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Carry on : the rise and fall of Simon Snow
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  New York Times Review

In Rowell's novel "Fangirl," Cath, a.k.a. Magicath, writes fan fiction about the teenage magician Simon Snow. Now Snow has his own novel, Rowell's first fantasy book. Set in a Hogwarts-like magic academy in rural England, it's at first slow to burn, as Simon lays out the elitist hierarchy at Watford, at times hemming uncomfortably close to J. K. Rowling's creations. But Rowell has new tricks up her sleeve. Simon himself is a hot mess of a magician, struggling to control his fiery temper and rebelling against the Mage, Watford's headmaster, who has deemed him a hero meant to defeat a magic-sucking entity. His funny, fleet-wanded best friend, Penny, often saves him from himself. But the novel really sparks when Baz, Simon's roommate and archenemy, returns after a mysterious absence, looking more vampiric than ever (rumors that he was "turned" have long swirled). Baz is a suave, acid-witted brainiac who in another life would've been BFFs with Oscar Wilde. The two seem destined to battle - Baz comes from a rich, corrupt family who hate the Mage and his Chosen One - but something other than acrimony tugs at both of them. Rowell applies her trademark fanfiction touch to the magic spells, cribbing many of them from pop culture, like the title spell, taken from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." But Rowell also imbues her magic with awe and spectacle. It's a powerful, politically minded allegory about sexual, ethnic and class identity - with a heady shot of teenage lust.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Rowell's novel (an offshoot of 2013's Fangirl), tells the story of Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-esque "Chosen One" trying to learn to use his magic at a wizarding school, and Baz, Simon's roommate and sworn enemy, who is secretly in love with Simon. Rowell's many fangirls and fanboys are sure to swoon over Morton's masterful and character-perfect narration: his voice for Baz is initially cool, sneering, and jaded, then raw and tortured when Baz finally breaks down, whereas Simon's voice is higher-pitched and endearingly awkward. The emotionally intense scenes between the two are especially impressive, as Morton switches effortlessly back and forth between these contrasting characters as they bicker and flirt. Ages 13-up. A St. Martin's Griffin hardcover. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

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 killed 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 © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
<p> #1 New York Times best seller! <br><p> Booklist Editors' Choice 2015 - Youth! <br><p> Named a "Best Book of 2015" by Time Magazine, School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, NPR, PopSugar, The Millions, and The News & Observer! </p> <p>Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.</p> <p>That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git , but he's probably right.</p> <p>Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts 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.</p> <p> Carry On - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow 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. </p>
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