Carry On, nothing to see here

Rainbow Rowell – Carry On (2016)

You can tell Rainbow adores Simon, Baz, Penelope, Agatha… she truly loves them all. Makes you love them. The kink is, she doesn’t really love the plot. Rainbow just wanted to have some reason to put her beloved characters together, and she was forced to come up with a plot.

The plot is introduced somewhere mid-book. Occasionally she completely forgets the plot-thingy, goes on a binge with character development, subtle comments about life and reality, with her subtle style which has underlying respect for readers’ capability to get a hint.

Oh. SHIT. She forgot the plot.

And then the plot comes back again, and it is supposed to explode. It is supposed to go overboard and overwhelm. But it doesn’t. It somehow flickers pathetically, and you can feel that Rainbow just couldn’t let it die, so she poked it every now and then with a stick.

Maybe the biggest fault of Carry On is the fact that it’s supposed to be fantasy. There be dragons, but dragons don’t make a fantasy book. They make a book with dragons in it. Not many authors are capable of migrating through genres seamlessly, and a fanfiction-ish, fantasy-ish book doesn’t really seem to be Rainbow’s cup of tea (yet?). I respect her for doing it, but for me this is what she does best (excuse my being a bit self-referential):

Well, Rainbow Rowell summarily executes willing suspension of disbelief by making you the protagonist of her books. She makes you feel like a hero, makes your life seem worthy of a book of its own. Because, most of us can find some portion of our lives, as small as it may be, that a little imagination and some wordplay can make into a good, maybe even a great book. And that’s what Rainbow tells you, what she reminds you of – your life is interesting, you have great friends, there is excitement behind that very corner, you just need to see it.

 

 

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Danger Will Robinson

The first thing Will Robinson does upon hearing these words? He reluctantly, but unmistakably walks towards Danger. Will does not want Danger, not really. He wants to be ensconced in the embrace of safety.

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Now I should write that I have often wondered what it was that pulls people towards danger, but I have not. It is not a mystery. Not to someone who takes the safe road, who does what is expected, who has an unhealthy penchant for control (colloquially – a control freak).

I do not like unforeseen circumstances. I like stuff to fall into neatly arranged brackets. Fitting perfectly.

I also hate it.

Every single time I do the right thing, every single time I do what is expected I actually feel like puking. Physically sick.

It’s really ridiculous, having the compulsion to control everything, do what is right and having an unearthly desire to fuck everything up just to see what happens. Just to see how it feels standing atop the smouldering ashes of what was.

It’s been a while since I took a sledge hammer and applied it to everything that I am, everything that I believe I should be.

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Yes, please.

Of Rakes and Romance

What are you doing? Are you really reading a book with rhyme in the title?

Those were the two questions which still plague me, as I’m nearing the last page of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (oh yes, that IS the title). The answer to the second question (which is, obviously, yes) makes me smile every time.

I’m actually reading a book which someone decided to name Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Not Nine Rules. Not The List. Not Nine Rules to Break. Not even – Romancing a Rake (I hate that word because it makes me think of someone romancing a garden tool, which is really not my cup of tea, regardless of bullshit I read).

Writing a review of this book might seem unnecessary, but having in mind that I have read REALLY BAD erotic novels, and even worse historical romances, I feel the need to mention that this is actually readable. Yes, it’s unimaginative, unoriginal and rife with unnecessary and easily avoidable clichés, but it is still a fun read. And the title is so ridiculous that it alone makes the experience more worth the while.

Let us explore other titles in the series:

I mean, come on! Really? Nine, Ten, Eleven he’ll take you to heaven.

I’ll end this with a few images which will additionally clarify what it is that I’m actually reading.

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Yes, I do own Nine Rules to Brake When Romancing a rake, thanks to my friend over at Anatomy of Reading and Other Demented Things.