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?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “Book Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Raie @ Captain Procrastination says:

    I read Carry On, but I don’t think I’m going to read this one or the next one. I have the pleasure(?!) of living in a town called Watford so that was the main thing that jarred me out of Carry On, whenever it was mentioned it just was too weird for me. Also, whenever she mentions Watford on Twitter I have to remember that it’s the name of the school and she’s not talking about where I live, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. onwardandupwardreviews says:

    This is one of those books that I loved because I love fanfic…but it’s one of the worst books I’ve read when thinking about it from the perspective of it being part of a series. This book didn’t take the plot anywhere, and the emotional journey of the characters stagnated. Simon and Baz are almost in exactly the same place they were at the beginning of the story. Still, I found it a fun reading experience. Despite the characters being so freaking depressed, I enjoyed it. I also liked learning more about vampires! So this book is the perfect case of me objectively thinking it’s not a good book but having a good time with it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bookbeachbunny says:

    Pretty much agree. It went nowhere. There’s some stuff at the very end that was all set up for the next book but I kind of feel like why bother? I may read the next one but I definitely won’t be rushing to buy it like this one. Total disappointment!


  4. thebrowneyedbookworm says:

    I actually loved the book, but I also just love the crew, and all I wanted was more Baz and Simon, but you are right, when it comes to the plot, there is no forward momentum. It’s just a filler book.


  5. Tina (Tina's Book Blog) says:

    I liked Carry On a lot, and did enjoy Wayward Son, but I totally agree that making it into a trilogy is kind of…Unnecessary? I hated that Simon and Baz’s issues were left unresolved throughout the whole thing. But I did like that the trauma/aftermath of Carry On’s ending was at the forefront of the book. But yeah definitely not as charming as CO by far. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Reading Fairy says:

    I was really disappointed in Wayward Son even though I could no longer really stand her work, but I’m also really tired of authors always saying, this is going to be a duology than a few months later announce it is now a trilogy. It just seems so tiring, I’d love to read a good duology that will stay like that instead of it turning it into a trilogy.

    This book really felt like a filler and I like roadtrips in books, but it was so weird. I’m a little nervous for the third book though, and hopefully it could bring some of the magic back from the first book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hundreds&Thousands says:

    I’m so glad you liked wayward son – it’s one of my favourite books and seeing it on here made me smile😊 I have mixed feelings on it compared to carry on but I think you talked about it really well. That’s also a great photo – I’m very impressed!! I keep trying to find book tours near me but she doesn’t often come to the UK 😦 I don’t know if you’ve heard, but rainbow made some major announcements about the third book (Im so excited!). This was my thoughts on the cover- check it out!


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