Book Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Source: Borrowed (but I also own it)

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’d like to start off this review by saying that I was skeptical of Wayward Son from the beginning. While I loved Carry On, I felt like it was a complete story and I wasn’t sure what exactly could be done in a sequel. To make matters worse, shortly after I preordered it (which I did so that I could meet Rainbow Rowell, which I do not at all regret) I found out that it was being extended into a trilogy. Turning this one book that didn’t even need a sequel into a trilogy just felt like a huge money grab to me, but I kept an open-ish mind.

me with Rainbow Rowell

Thing about this book is… very little actually happens. I usually love road trip novels, but I just struggled to find the point of this book. Yes, they’re on a road trip. Yes, they’re in America. But why? Everything that made the first book fun and magical was missing here. The characters are all miserable, there’s no resolution of anything, and the book kind of just… ends.

I think my biggest problem with this book was that it felt like fanfiction. Like, sure, the characters are the same, but nothing else is. Their personalities are different. They’re in a different place. They’re doing different things. And the biggest problem with it feeling like fanfiction is that’s it’s already fanfiction. Carry On came about based on fanfiction written by the main character of Fangirl, and I think you could make an argument that Simon Snow is just Harry Potter fanfiction. So worse than feeling like some weird alternate universe fanfiction, it was like some weird alternate universe fanfic of a fanfic of a fanfic. It’s too much.

It says it right there in the synopsis. The story is supposed to be over. So why did we get a sequel, and why is it a trilogy now? I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to read Any Way the Wind Blows. It could go either way right now, but I’m leaning towards no.


Have you read Wayward Son? Is it on your TBR?
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