(Kinda spoilers throughout but I feel like everyone here has already read this.)
I made a deal with myself while reading everyone’s CBR reviews last year that if I was persuaded by a review, I’d add it to my Goodreads list and give it a shot even if I later couldn’t imagine why I’d wanted to read it. I did this because I was reading a lot of reviews for things way outside my usual genres and I knew I’d get around to them and think “Why in the world is this here?” and remove it.
Carry On is a perfect example of this. After about the 400th glowing review, I said okay, fine and added it. By the time I checked it out, I was pretty sure I’d hate it and avoided it for…a long time.
Reasons I expected to hate this book:
- Fantasy is one of my least favorite genres.
- I haven’t read Fangirl.
- I’m kind of burnt out on YA.
- I’ve read a couple Rainbow Rowell books, and they were good but I thought they were honestly a bit twee.
A twee YA fantasy book? Ugh.
Oh, how wrong I was.
This book is awesome. Oh my gosh. Fangirl still doesn’t really interest me and I’m not part of the fandom world, but oh man even I kinda wanted to write fanfic about Simon and Baz.
Baz! You little misanthropic muffin.
This was definitely one of the most believable YA romances I’ve read in a while. (Maybe the only believable YA romance, actually.) Every other YA book I’ve ever read, the romance storyline seemed shoehorned in and just like something that had to be there. About halfway through, I was flying through this book just to see how that part of it turned out. And I felt like the gay thing was handled just perfectly. Once it went there, I thought we’d have to spend another 200 pages grappling with the implications, but nope. Not to say that it didn’t add a certain element of uncertainty (does he or doesn’t he really feel that way?) and not that telling people vs. not was a total non-issue, but it mostly just was. I loved that. I also loved the way the entire book poked at the Chosen One trope.
You know who else I loved? Agatha. Her exasperation with the drama surrounding Simon and magic in general was palpable, and hilarious, and so real. Her character could’ve been so many things but you just got the sense that she didn’t even want to be in the damn book, and I completely loved reading her sections.
Ahh, such a great book. I might have to read it again.