Review: Carry On

exclusive-heres-the-cover-of-rainbow-rowells-new--2-17017-1481733234-2_dblbigTitle: Carry On

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBTQUIA, Romance

Number of pages: 522

Time it took me to read:  5 Days

Book Trailer

Synopsis: 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 starts 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 – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

Novel Review:

This was an exciting read that kept me on my toes throughout the entire story. Once I thought I knew some of the secrets the story would take an unexpected turn. I loved every minute of this read and this is definitely a story I would return to for years to come.

The story of this books builds off of the fictional world Rainbow Rowell created in FanGirl. While this book can be a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading FanGirl first to build your love for these characters. This read was fast-paced from the get-go and I am not sure if it is because I was already in love with Simon and Baz and needed more of there world or because of the great world Rainbow has created.

The love story… Oh, the love story clenched at my heartstrings every time I opened the book. Having read FanGirl, it was clear where the book was headed and I loved everything about it. Rainbow makes the reader work for this one though. There are several love interests for Simon that leaves the reader doubting themselves. Carry On proved that everyone deserves love and that you should stop before judging some as unloveable.

There was just enough magic in the story to quench my fantasy thirst and using the power of words as spells is genius. I have seen many reviews state that this is a Harry Potter rip off. This is NOT TRUE. Yes, there is the whole chosen child, loss of parents, and learning about magic after living in the mundane world thing. However, Rainbow does her own take on this. Look, there have been orphans in stories since forever (Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mowgli, etc.) and Rainbow brings in a new style and gives us the story from several points of view.

I promise once you get over your HP hangup this story is really worth reading. 

Rainbow Rowell is an amazing writer, with the ability to capture the essence of authentic characters in her writing. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Even if you not into romance or contemporary fiction, give this read a try!

My rating:

5

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Review: Fangirl

fangirlTitle: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Number of pages: 481

Time it took me to read:  5 Days

Book Trailer

Synopsis: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Novel Review:

This book needs to come with a warning! I felt like a school girl as I followed Cath through her first year of college. The loneliness of those first few days. The awkwardness of meeting new people and the desire to hide away in my room. But then comes along Levi and changes her whole world.

It was refreshing to see family issues that I could relate with. Having a parent with manic tendencies is difficult enough to deal with. Throw in the fact that they are a single parent and that results in a whole nother set of issues. This is one thing that Rainbow Rowell does right; capturing the struggles of those who have loved one with mental health issues. Growing up with a parent who was manic, I was constantly worried about if they would get up to take me to school or if I would have to figure out something for dinner to feed my younger brother and sister.

While mental health is a focus of the book, it’s not the only focus. The romance, oh the romance is just so wonderful. I felt like a giddy little school girl flipping through the pages of Fangirl.

Rainbow Rowell is an amazing writer, with the ability to capture the essence of authentic characters in her writing. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Even if you not into romance or contemporary fiction, give this read a try!

My rating:

5

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Review: Caraval

27883214Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Source: Library

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Number of pages: 407

Time it took me to read:  3 Days

Synopsis: 

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Novel Review:

This book messed with my heads on so many levels. First, we learn things as the main character learns then and often I found myself as dumbfounded, surprised and awestruck as Scarlet was. This is a good thing! It makes for the read just that more fast paced and all consuming. I was trying to figure things out alongside Scarlet and was always surprised with what the author threw at us next.

There is little worldbuilding here but that is not a problems because that is not what the book is about. It is about the game, the mystery of the game and the deception of the game. To me this worked and I didn’t need an entire world built for me. If this is something you are expecting in your reads then maybe Caraval is not the story for you.

The mystery and magic in the world of Caraval is fantastic and brings a winding, twisting fantasy element to this read. Imagine searching so desperately for clues that you are willing to give up your most personal secrets, darkest fears or even lose hours or days of your life. While reading this story I didn’t even bat an eye at these things because I was so enthralled with the story and learning about Scarlet and Julian. I couldn’t help but fall for both of these characters and rooting for them.

Overall, I am in love with this book and will be adding it to my shelf in the near future (after my buying ban). I felt a whole range of emotions while reading Caraval. Happy, sad, anger, betrayal, irritation, and cried my eyes out over a few pages. I highly recommend this read to everyone who likes fantasy, a little magic, and a good mystery.

My rating:

5

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