2016 Reading Challenge Book 1 – Carry On

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Coming at you with the first of my book reviews this year and it was a good’un.

Carry On, Book 1, 2016 Reading Challenge

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

I am little bit in love with Rainbow Rowell, I don’t hide the fact. I have been ever since I practically devoured Fangirl in 2014. So I pre-ordered this book knowing that I wouldn’t get the chance to open it’s beautiful pages until this year. So when midnight chimed on the 1st January 2016 I picked this book up an set up shop (it wasn’t literally at midnight, it was more like 2pm, after I had slept and inhaled a fry up). And then finished it on the 2nd.

It was so good.

Obviously it’s kind of hard to start reading this book without instantly drawing comparisons to Harry Potter (although tbh I could probably somehow bring everything back to that series in some way of another), but here’s the good news. Within a few chapters you forget about that. With great ease. Because the way that Rowell builds up this world is just stunning.  And completely individual. And it also includes vampires, I love a good vampire on occasion.

One of the key ways that it is different from Harry Potter (although seriously it is really not that similar, I am gonna stop making that comparison after this) is that it is told from multiple points of view. And In liked that. I sometimes find the constant jumping around a bit annoying when I have experienced it before, but it really built up a sense of intrigue. This mainly came from  the ‘Lucy’ chapters, which start of short and hella baffling and then all sort of click into place as the story progresses.

Which is another thing I liked about the book. That slow fitting together of all the pieces of the puzzle before the end. And I know that sounds ridiculous because surely all books should do that, but they kind of don’t. Especially if they are part of a series, then some edges are tied off and others sort of trail while you play a waiting game. But I digress. Back to the point, it was incredibly satisfying when, as a reader, you could see the pieces fall into place and you felt it building up to its conclusion. There was an air of anticipation about it, that I greatly appreciated (also why I sometimes veer towards stand alone books).

In terms of characters, and it probably says a lot about me as a person given how he is characterised early on in the book before he gets a say, Baz was pretty much my favourite character. I can’t quite figure out what it was about him that I liked more than the others but I just did. I found myself invested in him before he even showed up. That is probably to do with the way that Rowell characterised Simon’s attitude towards him, even though it was ‘clear’ that he didn’t really ‘like’ him (Simon may be the Prince of Denial…maybe…I dunno, he has some competition in literature I guess) because throughout you kinda got a sense of what that relationship was gonna turn in to.

Other characters that I was interested in but didn’t get enough of was The Mage. Mainly because I need to know more about why is was so adamantly crazy. Not because I am looking for something to redeem him with, but because there is a part of me that is fascinated by a person’s thought process to deciding to do crazy things. You do kind of get that through ‘Lucy’ chapters and the few ‘The Mage’ chapters but a part of me is thirsty for more of that. I dunno, I don’t like total unknowns (listen I STILL need to know how the Marauder’s Map came into existence, they were TEENAGERS, HOW???!!).

There is something very comforting for me about Rowell’s writing style and it is one I truly enjoy. It reminds me that simple is sometimes the most effective and people are the most important thing for a story. Rowell is publishing a short story for World Book Day in a couple of months and once I have devoured that I am gonna have no more of her new stuff to read and that makes me sad…but what a great repertoire I have to go back t0 (Fangirl I am so coming for you again soon).

4/5 stars.

Parentheses count: 7. See you tomorrow!

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