WARNING! Spoilers for Carry On.
I was trying to avoid synopses about each subject, but this one needs just a bit of explanation. I’ll try to make it quick. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl tells the story of Cath, a college student writing Simon Snow/Baz Pitch fanfiction. Think Simon = Harry, Baz = Draco. Carry On, also by Rowell, is a book that was inspired by fictional fanfiction of a fictional series.
Right. That wasn’t so bad. Now, then. Tyrannus “Baz” Basilton Grimm-Pitch is a student of magic at Watford. His roommate is Simon Snow: Chosen One, the Mage’s Heir, destined for greatness. As son of one of the great magical families, Pitch is Snow’s sworn enemy. He’s also hopelessly in love with him.
As if things weren’t rough enough, Baz is a vampire. When he was five, a horde of the creatures invaded the school nursery. His mother, a powerful fire-holder, put up a valiant fight:
“My mother died killing vampires,” he said. “And when they bit her, she killed herself. It’s the last thing she did. If she knew what I am… She would never have let me live.”
He rocks a suit. He plays the violin. He decorates with velvet and gargoyles, because if you’re a vampire then why the hell not go for it, full-on. He knows how to work a moment:
“It’s unnecessarily grandiose to use an Open Sesame on the doors, but I do it anyway because I know everyone will be in the dining hall, and I may as well make an entrance.”
He’s beautiful and broken, carrying the weight of his magical heritage and of what kind of creature he’s become. His responsibilities and his heart are at severe odds. He’s a tangle of talent, power, tenderness, recklessness, uncertainty. He gets that things can be messy, tumultuous, and still lovely and important:
“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I hold back – “And you like that?”
“I love it,” he says.
“Because we match.”
Everything is a story, Baz, and you are your own kind of hero. I won’t change my mind.
Honorable mention: Baymax. It’s okay, buddy. I am not fast, either.