Our First Discussion Review: Trying to Carry On after #SnowBaz

November 13, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Discussion Reviews, Features, Reviews

Our First Discussion Review: Trying to Carry On after #SnowBazCarry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on October 8, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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.

So we all have so many feels from reading Carry On that we all just need to share them! #SnowBaz is seriously the cutest couple that we’ve met in a while and we all loved them.

Our first discussion was so much fun! I hope you enjoy it – contains spoilers for Carry On.

On the Fanfiction Element

Jeann: I’ve just finished Carry On and I HAVE SO MANY FEELS. I loved the Simon and Baz segments in Fangirl, so I knew I was going to love this one! I just didn’t know how it was going to go, being a fanfiction within a fiction book and all, and being based on Harry Potter. But I think there was enough changes and differences here to make it worthy to be read on its own! What did you guys think?

Aila: IT WAS WORTHY TIMES 1,000. Although it did have certain elements of Harry Potter, I love how Rowell took the commonplace “Chosen One” and his arch-nemesis theme and developed it into a totally unique book. This is going on my shelf of awesomeness.

Jenna: The Simon Snow fanfiction in Fangirl actually was my least favourite part of that book because I kept wanting more Cath and Levi. But Carry On really changed my opinion! I actually loved the similarities to Harry Potter because it made me connect with the world instantly! There were definitely enough changes for me to see it as something completely separate to Harry Potter as well. The world felt more modern and fresh, and the magic system was a standout for me! And SnowBaz… OMG SNOWBAZ! *flailing around on the floor like a crazy person* I think they might be my OTP of the year!

Jeann: I completely agree Aila, it didn’t feel like it was too repetitive with the Chosen One theme. It was refreshing not having the arch-nemesis as the villain here, and how unique was the Humdrum?

YESSS I don’t know, I think Simon and Blue is one of my OTPs as well, and they’re pretty hard to beat! I just loved their antagonistic romance and how they could either kiss or kill each other. I just loved how Baz kept on having dastardly plans about Simon and how he picked on him when they were younger – it’s just like the bully who actually likes you hehe. The spoken magic was pretty cool as well – I loved how it was based on a nursery rhyme! So unique and fresh!

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Jeann’s Paperback Copy of Carry On 

Secondary Characters and Our Mutual Dislike of Agatha

Jenna: Hehe, their antagonistic relationship was the cutest 😀 I loved how Baz does all these things just to piss Simon off, but they always almost end up killing him. What I really appreciated was how easily their relationship came together. There was no hesitation or doubt on Simon’s part and he was just happy to be led by his feelings. The casualness of the relationship was definitely the standout for me. What did you guys think about Simon’s relationships with Penny, Agatha and the Mage?

I personally didn’t like Agatha, and would have liked it if she wasn’t in the book at all. But I guess it does show that not everybody is brave or heroic. I liked that Simon had such a close friend in Penny and the support she gave him was so wonderful!! I kind of wish the relationship between the Mage and Simon was explored a little bit more. It would have been interesting to see what their relationship was like before the events in Carry On. They’ve obviously got a great relationship if Simon trusts and idolises him so much!

Aila: Agatha was *makes boo noise* *hiss hiss*. I mean, I understand why her character was added, but man she made me so annoyed. Like girl um you’re not the main character or the main love interest please move away over there. *points far away*

Penny was an amazing friend! Her character was all sorts of awesomeness and I loved her and Simon’s (and even Baz’s interactions). See, I would’ve liked to explore the Mage’s past and how he became what he was. His was definitely an interesting character I wish we saw more of!

*chants* SNOWBAZ. SNOWBAZ. SNOWBAZ. So many beautiful things in that relationship. Each character so flawed, yet so perfect together. <3

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Jenna’s UK hardcover edition. That naked cover! That built-in bookmark! Those end-papers! *_*

Jeann: Yeah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Agatha’s character as well, although she did bring about the usual stereotype for the Chosen One who just wants to be normal, you know? I thought she did add some interesting dynamics into Simon’s sexuality, like he loves people for who they are – not whether they are male, or female, or anything else. As you guys say, not everyone needs to be an awesome magician.

It was weird, because Simon and The Mage’s relationship was more implied by Simon, rather than actually seen. So much of the relationship seemed to be in his head. I agree with Aila in that it would have been great to see more out of that…but I thought everything came together quite nicely.

Penny was an awesome character, she’s loyal, intelligent and boisterous – the friend that Simon deserves. It was so refreshing to have a male and female friendship that was purely platonic, we don’t see enough of that!

So what were your favourite things about the SnowBaz relationship? I loved how they couldn’t resist each other and how it was antagonistic but you could just FEEL how much they cared for one another. I loved how they constantly wondered where each other was, and what each other was feeling – then you’d see the perspectives and KNOW. That made it so adorable!

Simon and Baz Feels

Jenna: Now that Agatha has been placed in the corner, I can let loose my SnowBaz feels. I love how they’re like obsessed with each other! I know that Simon was initially worried about Baz popping up out of nowhere and attacking him, but it was adorable how he could not stop thinking about Baz! *dies* My favourite scenes were pretty much every scene they were together. I really enjoyed the constant banter and how easily they can joke around each other. And when Baz calls him ‘Simon’ instead of ‘Snow’, my heart just could not handle it *squeals*. But let’s be real, my favourite thing about the SnowBaz relationship was the kissing and hand-holding. Mhmm *nods in approval*. They’re just so compatible with each other. OTP, guys. OTP!

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Aila’s beautiful hardback edition

Aila: OTP OF THE OTP’s.

Baz was always like, “I don’t know whether to kiss him or kill him half the time” and I was screaming in my head “JUST KISS.” I agree with both of you guys. Their interactions and scenes were my absolute fave and not gonna lie, there was a lot of squealing and heart-clutching whilst reading.

There’s a Japanese term called “tsundere” used in anime that reflects a character who’s cold and blunt on the outside but all squishy and warm on the inside – exactly what Baz reminds me of!

“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.” <3 <3 <3

Jenna: I’m hopelessly in love with SnowBaz! Rainbow Rowell could write a dozen more books about them and I’d pick them all up… and never let go of them. Also, the books themselves are beautiful! I could definitely do with a dozen more of these on my shelf!!

Jeann: Like you guys, I thought they were the CUTEST! I just loved how once they established that they liked each other, all they wanted to do was kiss, and be with each other. But I liked how they both still retained their personalities – which didn’t make it too mushy or unbearable, for instance, they’d still have some awesome banter with one another and Baz would still constantly tease Simon. They’re definitely an OTP to last, I’m kind of glad there’s no sequel so my ship can sail <3 I did think the start of the book was a bit slow though, but when Baz appears, THE WAIT IS WORTH IT.

Wrapping up, how many stars would you guys give to Carry On? I would give it 5 stars all the way! Definitely one of my favourite reads this year!

Aila: The only reason why I gave it 4 stars was because I was so frustrated at the lack of action in the beginning… Other than that, everything else makes it worth it! I agree, I’d put this on my top 5 fantasies of the year.

Dynamic characters, a magical romance, and a unique twist to themes we’ve seen before all make a delightful book that will keep you grinning and giggling throughout it all.

I’d honestly say that I like the UK version’s bare cover more than the US’s. Both have the cute map in the inside though, so that makes me happy. 🙂

Jenna: This was definitely a 5 star read for me and one of my favourites of the year too! I personally didn’t find the beginning to be that slow because I was really enjoying the world building that was taking place, but I was definitely conscious of the fact that Baz hadn’t appeared and was anticipating his arrival. And when he did appear, the book only got better for me! The ending was perfect and when it was over, I collapsed onto the floor in a fit of flailing.

50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg 5 Stars – Jeann and Jenna 

50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg50px-powerstarsmg 4 Stars – Aila 

Read our reviews here! Jeann | Jenna | Aila 

What did you think of Simon and Baz in Carry On? Did they become your OTP just like they did for us? What were your favourite things about their relationship?

Continue the discussion below! 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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26 responses to “Our First Discussion Review: Trying to Carry On after #SnowBaz

  1. Gread discussion review everyone! I love your Carry On copies! I'm just a sad that my paperback copy is not like Jeann's. *Sigh. Anyway, I cannot wait to read #SnowBaz. Yay! <3
    My recent post Review: The Nest

  2. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Well before reading your review I was with Jenna – not really that interested in the SnowBaz stuff from Fangirl, but now I'm way more curious about Carry On! Of course I want to read everything Rainbow has ever written, so it's inevitable that I would read this. But the fact that it seems like such a fully fledged story on it's own, independent of HP, now has me hooked. It was so great to read your review discussion – I think you guys addressed so much of the book this way!
    My recent post Suspense Sundays (173) The Name of the Beast

    • Yesss I'm super excited that you're keen on reading this Charlene! I loved how it was a fascinating story on it's own and how it grew from being a fanfic!

  3. […] I wouldn’t say that Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is full of cliches… but it does have lots of fantasy elements that I’ve seen before. Obviously, it has lots of parallels to Harry Potter, since it started off as a little bit of a parody of HP in Fangirl. But I thought Rainbow Rowell did such a fantastic job of creating an original story, even though it is simple and a little bit tropey. It’s one of my favourites of the year and I cannot stop raving about it. There’s also a discussion between me, Jeann and Aila over at Happy Indulgence […]

  4. I read Fangirl but have yet to read Carry On. I really enjoyed all the Simon and Baz fan fic parts although I think most readers didn't like it so much?

    The hardback is gorgeous, yo! *ALL THE HEART EYES* I had to skim read the discussion because of spoilers but awww, you guys are adorbs! All the back and forth fangirling reminds me of the chat reviews that my co-blogger, Rachel and I used to have. Ahhh, nostalgia. <3

    & than final quote is the reason I'm bumping this book up my TBR, ladies. 😉
    My recent post Do You Call Yourself A Feminist?

    • Yeah, I think the fanfic distracted from the main story in Fangirl, but trust me Simon and Baz are sooo cute in the book! Thanks Nuzaifa, it was really fun chatting about the book! Can't wait for you to read it.

  5. AHH. THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. For some reason, I just didn't completely click with Fangirl, but, even so, I am still anxious to give this one a try – especially since all three of you liked it so much. It sounds like the romance was especially on point, which makes me glad to hear. Thanks for sharing girls and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    • Yessss I hope you love it Zoe! Man we just couldn't rave about it enough, there were so many feels when it came to Simon and Baz! <3

  6. I'm so happy to see all of you loved it, ladies. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Simon-Baz fanfiction parts in Fangirl either, so I'm glad that despite that you were able to enjoy them in their separate book. I need to meet Agatha so I can hate on her myself. She sounds like a nuisance!
    Fun review, ladies!
    My recent post Review: Surviving Ice by K.A Tucker

    • I actually loved the fanfiction – Agatha was just aloof and not with it you know? We wouldn't have missed her if she wasn't part of it!

  7. booksbonesbuffy

    I'm dying to read this!! I loved your discussion about the book:-) I have an important question, though. Aila, is your hardcover the US edition? I'm trying to decide which edition to buy. Seriously, that UK hardcover is gorgeous:-)

  8. I loved reading this discussion! Couldn't help thinking it'd be awesome as a podcast!

    I also LOVE Carry On. Baz was my favorite and I couldn't get enough of him. I wish there had been more of him.

    I agree with Aila, I gave it four stars for a slow start and a rushed ending.
    My recent post If We Were Having Coffee. . .#5

    • Thanks Elizabeth for reading! Carry on was such a great book, it was a slow start but oh man, after that hump it got really good!