All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

on November 8, 2019

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2)
Rainbow Rowell
Macmillan
2019, 354p
Read from my local library

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…

With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. It’s another helping of sour cherry scones with an absolutely decadent amount of butter.

Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.

I didn’t realise it’d been four years since Carry On, the first Simon Snow book, had been released. I remember I was very apprehensive when I heard that it was going to be published. I’d read FanGirl and really liked that but I thought the idea of publishing a book about the characters that Cath was writing fan fiction about, was kind of getting a bit much. I don’t even think I was going to read it, but then the publisher sent me a review copy and I was really curious, so I thought might as well. And I absolutely loved it! So I was very excited when I heard that there was going to be more Simon and Baz. I love them together so much, they are my jam.

The dynamic is different but it also isn’t. In Carry On, Simon and Baz are enemies, room mates who are each other’s nemesis. Baz is also super hopelessly in love with Simon and has known for a long time but Simon doesn’t figure out what his obsession with Baz is until quite a significant portion into the book. They have amazing chemistry, there’s lots of angst and pining and good stuff. In this book they’re a couple yes, but things are not going easy for them. Simon is really struggling with the loss of his magic, which he sacrificed in the first book for the greater good. He still has wings and a tail and no one is really any the wiser about why they stayed or what they mean. Penelope and Baz keep having to spell them invisible so that Simon can go out and about. Simon is kind of….well he’s wallowing. He’s not sure what his life is anymore, everything he once was, he is now not. So in order to try and cheer him up, Penelope suggests they go on a road trip in America to visit Agatha, Simon’s ex-girlfriend who isn’t responding to messages. They’ll stop off and visit Micah, Penelope’s boyfriend on the way. Even though Penelope is smart and an incredible magician, she’s shit at geography and doesn’t realise the actual reality of driving from Micah’s place to Agatha’s (thirty-one hours). For an Aussie, yeah that’s like a trek too but not the worst. For Brits? They’re horrified!

Because this is Penelope, Simon and Baz, they also manage to stumble into well, a lot of trouble. But their stumbling also has its advantages because it allows them to recognise that actually, Agatha is in trouble and they are going to need to be able to help her. And they’re going to need some allies, namely a squad of Las Vegas vampires and this weird kid called Shepard, who followed them. He claims to be a Normal, he just likes finding and befriending non-Normals. He does have a lot of contacts and information and does prove to be quite helpful, even if he’s not exactly honest with them about himself.

I love road trips. And I love reading about them. So I was always going to be super excited to read this. I also love that although Rainbow Rowell is American, she writes from a really British perspective with all these characters and it’s so accurate in the ways that foreigners see the US. The geography, the states that blend together in a blur of flat farms, the obsession with obnoxiously large pick up trucks. I love Baz’s observations in particular. He’s my favourite character and I love the complexity of the softness he has for Simon and the disdain he has for almost everything else. Simon and Baz are definitely in a place where they are struggling a bit, mostly because of Simon and his existential crisis. It means that the angst is still quite present as they dance around each other and Simon contemplates breaking up with Baz before Baz ends up leaving him. The communication in this between them is really bad and both of them are suffering with the distance and uncertainty between them. I know it’s probably not good reading them just being incredibly happy with no issues….but the moments are few and far between in this so I wouldn’t have been averse to a few more!

I really enjoyed this. It feels busy because there’s a lot of driving and the second half has quite a bit of action in it. I liked that the different viewpoints from the first novel continued as well. It’s so good being able to get all of the character’s thoughts and perspectives, it gives you the ability to see things from different angles. And I’m really excited for the fact that there’s a third Simon and Baz book, Any Way The Wind Blows so hopefully everything will be sorted out in that one. I’m keen to know why they need to get back to Watford so quickly and what is going down.

8/10

Book #184 of 2019

 


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