64 pages 2 hours read

Rainbow Rowell

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Important Quotes

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“Nobody knows why my magic is the way it is. Why it goes off like a bomb instead of flowing through me like a fucking stream or however it works for everybody else.”

(Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 5)

Although Simon is the Chosen One, magic doesn’t work for him like it does for other mages. The profanity emphasizes his frustration: He’s about to start his eighth year studying magic, yet he feels no closer to controlling his power than when he first manifested it at age 11. Simon uses a simile to compare his volatile, destructive magic to “a bomb,” the first of many times Simon and his power are described as weapons. This is the first hint that his power may be a threat to the magical world rather than its saving grace.

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“‘That’s what my mother used to say,’ he said. ‘Light a match inside your heart, then blow on the tinder.’ It’s always fire with Baz. I can’t believe he hasn’t incinerated me yet. Or burned me at the stake.”

(Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 6)

Simon’s rival and nemesis, Baz, uses fire as a metaphor for magic. Later, it’s revealed that it’s “always fire with Baz” because he’s a vampire and thus especially vulnerable to burning. Fire is a motif for power throughout the book. Additionally, this passage contains the first mention of Baz’s late mother, Natasha Pitch. Her ghostly appearance marks a turning point in the boys’ relationship and sets much of the novel’s plot into motion.

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“Footballer mansion…Magickal boarding school…They both seem like crap in the light of day. (Especially when you wake up in a room with seven other discards.)”

(Book 1, Chapter 2, Page 8)

Simon used to imagine that his father was a professional athlete and that his parents would take him to live in their mansion.

Related Titles

By Rainbow Rowell