Tag Archives: Carry On

WWW Wednesday, 10-February-2016

10 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ClashofKingsCurrently reading: It feels like I’m making good progress with Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling but I’m not even 100 pages in yet. It’s a chunk of a book and I wish I could report more progress with it. It will come in time, I’m sure. Let’s see how much I can get through before I have to pick up my next book club selection.
Only a few lunches reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and I’m over 30% of the way through it. This is flying by! It will probably be the next book I finish because of how long these other selections are.
Speaking of long, I started the audiobook of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. This will be on here a while because it’s almost 40 hours of audio! It’s the only one I’m listening to so I hope it will move quickly between car rides and listening around the house. Fingers crossed!

BellwetherRecently finished: I finished Bellwether by Connie Willis which I really enjoyed. My review will be coming up after my vacation so you’ll have to wait for a little to read it but be assured it’s positive. It’s science fiction, but only in the sense that it’s fiction writing about science. It’s rather modern in my opinion.

So many reviews! I posted about A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab last week. I gave it 4 stars and really liked it. I can’t wait for the sequel.
I also reviewed Carry On by Rainbow Rowell earlier this week. I adored the book and read it super fast. A full 5 stars.
Finally, I posted about Dead Wake by Erik Larson yesterday. He writes a great historical narrative and if you’re interested in that at all, you should check out his work.

ShanghaiReading Next: I’ll pick up Shanghai Girls by Lisa See on Sunday. I hope it’s good, but not so good I finish it before my vacation’s over. See is coming to my area this year and I’m really excited to meet her.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (5/5)

8 Feb

I read Fangirl. It made me so angry at the end that I almost threw it across my bedroom, but I read it. I imagine I’m not alone when I thought that Simon Snow sounded suspiciously similar to Harry Potter. As in it could have been the same with changed names in a lot of the snippets we read of it. So when Rowell announced she was writing a Simon Snow book, how could I resist? I got the ebook copy (out of luck, I swear) and flew through it, ignoring book reviews for a weekend which put me behind. Sad face.

Book cover via Goodreads

Book cover via Goodreads

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Other books by Rainbow Rowell reviewed on my blog:
Eleanor & Park
Attachments (and a Book Club Reflection)
Fangirl

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

So yes, it started off sounding way too much like Harry Potter. An average-Joe chosen one who’s orphaned at a young age is being mentored by his school’s headmaster to fight the greatest evil of the age. I may or may not have read seven books about this already. His best friend is a fiendishly smart girl and the person who takes care of animals around campus is an unlikely friend of his. Sounding more and more like a set of eight movies I own. But there’s the internet. And a girlfriend. And a vampire roommate. Okay, somethings are different. The more I got into the plot, the more different it was. I do believe Rowell was inspired by HP fics, but she did a great job of twisting the world into something completely her own. (Side note, there are as of writing this 99 Fan Fics on fanfiction.net about Carry On. Just think about that.) Baz was a great character, but this is coming from a Malfoy fangirl. I liked Agatha because she didn’t have a direct parallel in the cannon (and yes, I’m thinking of it that way). Is this getting too Fangirl now? I’ll move on.

I thought the characters were alright. One of the things that make writing Fan Fiction a gateway to writing original fiction is that you can play with plot and not worry about developing characters to start. It’s hard for me to think of Rowell’s characters in this novel as truly original because of that. I like Agatha, as I said, but the others had a parallel strong enough to recognize and it’s hard to say she developed them well or not. I stand neutral on this topic.

Baz was my favorite character by far. He had to put up with a lot of crap from everyone around him and his wall of sarcastic superiority made sense. His family life was heart-wrenching and every time his mother was brought up, I was sad for him. I thought it was very telling of his upbringing when he said his father was more comfortable with his vampirism than his homosexuality. (Side note, vampirism being a real word makes me love English.) I knew this was going to be a slash story so I wasn’t surprised by his inner monologue or the direction of the story, but if kissing between two men is something you don’t want to read, then I would skip this story as it’s prominent.

As I’ve felt before, it’s hard to relate to the characters in fantastical novels such as Carry On. I can relate to Baz having a crush on someone very close to him and not being able to say something. I can relate to Simon and Agatha being in a relationship because they felt like they had to (one from high school, not currently). There were other small things, but fighting a gigantic power that’s threatening to end the subculture that I live in is not something I’ve encountered.

Rainbow Rowell Image via the author's website

Rainbow Rowell
Image via the author’s website

I enjoyed the relationship between Baz and Simon more than I thought I would. They were much more mature than the eighteen-year-olds they were written to be and I could relate to that ‘finally’ feeling of being with someone you’ve thought about for years (on Baz’s end) and the rush of not knowing what you’re getting into from Simon’s end. They balanced each other well in a way I could relate to. My husband and I are much the same way.

I disliked the Mage with a passion. From the beginning, when I was supposed to see him as a leader and ally, I disliked him. His story upset me the most when it would come up. I’ll try to avoid spoiling it here, but I’m upset Simon never knew the full story. I wish there had been a way for him to know about the Mage’s past in the end because I think it would have given him peace.

 

There are two obvious themes from this book, the first of which is sacrifice. Simon is forced to give up something dear to him that defines who he is for the greater good. Losing it makes him feel damaged and lacking and it becomes hard for him to be happy about what he did because of his personal loss.Even with his sacrifice, there are gains in his life that he overlooks. Sacrificing something doesn’t mean losing everything and Simon still has that journey to go. (I hope I didn’t ruin anything there, I tried not to.) The second is being true to yourself. Baz and Simon struggled with this the most, but Agatha and Nick had to fight it as well. Agatha disliked everything about her magickal life. She loved the summers with her Normal friends and horses and knew returning to that would make her happy. Nick had gone against logic to become what he wanted to be (again, being vague) and had to live with consequences he didn’t foresee. If he’d been happy with who he was in the first place, the drama he had to put up with and the pain and isolation he surely felt would have been nonexistent.

 

Writer’s Takeaway: What a fun book. Honestly, I read it so fast because it was fun. This is Rowell’s strength more than anything else. She writes books that I enjoy reading because the journey is worth it. This isn’t serious literature by any means and that’s okay. There’s an audience for a book like this and I’m glad she published it because I think it could pave a path for other ‘slash’ stories to become popular. Rowell put her neck out there with this book, breaking from her usual genres and I’m glad she was brave enough to do that.

I gobbled up this fun book in eight days. I loved it. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

 

PS- This song was stuck in my head the whole time I was reading the book.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell | Miriam Joy Reads
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Bookmark | 24hryabookblog
7 Reasons Carry On is Going to Be Awesome | Twist in the Taile

Challenge Update, January 2016

1 Feb

January went a lot better than expected. Being off of school afforded me a lot of time to read and I took it! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

Yes Please // Amy Poehler
I Am Malala // Malala Yousafzai
One Hundred Years of Solitude // Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Darker Shade of Magic // V.E. Schwab
Carry On // Rainbow Rowell
Dead Wake // Erik Larson

I’ve written all the remaining reviews and you’ll see them come up over the next two weeks.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
This is my challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. I’m off to a good start but I’m not getting cocky about it. My first few books of the year tend to fill in a couple different categories. I know I’ve got a 1920-1939 book and a 1980-1999 book coming up, but I’m not sure about the rest of them. It’s way too early to plan but I’m feeling really confident about this challenge this year.

Goodreads Challenge

6/45
Maybe going down was a bad idea. I’m still doing awesome with these and am currently three books ahead of schedule. It’s true I have less commuting time to listen to audio and it’s very likely this will change when school starts up again. We’ll see how this goes.

Book of the Month

Carry OnI have to pick Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. By all logic, I shouldn’t have finished this book as quickly as I did but it was so fun! I love Rowell’s books and I should stop hesitating from reading the copy of Landline on my shelf.

Added to my TBR

I’m down to 141 books! This is great progress for me (1 book fewer) and I’m going to bask in this accomplishment for a while. Woo! But of course, I added some things.

  • Norwegian by Night // Derek Miller (a book club selection coming up in a few months. I think in the summer)
  • The Art of Asking // Amanda Palmer (another book club selection, also for the summer)
  • The Golden Rules // Bob Bowman (Bob Bowman is a legendary swim coach best known for coaching Michael Phelps. I’m a big swimming fan and so, obviously, I want to read this book.)

I’m glad I’m finally getting better at keeping this under control! Maybe I’ll get below 100 some day. (Yes, that was a joke.)

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re doing better than me! If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 27-January-2016

27 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


BellwetherCurrently reading:  A lot of changes this week! I’m super close to the ending of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I’m on the last disk and I’m tempted to sit in my car for a while just to finish it!
I grabbed a new audiobook this week, Bellwether by Connie Willis. I read Willis’s novel The Doomsday Book a while back and another blogger (and I, unfortunately, do not remember who) recommended this novella. It’s a short one, only five hours on audio, and I’m looking forward to it.
I’m finally picking up Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. This will be my Spanish language book for the year and I’ll come and go with it for a while so I’m expecting this book to be on here long-term.
I picked up a new ebook as well. I decided on Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s another classic book I’ve never read and I’m in the mood for a few more before I get over this kick.

A Darker Shade final for IreneRecently finished: Such a good week for finishing books! I finished A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab while cooking and working out early this week. I liked it a lot and I’m not on the bandwagon of those excited about the sequel. Turns out Schwab was in Michigan over the weekend for a con and my friend Rachel met her. Lucky girl.
It was a big push and I feel asleep once or twice in the process, but I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez! My book club met on it on Monday so I cut it close. Phew.
I bunkered down on Sunday and finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I might have avoided some blog writing and chores, but it was totally worth it! I was never a slash fangirl, but I still enjoyed the story and know it must have made a lot of other Fangirls really excited.

ShanghaiReading Next: Hm, not anything major lined up now. I’ll probably be starting Shanghai Girls by Lisa See not too long from now. My book club is reading this for March so I’ll pick it up in the middle of April. See is coming to Detroit and I’m excited to meet her!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!