I was tagged for this by the lovely Samantha from Reed’s Reads and Reviews and the fabulous Victoria from Addlepates and Book Nerds. They both write great bookish blogs so I recommend you check them out. Now for the tag…
1. Find a book for each of your initials
E – End of Days
B – Bane Chronicles
2. Count your age along your book shelf- which book is it?
On my read bookshelf it is The Maze Runner
3. Pick a book set in your city/state/country
Carry On is set in England and is the perfect example of Englishness. It has so much British slang and culture, it makes me so happy.
4. Pick a book that represents a destination you would love to travel to
I’m going to have to go with the cliché answer of Hogwarts. Which booklover wouldn’t want to go to this magical school?
5. Pick a book that’s your favourite colour
I love blue of all different shades so I have chosen a few books on my shelf that I can see are nice shades of blue.
Trouble by Non Pratt
6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?
I have the fondest memories of Milly Molly Mandy, becuase I can remember that being one of the first chapter books I read and sitting and reading it with my Nana. That year, whenever we were in the countryside, I would try and spot Milly Molly Mandy houses aka thatched cottages.
7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?
This is a tough question because I’m a big believer in reading for pleasure so I’m finding a book boring or laborious to read, I generally tend to put it down.
8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment when you finish it?
I’m not sure, maybe a classic because I must confess to having never read a classic that wasn’t Of Mice and Men or Lord of the Flies in English at school. That is one of my aims before Christmas, to read a classic.
Since, I’m lazy and don’t know who has or hasn’t already been tagged for this, I’m not going to tag specific people and instead say anyone who wants to is now officially tagged by me!
I was provided with a free copy of this book by the UK publishers as I am a UK Rainbow Rowell Fangirl. My opinions have not been altered by this and are all still my own.
I don’t know I’m supposed to even begin talking about Carry On. I have no words, (something I find very ironic as the entire magickal world in this novel relies on words).
This book was utter perfection. There are a lot of books I have really enjoyed in my lifetime and this one is definitely up there.
To help me begin to think logically rather than fangirlly about this book, I’m going to split my review up into sections.
Rainbow Rowell managed to find the perfect balance between subtle, clever references to Harry Potter whilst also creating an entirely new and unique world that hasn’t ever been seen before. As a words girl myself, I loved the fact that common phrases, popular references and even songs were used as spells. In my mind, this was not only amusingly witty, but really allowed Rainbow to personalise her Wizarding world.
One thing I found particularly unique about this novel is that it is set in the final year of Simon Snow’s time in Watford, meaning the reader is really plunged in his world. Due to Fangirl, readers already have an idea of what this magickal world is like, but starting at the end put such a unique spin on this novel and made it even greater.
The characters is this novel was great. Although they often had nods or links to some of J.K. Rowling’s characters, they were all also completely new characters.
Let’s start with Simon. Simon is possibly the world’s worst Chosen One ever, but always made me laugh and had some great character quirks such as always wearing his uniform and eating butter with a spoon. For a great wizard, Simon doesn’t really seem like it at all, which makes him very relatable. Even though words are so important in this magickal world, Simon isn’t very good with them and would rather use a sword. Another thing which I love about Simon is he’s not even sure he’s gay as he makes out with Baz, but at the same time figures he’s got bigger problems to deal with. If only we could all be as blasé as him.
Baz. How do you even start to talk about Baz? I loved him so much. He was supposed to be a bad guy and at times he tried really hard to be, but he just couldn’t do it. I loved it when he reminisced on the year where he wanted to either kiss or kill Simon. Quite an unusual combo. Baz has a tough home life and spends the first 7 years of his Watford school career, trying to foil Snow’s plans but to no avail. Those two were destined to be together. As a couple, the two of them are just so adorable. They continue to squabble and take a while to figure out how it’s going to work becuase it’s always a challenge going from enemies to lovers.
Penelope Bunce is an obvious link to Hermione, but for some reason I didn’t quite connect to her in the same way I did to Hermione. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her, but she wasn’t my favourite. Penelope always has the answer, Simon knows that, Agatha knows that and even Baz, as loath as he is to admit it initially, also knows that. Somehow she is luckily saved from the curse of being an insufferable know it all, by her personality and her family circumstance.
Agatha. Agatha. Agatha. I really don’t know how I feel about her. On one hand I feel sorry for her, whilst on the other hand, she bugs the crap out of me. It’s a really interesting idea that Rainbow chose to explore. The idea that a wizard might be born with magic but not actually want to be part of that world. Even though I would find it unbelievably epic to be a witch, I can kind of understand where she is coming from.
The Mage is an interesting character. Now I know I shouldn’t keep making direct comparisons to Harry Potter but he was obviously a less cool version of Dumbledore. Despite the fact we as readers looked at his past as well as reading the present from his POV, I just couldn’t really click with him. In my mind, he felt more like an explanation than a character.
I would talk about the Insidious Humdrum but I’m afraid if I was to do so this review would have to reveal lots that isn’t mentioned in the book until the very end. All I’m going to say is that this character is a plot twist in itself.
The plot of this novel is very similar to Harry Potter in many regards, however at the same time, the novel is completely itself. It starts in a similar way to all the Harry Potter novels, with the hero returning back to school. The novel then continues in a traditional Harry Potter style, going through the term before a long Christmas break with lots of action.
Overall I think the plot of this novel was engaging throughout with lots of twists and turns and POVs from people you didn’t even know who they were. There was certainly never a dull moment when reading Carry On. This novel was paced perfectly meaning that I was either learning new things abotu the wizarding world or in the middle of the action so I just had to keep reading.
I loved all the references to popular British culture, that wasn’t cliché and proved Rainbow Rowell had really done her research. I completely forget this book was written by an American. It just feels so unapologetically and unrestrainedly British, which I absolutely adored. Very few books have such an authentic and clear sense of place when set in Britain. This was one aspect of the novel I was concerned about but clearly I had no need to worry!
Overall definitely a five star read in my book!
Very last minute, about a week before the readathon I decided to sign up to cheer because it looked like fun and the post said it was fine if you could only cheer for an hour or so. I had no idea that I would have as much fun as I did.
Here are some of the reasons I loved it:
- Because of the absolutely lovely, fantastic, beautiful, wonderful people that I cheered for and chatted with. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these fab tweets.
- Because as one tweet mentions above, the sense of community. One of the things I love about book blogging is people in the community and this is one of the times I have been able to see that community so clearly.
- I was encouraged by others to really get stuck into reading Carry On and managed to get 200+ pages read in quite a short amount of time which I was pleased with. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have squeezed some reading into my weekend.
- I learnt some Swedish. Check it out! Du kan klara det – You can do it and jag älskar böcker – I love books.
Overall, I just had a great time and can’t wait for next time. Thank you so much to everyone who organised it! I would definitely recommend everyone take part.
I thought I’d share with you some of the books I received recently as some of them are quite exciting, at least in my mind. The first one I received was The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which I was sent as part of my ticket to a Patrick Ness talk and signing. On the same day I also received The Secret Fire which I won from a giveaway from Maximum Pop Books, which I’m definitely looking forward to reading as C. J. Daughtery was at YALC and she was so amusing and entertaining.
I also, three days ago I received my most exciting parcel of the year – Carry On By Rainbow Rowell. Before receiving Carry On, I received a super parcel stuffed full of exclusive goodies for the Official Rainbow Rowell UK Fangirls. It contained a T-shirt (shown below), badges, postcards, a poster and a booklet just for us Fangirls. On that same day, I received the School of Good and Evil trilogy in a big box, which was most intriguing as I didn’t even know I’d won these books from Maximum Pop Books. The final book in my pile is End of Days, a book I bought for myself as I’ve wanted to read the last book in the trilogy and it was an absolute bargain at only two pounds.
Since I have been going through a bit of blogging slump, it thought I’d do a post that was just good fun for me so here we go with my Kiss, Marry, Kill.
Peeta, Simon, Jace
How an earth am I supposed to make this choice? I genuinely love each of these three guys. I had to make a tough choice though. So despite the fact I love him and how sweet he is, Peeta had to go. I would kiss Jace becuase he is so attractive and flirty and definitely acts like he should be a good kisser. I’d marry Simon becuase I love his nerdiness and I think he’d be a great husband.
Draco, Chaol, Edward
That one was kind of easy for me. I absolutely loved Chaol in the first two Throne of Glass books (the only ones I’ve read), he is so sweet and I reckon he would make a great husband. I certainly hated Draco at some points in the Harry Potter series, but by the end he sort of maybe, a tiny bit redeemed himself and he was always quite good looking so… I’m going to kill Edward becuase despite the fact that he wasn’t evil, he was certainly creepy and weird, so I wouldn’t want to kiss or marry him.
Aspen, Gale, Four
Even though I am firmly 100% Team Peeta when it comes to the Hunger Games boys, I do appreciate the way Gale looked after Katniss and her family, particularly Prim during the Games and also rescued like 900 people from District 12, saving many lives. I would kiss Four becuase he was always very attractive and I did like him and I would kill Aspen becuase there was nothing special about him. I know I only read the first two books and it was a while ago, but nothing about Aspen seemed particularly special to me.
Snape, Voldemort, Lucius Malfoy
Marry: Lucius Malfoy
I hate all these people so much! Elm was so evil to make me choose. I guess I have to kill Voldemort because otherwise that would defeat the point of the entire Harry Potter series. That leaves me with the other two. I’m going to with kissing Snape and marrying Lucius Malfoy but I’m not dwelling on either of those two thoughts for too long or I might be traumatised for life.
Edward, Emmett, Jacob
I haven’t read the Twilight books in what seems like an absolute age, but I always remember liking Emmett, he made me laugh, particularly in the arm wrestling scene. He had a good sense of humour so he would probably be good fun to be married to. Jacob was always good looking, so I wouldn’t mind kissing him and Edward was just a bit weird and annoying so I’m going to with killing him.
Chaol, Dorian, Sam
All of Sarah J. Maas’ men are absolutely gorgeous and I would happily have any one of them, but choices must be made. I’d kill Dorian becuase he is probably my least favorite of all the fabulous men. I’d kiss Chaol becuase he deserves it and is just such a nice guy, but one who packs a mean punch. I’d marry Sam becuase despite his small feature I fell in love with him.
Peeta, Chaol, Etienne
I’d marry Peeta becuase he’s so sweet and would make a lovely husband as he is so thoughtful and caring. Again I’d kiss Chaol becuase he is so good looking and strong and powerful yet kind. I’d kill Etienne becuase although I like him, he doesn’t complete with either Peeta or Chaol.
Finnick, Maxon, Four
This one was easy for me. I would have to marry Finnick becuase I love him so much and he is so sweet and brave and hot and I have no words for how much I love him. I’d kiss Four becuase he’s good looking and fit and strong and I’d kill Maxon becuase I never really liked him that much anyway.
Luna, Annabeth, Cassie
If I had to go for one of these girls, I’d marry Annabeth becuase I could always relate to her as I think I’m also a daughter of Athena and consider myself an academic too. I think we’d certainly have some interesting debates. I’d kiss Luna becuase she gives so much wise advice and can always be trusted so she definitely deserves a bit of love. I’d kill Cassie becuase despite the fact I admire her strength I never really clicked with her.
Feel free to give me more suggestions becuase I had great fun doing this so will do another post if I get more suggestions.