead.”
“I don’t want to.”
She looks over at his empty bed, and her sadness is so potent that in that moment, I’d do anything to get him back for her. (I’d do anything to bring him back.)”


So I was really anticipating for Baz to finally show up— it’s one of my favorite parts in this book because I adore Simon and Baz together. My cheeks literally hurt from smiling too much.

"When I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of—
Blue eyes.
Bronze curls.
The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.
That Simon Snow is alive.
And I’m hopelessly in love with him.”

I had to take a moment after I read that because it was incredible. I loved that Rainbow Rowell put Baz’s feelings right out there from the start.
I’m rooting for them.


We also got to see more of their relationship during Christmas break. I was honestly smiling and freaking out throughout that whole section.
No words can describe how much I love Rainbow for writing it so well.
I really missed reading about them together.

“I lift up his chin. “Baz.”
“Go away, Snow.”
“You’re not a monster,” I say. His face is cold as a corpse in my hand. “I was wrong. All those years. You’re a bully. And a snob. And a complete arsehole. But you’re not one of them.”


And speaking of freaking out, I almost forgot how sweet Penny and Baz were as friends.
It truly warmed my heart because they’re definitely two of my favorite characters and I have tears in my eyes just thinking about them.

“So…,” she says, following him to the chalkboard. “You got a Visiting. An actual Visiting—Natasha Grimm-Pitch was here.”
Baz glances back over his shoulder. “You sound impressed, Bunce.”
“I am,” Penelope says. “Your mother was a hero. She developed a spell for gnomeatic fever. And she was the youngest headmaster in Watford history.”
Baz is looking at Penny like they’ve never met.”

I love how clever and funny and strong Penny is and I also really appreciated her relationship with her mom. “Penny quotes her mum as much as I quote Penny.”
I really care for close families in books.

That’s why I’m glad that Baz was (somewhat) close with his Aunt Fiona.
Fiona is (of course) vindictive and powerful and honest, and I really enjoyed reading about her.
And I loved the way she loved her sister (Baz’s mom).

“I told Fiona that I’d go up to the Mage’s office and look around, even if it was pointless.
“Take something,” she said, gripping her steering wheel.”
“I’m not a thief,” I said.
“It’s not thieving—that office is hers, it’s yours. Take something for me.”
“All right,” I said.
I almost always go along with Fiona in the end. The way she misses my mother keeps her alive for me.”


Oh, and when Penny’s mom, Mitali, mentioned Lucy —whom I had somehow completely forgotten— all of her history with the Mage came rushing back to me so quickly. It played such an important part in the book for me. I would love it if Rainbow decided to write about their school years. Lucy and Mitali were such intriguing characters in this story.

Also, something that completely slipped my notice the first time reading was that Rainbow put a Fangirl reference (of Levi) in this book.
“I sit in front of Baz now, on the coffee table—which I carried up by myself. He hands me his cup, and I take a sip. “What is this?”
“Pumpkin mocha breve. I created it myself.”
“It’s like drinking a candy bar,” I say.”

Here’s the reference from Fangirl:
“I haven’t paid yet.”
Levi held up his hands. “Please. You insult me.”
“What is this?” She leaned over the cup and took a breath.
“My own concoction—Pumpkin Mocha Breve, light on the mocha. Don’t try to order it from anyone else; it’ll never turn out the same.”

It’s been so good visiting this world and Rainbow’s writing again. I can always count on her books to cheer me up.

ARC from Netgalley (thank you).

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Carry On, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Kristina Horner.
157 reviews1,822 followers
May 20, 2019
Yup, I'm totally on board the "I just want to re-read this book forever" train.

I can't even explain it. I went in to this book with a healthy amount of skepticism (mostly an attitude like "but why does this book exist?") and I was TOTALLY put in my place. This book is perfect.

It's everything fanfic-loving adolescent Kristina ever wanted out of a book. It's everything that never would have happened in Harry Potter. It's delicious LGBT+ representative romance, it's sassy writing, it's delightful unbelievable and it took me RIGHT back to my fanfic days. And for all its impossible ridiculousness, it also somehow manages to be a surprisingly great book.

5 stars, 100%, would read again (and again and again and again). Simon + Baz forever. OTP. <3
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
March 14, 2021

New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
The Written Review
Yes, this is based on Harry Potter and Fan Fiction.

No, it's definitely not going to be like what you think.

This book is the novel talked about in Rainbow Rowell's other fan fiction based-book ( Fangirl - very good. Not necessary to read it prior to reading this one but reading it certainly did help).

In Fangirl, Cath is obsessed with Simon & Baz (who are the characters in this book).

Carry On is essentially Harry Potter but with a will-they-won't-they trope between Simon and Baz.

Oh and this is the last book of Simon and Baz's series (be prepared to hit the ground running!).

The earlier book by Rowell does provide some background in the previous (non existent in the "real" world) books that led to this one. This led to steep learning curve and some confusion when they referred to earlier events.

Despite being based so heavily on HP, I enjoyed how each of the characters (despite being a parody) had their own two-dimensional personalities. Penelope may be inspired by Hermione but she definitely isn't the same goody-two-shoes. There are several twists on the Harry Potter genera - especially with the way magic works. The wizarding world relies on common phrases used by the non-magic folk that eventually become magical by repeated use.

Overall, thoroughly enjoyable. May be a bit confusing from "jumping in" at the last book of the series. The ending was unexpected and I wish there would've been another paragraph or so to see how the characters end up.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Euan Morton and he really did a nice job. Very fun audio.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for wesley.
223 reviews235 followers
January 5, 2016
simon and baz 01simon and baz 02simon and baz 03

I’ve loved Fangirl, especially the excerpts from Cath’s fanfics featuring Simon and Baz. But this! This is just a whole new level of intense. And if the above will not make you die of extreme sweetness, I don’t know what will.

You might have observed as well that the quotes above are all from Baz’s POV. It doesn’t mean that Simon didn’t have his moments (because he most certainly did!), but I’ve always imagined Baz to be a snobbish, condescending prick when I’d get to finally hear his voice. Well, he was most of the time but I wasn’t expecting the endless pining and the secret crushing over Simon Snow.

But then again, who wouldn’t fall in love with Simon? He’s just this ray of light – naïve but brave and bold and selfless. Most of the time, he’s reckless but you wouldn’t be able to hold it against him because he wears his heart on his sleeve. It makes you want to protect him even though he’s doing all the actual saving.

Yet to Simon, Baz is this immaculate, flawless, and well-mannered guy who is everything he isn’t. Handsome, smart, and cool, Simon thinks Baz always gets what he wants. For so long, he hated the guy because he symbolizes everything that he won’t ever be, and well, Baz has been taunting and scheming against him time and again. But in actuality for Baz, it’s a defense mechanism for a love that will never be his.

Factor in that they both represent opposite sides in the war of the mages – Simon as The Mage’s heir calling for reforms and equality, and Baz as the last living heir of the Pitches, the most influential name in the Old Families, who believe in tradition and power being given to the few elites. They’ve been doing this exhausting keep-your-enemies-closer dance for so long. For the good first part of the book, it’s messy and intriguing. Suspenseful. Rowell keeping you on your toes and building the story up towards something.

And when you finally think you’re at your wits' end, the dam breaks with that scorching first kiss. Then everything just explodes. Revelation after countless revelation. Rowell was relentless. And it was exhilarating and beautiful. Simon and Baz’s relationship turning to something more. Rowell bombarding you with all these new twists to the plot. And it just works well with the entire story. It’s like when a talented opera singer works with the best orchestra – creating this hair raising symphony of melody that is pleasing to your ears. Everything is in perfect harmony. And it’s exactly like that with how Rainbow Rowell gave direction to this book. The micro and macro side of things in the story working together towards one solid goal.

And that is to provide us readers with an epic adventure full of love and magic that leaves you feeling like an oxymoron – utterly exhausted but pleasantly contented.

keep calm and carry on

I am contented! I mean, I was. And well, I know the photo above says to keep my cool and carry on. But God, I wish there were more. Not only of the story but more books such as this. As an LGBT reviewer, I am more than happy that Rowell was able to penetrate the mainstream community with gay characters like Simon and Baz. I know that there have been successful attempts by several authors, but not to this extent. And I’m hoping this helps in paving the way for more LGBT books being accepted in the mainstream, so that in the near future, there won’t ever be adjectives placed before the word ‘book’ or ‘novel’.

Well-done! And friggin' highly recommended.

Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
September 15, 2020
DNF at page 250.
Never thought I'd DNF a Rainbow Rowell novel. It was my 2nd attempt and as much as I wanted to love it, since I've adored her other books, it just wasn't for me.

I couldn't have cared less about the characters or storyline. It felt a bit all over the place, like reading the last instalment in a series. And though we were told certain aspects and events that occurred previously, it felt rushed and flimsy. There was no space for it to properly develop. It was just thrown in there, hence I felt no attachment to any of it. It was like reading Harry Potter fan fiction (and not a good one). And it would've been fine if this was meant to be fan fiction. But it's a fully-fledged novel and it honestly didn't read like one. The characters were carbon copies of the Potter world, they fell extremely flat, the plot had no structure. No originality. It was so frustrating to read. Everything that I loved about Rainbow Rowell's books (i.e. writing, characters) were missing.

Apparently it’s supposed to be satire? Still meh.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
784 reviews12.5k followers
April 16, 2022
Eh, screw it, I’m old enough to admit that yes, this is my guilty pleasure read and I’m not ashamed. I mean, what other guilty pleasure read do you expect me to have - Dostoyevsky?

Yes, I know it’s a fluffy enemies-to-friends version of an imaginary fanfic of an imaginary book that is basically Harry Potter is disguise. So fanfic cubed, I guess? A book that fully relies on close familiarity with the Harry Potter Hogwarts setting to the point where we can actually imagine that this is the eighth entry in the Simon Snow series and fill in the world easily without the existence of previous seven books. If you know Potter canon, you can easily imagine Snow canon.
“Even some of our cookbooks are banned. (Though it's been centuries, at least, since the Pitches ate fairies.) (You can't even find fairies anymore.) (And it isn't because we ate them all.)”

And I freaking loved it. Despite the fanfic feel, despite the silliness of an American author piling on the heaviest most shameless Britishness imaginable (I think she stopped short of wearing a Union Jack hat a-la Joey Tribbiani on Friends¹, but just barely), despite the blatant pandering to the Harry/Draco fanfic pairing (I checked - apparently it’s a thing. Also - my eyes need to be bleached now), despite wanting to reach into the book pages and smack some sense into the blundering idiot that is Simon Snow.

Baz Grimm-Pitch is supposedly evil, having antagonized Simon Snow - the Chosen One, a poor orphan who also happens to be the most powerful Mage, although not fully in control of his powers - for the last seven years of their education in the magical boarding school, Watford. Baz is also a sarcastic closeted vampire because you gotta have one in your teen heartthrob fantasy (“I know fuck-all about vampires. It’s not like I got an instruction pamphlet when I was bitten.”). Simon is a bone-headed orphan kid that prefers solving problems with brawn rather than brains (“People who tell you that slamming and bashing into things won't make you feel better haven't slammed or bashed enough.”)
“The first time I came back to Watford, my second year, I climbed right into my bed and cried like a baby. I was still crying when Baz came in. “Why are you already weeping?” he snarled. “You’re ruining my plans to push you to tears.”

But - of fragging course - we all know that Baz is really secretly in love with Simon who’s not only his arch-enemy but also, to add to the teenage embarrassment, his roommate. And of course neither the horrible menace to the magical world (“The Insidious Humdrum”, I kid you not) nor the eccentric mentor who’s supposedly on the side of Good are what they seem.
“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I hold back—“And you like that?”
“I love it,” he says.
“Because we match.”

Is it silly? Yes. Is it often melodramatically overwrought? Hell yeah. Is it able to exist only because Harry Potter has entered the pop culture subconsciousness so thoroughly that everyone has absorbed it via cultural osmosis? Ab-so-lute-ly. Is it shameless pandering to those who just want to see two cute overly dramatic boys stop fighting and just kiss and make up? Well - duh! And does my heart still giddily leap when Baz - finally! - calls Simon “love”? You betcha. And does Simon’s unhealthy obsession with cherry scones and butter make me worry about his blood glucose and arterial clogging? Sadly, yes.
“I'm not sure what we're doing, to be perfectly honest -- but nothing's on fire anymore. And I feel like maybe we've solved something. Even though this is probably just a new problem.”

Seriously, if you’re going to read this one, audio is the way to go. The narrator is lovely and really brings life to the story and somehow smoothes out the corny and the schmalz and the ridiculousness. (But I do miss the silly parenthetical asides of the printed book). (I have an unhealthy love for parenthetical asides). (As you can probably tell).

4 unashamed guilty-pleasure stars.

Shine on, you crazy prickly diamonds.

Also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for chloe.
246 reviews28.5k followers
September 15, 2019
3rd read: September 2019
Physical. 5 stars

2nd read: December 2017
Physical. 5 stars

1st read: July 2017
eBook. 5 stars

Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,110 reviews6,574 followers
September 18, 2018
I DON'T KNOW YOU GUYS. It took a while for anything to happen and then everything happened all at once, so much so that it was actually confusing. Like, I still don't understand what happened????? I shipped Simon and Baz SO HARD THO. But other than that and an exciting build up towards the end (that ended up being disappointing because I was confused), it was just okay :/ SUCH DISAPPOINTMENT.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
August 15, 2017
I feel like it's more of a 3.75, maybe?

This was a delight, though I'll admit I expected to love it more than I did. I think this may be because, although this very obviously draws a lot of inspiration from Harry Potter, I couldn't stop my brain from constantly drawing parallels throughout the entire time reading this. It seems that for some readers those comparisons stopped after a while, but it was constantly in the back of my mind.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it because of the HP similarities - I actually quite like what was taken from the wizarding world, and I enjoyed seeing how some things were turned on its head. I also really like the take on the Chosen One in this! However, I think I just couldn't get fully drawn into this story with my mind so switched on about Harry Potter - I just wasn't able to fully immerse myself in the world and connect with the characters as they are (by this I mean thinking of Baz as Baz, rather than constantly think Baz=Draco).

Also, I'm so here for Baz & Simon <3
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
June 12, 2019
The point of contention in a lot of reviews of this book is: Is it too much like Harry Potter?


The answer to those questions, in order: yes, no, no, no, yes.

I think if you like Harry Potter, and you’ve always wanted Harry and Draco to date but in a world in which Draco isn’t a total sh*tbag and doesn’t require so much overexplanation and crazy analysis of kids’ books in order to seem baseline tolerable, then you will love this book.

I don’t really like this book, but I do love Fangirl. This book is a spinoff of my least favorite part of Fangirl, the fanfiction sections I always skip.

Considering this is a whole book of something I couldn’t even tolerate reading for a handful of chapters, the amount I liked it is pretty impressive. But really, there wasn’t enough magic or plot. Rainbow Rowell was always a strictly-romance writer before this, no fantasy involved, and it shows.

So I’m not even embarrassed to say: I would have liked this more if it was just a straight-up romance, little to no plot/magic/worldbuilding/school for wizards with a mean wizard magic guy making things fall apart/Britishness on the side.

Okay, I’m kind of embarrassed to say it.

Bottom line: This book could not have been less for me, and it went...surprisingly fine.

Make Emma Able to Read Again

(i finally finished a book!!!!!) (and it was...fine.)

review to come / 2.5 stars

currently-reading updates

definitely rereading this book because i liked it, or because the sequel is coming out this year, and not because i'm 100% sure that every book i used to enjoy is actually terrible and it's my life's work to continually update my ratings until eventually i am nothing but cynicism and one-star reviews
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,775 reviews1,777 followers
February 7, 2017
September 2016: Comfort re-read. Highly comforting. Still great, okay bye.

October 2015, Updated 10/27/15: Okay, so. Look. This book. So good. I mean, it just. It has no right to. Like. What. To be so good. Finding words? Like, it should NOT work. Brain trying to brain. Failing.

Fuck it. I’m not capable of being objective about this book. FIVE STARS.

But first before the actual review, two things, so I can feel I’ve said my piece:

1. This book is NOT Harry Potter fanfiction, and Simon and Baz are NOT Harry and Draco. They are just not. You will not have fun with the book if you think that is what’s happening here. HP and Harry and Draco fanfic certainly played a role in inspiring these characters, but they are by no means the only inspiration, which also includes plenty of elements original to this story, in addition to pulling tropes willy-nilly from every Chosen One story and magical boarding school story in existence. This book is NOT Rainbow playing with other people’s characters and stories third-hand. It pulls all of those things together to create something NEW.
2. This book is NOT the eighth Simon Snow book as would have been released in Cath’s world in Fangirl, written by Gemma T. Leslie, nor is it Cath’s fanfiction, “Carry On, Simon.” This book is RAINBOW’S take on the characters and the story, and both of those previously mentioned versions presumably have different stories and endings than the version we get to read here.

Now that we’re all on the same page, what this book is is wonderful. I loved it instantly. From the very first page, when Rainbow* starts riffing on established genre tropes, I was just like, YES.

*I call her Rainbow because we are best friends.

What’s genius about this book is that it’s purposefully designed to piggyback on all of your existing cultural knowledge of these kind of books, and to use that knowledge as a kind of shorthand context for the story. We don’t need to read about the previous seven years of Simon Snow’s time at school. We just need to know what those stories usually entail, and then we can move on to the really important stuff. Rainbow isn’t interested in telling seven other years of story, but she needs us to understand the world Simon and Baz live in. She’s much more interested in that moment where her characters and the idea of The Chosen One intersect. And of course as with all of her other books as well, she’s interested in human connection and love, in things that bring people together and keep them apart.

Most of that backstory occurs in the first fifty or so pages of the novel, at which point you slowly start to realize that all the assumptions you’ve brought with you in to the text (and which Rainbow encourages you to do) are completely wrong and are about to be undermined the hell out of. It’s also around that point that her characters stop being alternate versions of Harry/Draco/Hermione/Dumbledore, etc.

But let’s all be serious here for a second, because the real draw of this book that puts it over the top is absolutely the gay wizard romance aspect. I mean, this is probably one of the best most swoonworthy romances I’ve ever read hands down. Simon and Baz (especially Baz) are both just so flawed and lovable, and their connection is ADORABLE, and it feels so real, despite all the magic and vampires and such. I stayed up waaaaay too late in order to get to the kissing bits of the book, and it was so worth it. The reason they love each other just resonated with me so much, and it doesn’t hurt that the romance is paired with one of my very favorite storytelling devices ever, which is when characters re-evaluate each other, or go from hating/dis-liking to loving, because they really know the person now, instead of who they thought they were. It’s like Pride and Prejudice but with a Chosen One and a sad vampire instead of a really rich guy and a smart sassy lady.

For those of you worried about not having read any of her other books, specifically Fangirl (which has Simon Snow excerpts from the Gemma T. Leslie books and Cath’s fanfiction included), you have no cause for those worries. You can read this book without having read anything else she’s written. The thing that I would be worried about is not having read any Chosen One stories, again, just because she uses those stories as background for her own. But even then, this book might still be enjoyable for you for the character work alone.

Anyway, writing this review has made me want to re-read this book even though I only finished it a couple of weeks ago, but I know for a fact I’m not the only one who had this urge, so I don’t even feel bad. It’s now my second favorite book that she’s written, right behind Attachments. I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t make it out of 2015 without picking it up again, just because.

October 2015: Soooooooo this book just happened. And there is no way I can write a review of it right now. I need to brain tonight and then maybe a little tomorrow before I commit words to typey-type thing. But OH MY GOD WHAT DID I JUST READ.

December 2014: It is a damn miracle from heaven that this is being published, I tell you what. A story that began as a story about a story in another story. And a publisher is paying money to help make it a real thing. I mean, WHAT. WHAT!!!!!
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,265 followers
October 19, 2015

I can’t believe Baz never said, “You know nothing, Simon Snow!”

I have to say that this book did a decent job of trying to fill the Harry Potter-sized hole in our hearts, but we all know that nothing else will ever completely compare. Watford and the surrounding World of Mages is like a valentine for those of us who still can’t let go of the Wizarding World—and damn anyone who tries to make us.

I didn’t care for the romance aspects of this book, but I rarely do anyway so I just kinda skimmed past them. I know that romance and slash are kinda the main points of fanfiction, but the whole hurt/comfort tag really isn’t for me (Sorry, An Archive of Our Own). What I did like, however, was that this is definitely a Rainbow Rowell book, and by that I mean that the characters are well-developed and flawed. Which is something I keep saying is needed when you have super-powered people running around: there must be some sort of believability somewhere in the story for the audience to buy into it. And that’s where Rowell shines; this isn’t about romance, it’s not about magic, it’s about imperfect people and how their sagas overlap and interconnect. And that’s what grounds the book; that’s what makes these situations relatable: the frailty of our human nature.

Profile Image for nat.
71 reviews269 followers
March 14, 2021
don't you love when the most popular lgbtq books are written by cis white women who've never heard of the word 'bisexual' 😆
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