Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Carry On {Book Discussion}

Welcome to another (fashionably late) book discussion! Carry On was a book club pick from October, which should be obvious since we are discussing it at the end of November {sarcasm alert!}. Honestly, this month flew by and since most of the blog planning falls on me (Heather) and I was a lazy bum, we didn't post for almost two weeks! Now, we are discussing the book Carry On by our homegirl Rainbow Rowell. As you can tell from the above photo, we got to meet her at a book event in St. Louis and it was amazing. We definitely felt like we were surrounded by our people and got to geek out a little. She was super cool and has amazing hair. Carry On is a fantasy book following the chosen one, Simon Snow, his roommate Baz, the vampire, and other assorted friends and enemies. This was such a departure from her other books, but we get into all that below. This is a spoiler free discussion, nothing that you couldn't find out from reading Fangirl or the book description! Now let's get to it! 



Carry On in GIF form 



Discussion Time! 




Heather
Ok Carry On by Rainbow Rowell discussion can commence! This book is so different from her usual contemporary YA and adult books. What was your favorite/least favorite part?

 

Jen
Oh man, it really was! I think my favorite part was just the characters in general. They were so moody and utterly hilarious at the same time. Rainbow knows how to create amazing characters! I think my least favorite part was that the story didn't feel super authentic, almost fan fiction-y. But the story eventually becomes it own and I think the sassy characters made up for that, at least for me. What about you?


Heather
I do agree that Rainbow has a gift for creating these amazing, fully dimensional characters that feel so relateable and authentic, even in a fantasy setting. I actually disagree about the story not feeling authentic (Our first bookish blog disagreement! Gasp!). I thought it was the perfect balance of creating a new world while borrowing from familiar fantasy tropes. I think my favorite was the love story between Simon and Baz, especially since we don't have a lot of same sex romance in our books. I am fully #TeamBaz. I think my least favorite part would just be that the story was hard to get into at first. If we are comparing it to Harry Potter, it would be like starting with book 7 and having to try to figure out this world that would have been explained in book 1. It did eventually come into its own and become addicted and something I couldn't put down! Now favorite character? 

 

 

Jen
Oh man, it was bound to happen at some point! I do agree with the comparison with Harry Potter, book 7.  And I think once the story started developing more and becoming its own, it lost that fan fiction-y feeling for me.  I really only felt it for the first quarter of the book or so.  And yea, I'm fully #TeamBaz too and I think he was my favorite character.  He was so sarcastic and snarky and a little less broody than Simon, who can be a lot to take at times.  He was also pretty damn hilarious.  Who was yours?



Heather
Well we are back to agreeing because Baz was also my favorite! He was so sure of himself and his feelings. He was hilarious and snarky. It was so fun seeing him and Simon fall in love and I loved the contrast of their personalities and how they went about discovering their sexuality, with Baz being so sure he was gay and Simon not really giving it much thought, but knowing he wanted to be with Baz. Where would you rank this book with the rest of Rainbow's books? 

 
Jen
HAHA! I knew it wouldn't take us long to agree again! And without a cat fight! Yea, watching their relationship progress was pretty sweet and really funny. I loved the internal monologues going on during that first kiss. And then having it reenacted by Rainbow herself and David Levithan was pretty amazing and really made it come to life. For me, even though I did think it was a pretty original idea and I love that it is a obscure companion book to Fangirl, I ranked it at 4 stars.  I really did love it but I just think I love her contemporary fictions way more so I thought a distinction needed to be made.  Where does it rank with you?



Heather
Man, that reading with Rainbow and David Leviathan was just the BEST. It really did bring the scene to life and was just adorable. I ranked it as 5 stars. Once I got hooked into the story I couldn't put it down. I thought the idea was very original and kind of had some twists that aren't usually in fantasy type books. It wasn't predictable at all! I don't think I could rank it with her other books, since I'm a heart eye emoji for them all. Any final thoughts? 


 

Jen
Yea, at some points it felt the the her fantasy side and her contemporary side was mixing and that had a very interesting and addicting result.  My final thought is, I can't freaking wait to read it again.  It is definitely on my list of books to reread in 2016.  I'm really digging the 2016 rereading goal we have chosen! Some books and worlds you just need to experience more than once to get the full effect, you know?



Heather
Yes! This is definitely a book that we need to reread in 2016! I almost wish she had made it a whole series, Harry Potter style. I think that this is such a good pick for someone who loves Harry Potter or fantasy type books. The world building and snarky teens make for an enjoyable and quick read! 

 

Jen
Holy crap, I would die if Rainbow decided to turn this into some sort of series! Or even the way you envisioned it would have been cool. You could have watched Baz and Simon brood over each other for years! And watch Simon figure out about Baz becoming a vampire. Oh man, what could have been. haha!

 

 

Heather
It would have been awesome, but I also love that she did kind of a fantasy experiment and it worked so well! 

Jen
For reals. It was risky but it really paid off! I think Rainbow could write about anything really, and I would still find it entertaining.

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As always, thank you so much for stopping by! We would love to discuss Carry On or any book suggestions you may have! 
 



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