And we’re going to carry on talking about … Carry On.
I had a very strange experience as I was reading this book. I kept thinking ‘I’ve read this before’, and yet I kn
ew I hadn’t. It has only just been published for goodness sake, I was reading the hardback. So why did I keep thinking I knew these characters, had met them previously? It was only when I was about a third of the way through it came to me (I know I’m slow). This is the book that Cath, the main character in Rowell’s wonderful previous book, Fangirl, is writing. Cath is trying to finish this fanfic novel before the ‘real’ writer of the Simon Snow series writes the final book. So I found myself reading a book I had previously read about in the (fictional) world of a book. How weird was that?
Once I had realised this, a lot of things that had niggled me about the book began to make sense. When reading this book, you feel like it is one in a series and yet there are no earlier Simon Snow books published. This is because there are fictional earlier books (mentioned in Fangirl) but not real ones! I presume Rainbow Rowell originally created the idea of this book, if she didn’t actually write it, so that she could refer to it realistically in Fangirl. I suspect, although I could be wrong, that she didn’t originally have any intention of publishing it. I’m so glad she did!
This is a great (ironic) take on the magical-high-school-in-a-normal-world book. It definitely has references to the Harry Potter series, although this is not the Harry Potter world. The book is funny, very well imagined and definitely worth reading even if you have never tried Fangirl. There is wonderful sexual tension between the main protagonists. It was a pleasure to read, although I have to admit in places I did get a bit confused and had to go back and re-read. But it was so enjoyable I didn’t mind. I’d rather there was a lot happening in a book than not enough, especially when it involves characters I love.
A great book that is a must for any Rainbow Rowell, J K Rowling or Cassandra Clare fans.
Gill-Marie writes YA mystery/romances as Gill-Marie Stewart. As Gilly Stewart she also writes women’s contemporary fiction. The first book in her YA series about George and Finn is Music and Lies (try out the first chapter here).
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