Do you like teen fiction?
Do you like LGBTQ fiction?
Do you like Harry Potter?
If so then go read Fangirl, then come back and read Carry On!
In Fangirl, protagonist Cath writes Simon Snow (essentially Harry Potter) fan-fiction as her primary hobby, in which the two enemies fall in love. She names this fanfic “Carry On”. In the Fangirl universe, she releases it online before the final book came out, thus Cath got to conclude the Simon Snow arc her way.
THIS book I’m talking about right now is the book Cath writes. Throughout Fangirl, sections of the Carry On (and other bits from the “actual” Simon Snow books, and from Cath’s other fics) are interspersed between chapters, leaving you with a taste of Simon, Baz, Penelope and Agatha, and the Wizarding World of … Watford.
Macmillan were kind enough to send me a copy of Carry On, which I devoured in a few hours – very reminiscent of my reaction to new Harry Potter books back in the day. Simon and Baz’s love story feels so real and tangible, and there are plenty of nerdy references and heartwarming moments. Hogwarts is Watford, Harry is Simon Snow, Draco becomes maybe vampire Basilton, accompanied by their Hermione-esque heroine Penny and permanent damsel in distress Agatha replaces Ron. While the story certainly echoes Harry Potter, I also feel that it is a universe and narrative of its own right.
Not only that, but it is really, really witty. SadFishKid of Tumblr summed it up in these 5 images.
I’m sad that this is likely the only Simon Snow book we’ll get, but I know I’m definitely going to go back to it.
I strongly recommend reading Fangirl first, but I especially recommend buying them both at the same time, because I refused to put either books down. I realise that saying “go read this predominantly straight book before you can read this super awesome m/m romance” is not ideal in the least part, but Rowell’s writing is a warm comforting hug, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
What to read next:
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
- Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This is part 1 of a 4 book series.
Thank you again to Pan Macmillan for sharing this copy with me.