This had been on my to-read list for awhile (pretty much since she announced it was a thing she was prob working on) so it got picked for book club and excellent now I have an excuse to buy it RIGHT NOW.
So for those that don't know, Carry On is a spin-off of Fangirl and as I mentioned, is basically Drarry fanfic. Except it's not really Hogwarts (cos you know, that would cost a lot in licensing). Instead this is Watford, and it's not Harry and Draco but instead Simon Snow and Basilton Pitch (Baz).
And look, it actually IS different enough from Harry Potter that while the characters and the school are clearly inspired by and stand-ins for these things, things are tweaked just enough that it can stand as its own story. Rowell's take on magical boarding school, with a focus on the relationships between the characters, which is really where Rowell shines. There's very little in the way of world-building that makes up so much of HP's fun, but then again, this is supposed to be the final book in the "Simon Snow" series, so there would be no reason to get into that at this point.
Simon and Baz have been roomates since the not-sorting-hat put them together their first year. Simon is convinced Baz is out to get him and frankly he seems pretty obsessed with him. As Simon's friend Penelope says
I really, really hate to talk to Simon about Baz. It's like talking to the Mad Hatter about tea. I hate to encourage him.I mean, sure he has reason to believe he's out to get him. You'd think Simon would be preoccupied with his work to get rid of the Insidious Humdrum who is sucking all of the magic out of the world. But instead he's hyper focused on why Baz hasn't shown up for the first day of school, nor the following days.
The story jumps back and forth between different characters which I luuuuuuurve. And Rowell is probably my favorite author when it comes to writing relationships, which she does superbly here, for relationships that succeed and those that those that don't. And since I already said it was Drarry fanfic, I think you already know the relationship between Snow and Baz is going to happen.
I love Rowell's dialogue. It's always the best part of her stuff. Her characters' conversations are more clever than normal people's but just enough that it feels like it could be something real people said.
"Ebb," I insist, "[Baz] tried to kill me."
"Not successfully." She shrugs. "Not recently."
"He's tried to kill me three times! That I know of! It doesn't actually matter whether it worked."
"It matters a bit," she says. "'Sides, how old was he the first time, eleven? Twelve? That hardly counts."But that said, this is prob my least favorite Rowell book. The relationship stuff is awesome, but the rest of it is sort of...eh. Not super my thing. Which didn't surprise me cos the Simon Snow chapters were my least favorite part of Fangirl. But in the end, it's still Rowell and I'm still down for it. Even if I like her realistic (or more realistic, anyway) stuff better.
Rowell, Rainbow. Carry On. alfaguara juvenil, 2016. Kindle