I’ve been anticipating this book since I first finished reading ‘Carry On’ years ago, and I’ve been so anxious about reading it since I got a copy that I’ve been trying to delay the inevitable. Then I gave in and read it. This is exactly what I wanted and more from a sequel about the aftermath of being the Chosen One.
I have a limited and signed edition of the book because I have no self control when it comes to a) buying books, and b) things that are limited edition. It’s beautiful and was the exact same price as a regular hardback so I couldn’t resist.
This story is a road trip. Literally. It’s full of chaos and humour and domestic scenes and casual magic and bloody kisses and intense friendships and everything that I want more of in YA books. It had all the best fanfiction tropes but written in a way that made it feel so much more realistic and beautiful and heart-breaking than they did in ‘Carry On’. ‘Carry On’ did feel like a fanfiction in many ways, but ‘Wayward Son’ is an entirely separate entity that tears out your heart and never quite puts it back together again. In some ways, it feels a lot more ‘grown up’ and mature.
I think I need to do a little more comparison to ‘Carry On’ to explain how different they really are. ‘Carry On’ is fun, fluffy and doesn’t take itself too seriously and reads a lot like a fanfiction as I said previously. ‘Wayward Son’ has a completely different tone: it’s more serious and focuses a lot more on the characters and their struggles. It gives the characters and the world more time to fully flesh themselves out and expand past the ‘fanfiction’ stage. It brought them to life in a way that I didn’t know was possible.
It was a lot more emotional than ‘Carry On’, but I still wanted more. SnowBaz is fractured. Simon is still so damaged from losing his magic and he’s not coping. There’s so much relationship angst and it tugs at my heartstrings and it hurts in the best way. But this book focused more on the action of their adventure and less unpacking the emotions, so I hope all of this gets acknowledged in the third book of the series.
I feel like there’s a lot more I want to say in this review (especially about Penny and Agatha), but I still can’t wrap my head around it fully put my thoughts into coherent words. I’ll end on this: I’ve never anticipated a third book in a series as much as I anticipate ‘Any Way the Wind Blows’. Rainbow Rowell owns my soul.