Themes: Magic, Friendship, Road Trip
Audience: New Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Released: September 24, 2019
Firstly…that ending! I can’t believe she left it like that. I really wasn’t prepared for a cliffhanger—not when Carry On ties things up so neatly. In fact, I was surprised when I heard Rainbow Rowell had released a sequel. I’m so glad she did, mind you. Wayward Son has all the feels and complex dynamics I’ve come to love in this author’s work, plus the magic and monsters you’d expect from a Simon Snow novel. I also adore these characters and so couldn’t wait to see where she would take them next.
Road trips always make for fun reading, although if the average person encountered the number of mishaps that befall the characters in these stories, I doubt anyone would dare attempt one! Naturally, given that the protagonists in this novel include a magician, a magic-wielding vampire, and a boy with dragon wings, they attract more trouble than most. Between half-human skunks with guns, a city ruled by vampires, and a cult intent on stealing magic, their journey across America is eventful to say the least.
Considering everything Simon and Baz went through to be together, all the years of loving and hating one another in equal measure, I kind of hoped they’d found their happily-ever-after at the end of the last book. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. The problem? Though Simon’s clearly mad about Baz, now that he’s lost his magic, he no longer knows who he is. It’s like he doesn’t believe he belongs in Baz’s world anymore. This causes him to blow hot and cold, pushing Baz away whilst clinging on to him for dear life.
Meanwhile, Penny and Agatha have their own issues. Penny thought she had her love life figured out. She and Micah have been in a long-distance relationship since they were fourteen, and Penny takes it for granted they’ll get married some day. She’s therefore devastated when it turns out he isn’t as content with the arrangement as she is. Agatha, on the other hand, fled to America to escape from the magical world and herself, only to discover it isn’t as easy to hide from her true nature as she imagined.
Only an incredibly gifted writer can weave together humour and emotion in a way that feels wholly natural, but Rainbow Rowell manages it with deft skill. I laughed through entire chapters, and much of the dialogue had me in stitches. Equally, however, there were several scenes—those between Simon and Baz, in particular—that were so tender and sad they made my heart ache. Add in the fast pace of the plot and a race against time, and it’s no surprise I found this book impossible to put down.
For a super fun read that revisits some of my all-time favourite characters, and a story that’s as hilarious as it is poignant, Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell gets 10/10 rainbows!
About the Book
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…
About Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell writes all kinds of stuff.
Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl). Sometimes — actually, a lot of the time — she writes about lovesick vampires and boys with dragon wings. (The Simon Snow series).
Rainbow wrote her first graphic novel, Pumpkinheads, last fall. And she’s thrilled to be writing Marvel’s monthly Runaways comic, now in its third year.
She lives in Omaha, Nebraska