Pure Magic! Simon Snow Returns in the Wayward Son | Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

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Magical, romantic, humorous and full of adventure--Wayward Son is an excellent second installment to the Simon Snow series.


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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.
 

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5) 

“Sometimes Simon kisses me like it’s the end of the world, and I worry he might believe that it is.” 

When it was announced that Rainbow Rowell was writing Wayward Son, the unexpected and still hotly anticipated sequel to Carry On, I was equal parts skeptical and excited. I loved Fangirl and was living for the fact Simon Snow was a story within a story and blossomed into its own story. When Carry On was released, I devoured it. Still, I was skeptical, because it felt like a huge risk to be taking.

Within the first few pages, my skepticism melted away into Rainbow Rowell's compelling and magical prose. Wayward Son does not suffer any setbacks in terms of quality and feels wholly necessary to the bigger picture Rowell is painting in relation to Simon Snow. No longer a story within a story, it is entirely forming a world of its own that is full of magic, love, friendship and the ongoing battle of good vs. evil.

It reminds us this: happily ever after isn't always the ending. Sometimes, it's the beginning. The war is over, and now all that is in front of these character is life. This story is all about what comes next. Of course, it's unspoken, but known, that what comes next is often unexpected. Life always is.

There's something light and nostalgic about how Rowell pens this sequel. And, indeed, the world within Simon Snow. Tangled with well known tropes and fantasy elements; coming of age angst on an unexpected road trip, the story is some of the most fun I've had all year. Not many authors can pull off what she has done in extending this story. Even less can do so as gracefully.

Reflective of the Harry Potter books, Wayward Son has a little something for every YA reader. As the story unravels and dazzles, the magic seeps from the pages into your heart and lifts you up in a way that is inexplicable. It is, without a doubt, one of the best second installments in any series of the year and intrigued me until the very last page.

Most importantly? Wayward Son is smart, fun and quick to the point. Each chapter builds onto the readers excitement and thrills, making it impossible to put down. You root for Simon, Baz, Penelope and Agatha, and the friends they meet along the way. You cringe at the enemies. You swoon over the romance. You finish the final page and long for the third installment.

If you loved Carry On, you will adore Wayward Son. This is a must read sequel. 




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