Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
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, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story--but far, far more monsters.
Ever since I read Fangirl, I've wanted to read Carry On. The snippets of Simon and Baz that I was given made me fall in love with these two characters and I was so happy when I saw that Rainbow Rowell had chosen to give them their own story. Finishing their book is bittersweet. Sweet because these two characters needed to have their story told and bitter because now it is over. Carry On is very much its own story, and yet it was so nostalgic of the stories that have come before that took up a lot of real estate in my mind for years that when I finished the last page it felt like so much more than simply closing the book on this story. It felt like closing the book on many stories.
Simon, Penelope, and Baz are amazing characters...I loved them all for so many reasons. I love that Carry On is narrated by so many different voices but is always rooted back to Simon and Baz. I love that there was so much backstory that I was never fully filled in on and yet it felt as if I had been. I appreciated that the information was woven into thoughts and conversations without ever just being dumped in my lap. Rainbow Rowell assumes her readers are intelligent and she writes accordingly. I think this book would make a great reread so I could see and hear things from different angles knowing what I now know about how it all ends. Now that I see the whole picture, I would like to look for hidden clues and nuances that take on different meanings.
I haven't touched on the plot because this book is best read going in knowing very little. Let the story unfold with the turning of the pages and whatever you do, don't peak ahead to the end to make sure all ends well (ahem...). I can only hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did, which was very, very much indeed.