Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell



Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Goodreads  ||   The Book Depository

Synopsis: Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything. Based on the characters Simon and Baz who featured in Rainbow Rowell’s bestselling novel Fangirl, 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.

This book was perfect.

No for real though, this book was EXACTLY what I needed it to be.

I waited on tenterhooks for this book for all of 2015. And it finally, blessedly came to us unworthy mortals and it was GLORIOUS.

Rowell was my goddess last year. I professed all fealty and honor to her mighty skills. This book sealed the deal. This is the end flourish on my utter dedication.

This is the book, my friends, that is the crowning glory to all fan girl needs. This book was written for the audience by one of our own. This book provides salvation to all those who’s ships have sunk and have endured endless ‘feels.’ This book is THE book; this is the story of the fandoms and feels like the perfect tribute to all the fic writers and readers of the internet.

This book is the symbol. This book signifies all those times reading fan fic where you sit back and think, ‘Man, that fic deserves to be published.’ This book stays with you. This book MAKES you.

I haven’t been able to write this review to now because I just couldn’t even for the longest of times. And to be honest, I still can’t even.

Once again, Rowell drapes the reader in rich dialogue, brilliant plot timing and devices and sucks you so deep into her world you begin to taste Watford air on your tongue. The characters are rich and complex and crafted with such a love that it is almost impossible not to get sucked in and fall in love with them too.

The plot twists gripped me and I couldn’t predict what direction things were going to go in. The pacing of major events was perfect, with the right amount of time allowed for character development and revelations to occur.

Even though Simon Snow Watford is heavily inspired by Harry Potter with many nods to JK Rowling placed throughout, Rowell has succeeded in making the stories so different its a struggle to compare them or judge them off each other. Rowell has put a great deal of time and effort to create a rich wholistic world that lives and breathes. Rowell’s writing style tends to be more descriptive than Rowling’s; everything about the two is different.

Honestly, now that this book has closed up the fan girl world, I’m really quite gutted. I loved both Carry On and Fan Girl and i’m sad that this is the end for them. I wanted to stay in this world just a bit longer. But alas. Maybe Rowell will end up writing a sequel? Fingers crossed.

Read: International Paperback Edition

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.


Review: Archived by Victoria Schwab


The Archived by Victoria Schwab

or:  Ah damn… another series I’m devoted to

Goodreads   ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

I really didn’t need another series to follow. The list that of series that I am currently reading is rapidly growing at an ever expanding rate and I promised myself I wouldn’t jump into another series before I finished a few off.

But I was weak. I’M WEAK.

After looking at this book and uhming and ahing for ages, I bought it in late 2015 and read most of it on a train journey too and from Sydney.

This book is EXCELLENT

I read Schwab’s Vicious (written under her adult fiction pen name V.E Schwab but the same lady) in 2015 also but struggled to connect with the story/characters (See Review). This book seemed to solve the issues I found with Schwab. She seemed comfortable, the characters were fascinating and vibrant and her plot and pace felt like the perfect tempo.

The very complex and engaging world sucks the reader in very quickly and never once did I spot any holes in her world or feel like it was too contrived. I LOVED the Archive, the characters who filled it out and the sinister backdrop that it created. The whole premise is so interesting and I’ve never encountered anything similar to this.

This book feels refreshing- like a storm clearing away a humid day.

The mystery had me fooled to the very end. Usually I can pick up the hidden villain and potential plot outcomes very quickly, but I didn’t this time. I love when books prove me wrong and manage to get the drop on me. Schwab is extremely masterful in this book, weaving the mystery so subtly and doesn’t drop any tells. When her villain shows their true colours, it’s perfect and I cant help but admire her skill at creating such twisted characters.

Mac is a spitfire and I loved how Schwab portrayed her dealing with grief. It was real. I cried more than once, and it gave Mackenzie an inner spark that made her leap off the page. She didn’t annoy me; she held her own but also wasn’t too perfect. She grudgingly admitted her faults and actively strives to fix herself, even though she admitted multiple times how hard it was.

This shows how carefully and how skillfully Schwab creates her characters, the same level of thought put into each and everyone. Schwab breaks her characters, and then lets them go to see how they will cope; do they rise above? do they sink? or do they ignore it? This may be Schwab’s greatest strength; her characters.

I’m thoroughly hooked here, I’m desperate to know what happens next, despite the rather neat ending Schwab managed to tie together. The second book definitely has a spot in my cart during my next book buying hall. I’m glad I decided to pick up this book despite initial doubts. I was right in my Vicious review; this book is definitely more my style.

Read: International Paperback Edition

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.