Roanne Andaya, Staff Writer
If you’ve ever been involved in a fandom, differentiating canon from fan-fiction is a familiar dilemma. Sometimes, the events in a story are too good to be canon, or real; other times fan-made ideas, or headcanons, are so well-written and formulated that they could very well be canon. Rainbow Rowell has portrayed this difference many times in her book Fangirl, which follows Cath, a Simon Snow fan as she tries to balance her college life with her fanatic thoughts about her favourite book. However, in Rainbow Rowell’s new book Carry On, the world of Simon Snow comes to life.
Carry On tells the story of hero Simon Snow, or as his roommate has dubbed him: ‘the worst Chosen One ever.’ He can’t accurately use a wand, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster known as the Insidious Humdrum that’s terrorizing the magical world who looks exactly like him. His roommate/arch-nemesis seems to be a pseudo-human (read: vampire) and his only salvation is ignoring him. As the antics of the Insidious Humdrum threaten to end the world of magic and Mages, Simon needs all the help he can get in order to defeat him, even if it means befriending his arch-nemesis/roommate.
At first glance, Carry On seems to be a rip-off of the beloved Harry Potter books, but it is so much more. Combining the elements of a feel-good story and a coming-of-age experience, the book explores more than just the adventures of a singular person. It captures the turbulent emotions a teenager feels when facing crossroads, and those of unrequited and returned love. In the end, Carry On tells not only the story of magic and Mages, but also that of finding yourself and realizing what you truly mean to the world.