And Then You Burn

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

When I finally reached the end of Fangirl I knew that I wanted to read the Simon & Baz story. I walked away from Fangirl satisfied, but I did have a niggling feeling in the back of my head wondering about Simon Snow and his arch-nemesis, and possible lover, Baz. At that point, I didn’t quite believe that we would ever see a Simon Snow story, because Fantasy was so far from everything Rainbow Rowell had written so far.

And yet, now that I’ve read it, I see that it really wasn’t far at all.

Snow kissed me last night until my mouth was sore. He kissed me so much, I was worried I’d Turn him with all my saliva. He held himself up on all fours above me and made me reach up for his mouth -and I did. I would again. I’d cross every line for him.

Rainbow Rowell knows how to write New Love. I think Rainbow Rowell writes New Love better than almost any other author I’ve ever read before. She knows how to describe exactly how fresh and exciting it feels when you get to touch for the first time. How thrilling and terrifying it is when you finally kiss. Unlike other authors she doesn’t just talk about the feel of the lips, she describes the movement of the chin and the feel of fabric. As a reader I’m incapable of not being carried away right along with the hero/heroine. I fall in love.

Carry On was all of that, in Fantasy form. So you see, it wound up being comprised of exactly what Rainbow Rowell is best at: A really epic love story, centered around two completely unique individuals. It doesn’t matter that this was, I think, her first M/M romance, or her first full length fantasy novel. All that mattered was that, at it’s core, it was the story of two people finding their way to each other despite all odds.

He’s doing this nice thing with his chin. Moving it up and down. Tilting his head. Pushing me back even farther.
I don’t try to mimic him. I just let him go.

As for Carry On‘s plot, outside of the romance, I think that I will always be partial to Rainbow Rowell’s realistic stories. I love the way that she writes average quirky characters and convinces her readers to revel in that quirkiness. I loved that I saw myself in Cath’s personality. I loved that I could identify with Eleanor’s insecurities about her weight. It will always be why I’m driven to read Rowell’s books, because I feel like she writes spectacular stories about people who would view themselves as average.

While there was nothing average about Simon or Baz, I was actually impressed with Rainbow Rowell’s fantastical imagination. I think that Rainbow Rowell found ways to make the story her own. She created a world that was unique to her style. I loved how the spells were cast from songs, nursery rhymes, or old sayings. So cute. I’m pretty sure that when I hear things like ‘Up up and away’ or ‘There’s nothing to see here’, I will fondly think about the World of Mage’s.

Every magician inherits some family artifacts. Baz has a wand, like me; all the Pitches are wandworkers. But Penny has a ring. And Gareth has a belt buckle. (It’s really inconvenient -he has to thrust his pelvis forward whenever he wants to cast a spell. He seems to think it’s cheeky, but no one else does.)

There was only one downside to Carry On. It’s almost like all we got of this story was the end. It’s as though Carry On was the final book in a series, and all the previous books are a secret. I think I’ve found a new Rainbow Rowell daydream. Now I’ll split my time envisioning what happens when Park and Eleanor are reunited, and imagining all the early adventures between Simon, Agatha, Penny and Baz.

Had Rainbow Rowell chosen to, this could have made a really epic series.

Before I go, and because Rainbow Rowell novels are so incredibly quotable, I have to leave you with just one more:

Snow has the longest neck and the showiest swallow I’ve ever seen. His chin juts out and his Adam’s apple catches -it’s a whole scene.

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