Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | SLJ Audio Review

redstarRowell, Rainbow. Carry On. 11 CDs. 13:30 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2015. $39.99. ISBN 9781427262028.

Gr 9 Up –Simon Snow is back with his own story, after being introduced as a fanfiction hero in Rowell’s Fangirl (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013). It’s senior year at the Watford School of Magicks, but Simon’s roommate/nemesis Baz is nowhere to be found, which disconcerts Simon more than he would have guessed. When Baz finally does turn up, Simon offers to help him find out who killedYA_Rowell_carryon his mother, and an uneasy truce is developed among the two boys and Simon’s best friend, Penny. The group dynamics evolve as the teens fight for magic and for their lives. Scottish actor Euan Morton narrates and does a stunning job, especially with the complex characters of Simon and Baz. He reveals the heart of each character, portraying Simon as an uncertain magician, uncomfortable with his magical power yet trying to merit his title of “The Chosen One,” while vampire Baz is occasionally cruel and always cool yet concealing a surprisingly emotional side. This audiobook is sure to please a wide range of listeners with its sweet romance, terrifying adventures, and inventive magical creations. Wonderful fantasy-type music begins and ends the listening experience. VERDICT An essential purchase for fans of Harry Potter and Rainbow Rowell, as well as lovers of fantasy. [“With rock-solid worldbuilding, a sweet and believable romance subplot, and satisfying ending, Rowell’s latest is a monumentally enjoyable reading experience”: SLJ 11/15 starred review of the St. Martin’s Griffin book.]–Julie Paladino, formerly of East Chapel Hill High School, NC

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2016 issue.

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