Carry On: More Than A Tribute to Harry Potter

23734628One 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?


8 thoughts on “Carry On: More Than A Tribute to Harry Potter

  1. Sometimes a lack of originality will get in the way of me enjoying a book. Though as you alluded there were some interesting variations on Harry Potter, I think that the obstacles might be too great for me.

    On the other hand, if the book was enjoyable, one cannot knock that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read Fangirl and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. In Fangirl, the protagonist, Cath, was a fangirl of a series called Simon Snow which were very obviously, a symbolic for the Harry Potter series, and she used to write fanfic for those books.
    Having loved Fangirl, and now, that you mentioned that it really is amazing as I want to be, I’m eager to get my hands on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gauri, I am sure you would like it. 🙂 If I were not on a book-buying ban, I would have definitely bought ‘Fangirl’ and ‘Eleabor and Park’. All in good time though. 😉

      By the way, Rowell explains in her afterword that she couldn’t let go of Simon, and that she wrote ‘Carry On’ for him. 🙂


  3. In Fangirl, reading small elements and tits and bits of Cath’s fanfic, I felt so connected to the Simon Snow books, I can completely understand why Rainbow Rowell couldn’t let go of Simon.
    And yes, ‘Fangirl’ and ‘Eleanor and Park’ are lovely books indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

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