One can enjoy Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, only if one is ready to give it a fair chance. If one is too loyal to Harry Potter books, and reckon that Carry On is a rip-off, then the book might not seem good.
I am a Harry Potter loyalist too; however, that didn’t stop me from trying Carry On. It’s true that Rowell’s book is almost a fan-fiction, or something like a tribute to Harry Potter. But, it is also way more than that.
Carry On follows the magicians in England. They all wield wands, and employ nursery rhymes, and regular words to cast spells. There is a school for them, and they live among Normals.
To explain the story in a simpler fashion, maybe I should draw parallels between Harry Potter, and Carry On.
Simon Snow (The Chosen One) = Harry Potter
Baz = Draco Malfoy
Penelope (She is brown. Yaay!) = Hermione
Ebb = Hagrid
The Mage = Dumbledore
Watford = Hogwarts
Their traits are so similar to the characters in Harry Potter. Snow is unsure of his invincible power. Baz is an elitist. Penelope is a nerd. Ebb, Rowell Says, is like Eeyore from Winnie-The-Pooh. Hagrid wasn’t that depressed. But, he was emotional. So, that matches again. Watford is not as enormous as Hogwarts.
As much as it sounds so much like Harry Potter, Carry On stands on its own.
Imagine, Draco, and Harry sharing a room for seven years, and plotting each other’s death for so long. There is so much tension between Baz, and Snow. But, Rowell arrives with one of the finest plot twists, changes the course of the entire book. I loved that twist. (If you have read Carry On, what did you think of it?)
After that twist, the book doesn’t sag for a moment. Reading Carry On was reminiscent of my Harry Potter days. I couldn’t drop the book, and took extra breaks at work to meet Baz, and Snow again. 🙂
Rowell reveals the story from multiple perspectives. Almost every important character talks to the reader, and I love multiple narratives. I also respect Rowell’s choice to embrace diversity. (I can’t rave about it much without spoiling the story.) 🙂
Carry On was my first book of Rowell’s. And, I am certain of reading more of her works. While I learned that some readers loathe Carry On, only because it’s got Harry Potter‘s skeleton, I found the book imaginative, snarky, and it was so much fun. Loads of fun.
Have you read Rowell’s books? What is your favourite?