I reluctantly started Carry On, blinded by the Harry Potter parallels. Very quickly though, it blossoms into a wonderful and completely unique story. I wish that it were 5,000 pages instead of 500.
Carry On is filled with humor throughout Simon's quest of self-discovery, which perfectly contrasts the more serious themes. It's the type of comic relief that fits naturally and avoids interrupting the flow of the story.
The set of characters is quite diverse and even the individuals who hold less weight are given a decent amount of depth.
I now see why Carry On was at the top of so many 2015 lists. I'm definitely going to try out some of Rowell's other novels.
Highly recommended for fans of YA fantasy.