Rainbow Rowell: still the queen of cuteness. 4/5 stars.
The blurb: Two misfits. One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds — smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
This is the third full-length novel by Rainbow Rowell I’ve read, and I’m pleased to report I enjoyed it as much as Fangirl and Carry On.
Every bit as adorable as Fangirl. 4/5 stars.
The blurb: 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.
This left me with a serious case of the warm fuzzies. Possibly the most serious case since I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. After Fangirl gave me similar feelings, I’m starting to think it’s Rowell’s specialty.
There are many things to like about Carry On, which is a fun fantasy adventure in its own right as well as a homage to Harry Potter and other “chosen one” YA series (but, let’s face it, mostly HP). The plot was sufficiently complex and well-handled, the secondary characters were well-developed and likeable/intriguing, the pacing was great once we got past the set-up in Part 1. But who really cares about all that because the highlight of this book is the relationship between Simon and Baz.
A terrific read thanks to its cast of engaging characters. Funny and moving in places, this is one for all us keen readers and anyone who has ever been an obsessive fan of anything. 4/5 stars.
This book is proof that if you create wonderful characters it doesn’t matter much what they get up to (including sitting about reading and writing fan fiction), we’ll enjoy spending time with them. The main character, Cath, was great, but for me it was Levi who stole the book.
So why didn’t I give Fangirl 5/5 stars?