February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | SLJ Review

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ROWELL, Rainbow. Carry On. 528p. St. Martin’s Griffin. Oct. 2015. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250049551.rowell

Gr 7 Up-Readers of Rowell’s Fangirl (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013) have already had a glimpse at the world of Simon Snow, but now Rowell turns the full force of her imagination on the Watford School of Magic and those connected to it. Magic is disappearing all over England, leaving pockets of dead air that disable any magician in the vicinity. Somehow, everyone knows that the Insidious Humdrum is responsible, but who—or what?—is the Humdrum, and why does he look exactly like 11-year-old Simon? That’s not the only mystery at hand, however. Simon’s roommate and nemesis, the vampire Baz, disappears for weeks, and while he’s gone, the Veil opens and Baz’s late mother shows up at their room with a message for her son: her killer, Nicodemus, is still out there. When Baz returns, he’s barely more than skin and bones. What has he been doing? And why can’t Simon stop thinking about him? Simon and Baz reluctantly declare a truce and join forces, along with the intrepid Penelope Bunce, to find the mysterious Nicodemus. With rock-solid worldbuilding, a sweet and believable romance subplot, and satisfying ending, Carry On is a monumentally enjoyable reading experience. VERDICT Hand this to fans of Rowell, Harry Potter, love stories, and magic.–Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

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