Wayward Son: The Heartbreak We Didn’t Know We Needed

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Wayward Son, the long-awaited sequel to Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, was released on September 24 of this year. Readers waited a long four years for this novel and it did not disappoint. Wayward Son follows magickal characters Simon, Baz, Penelope and a few new characters on a journey that started off under the guise of a vacation, but if Carry On readers know one thing, it’s that there are no smooth rides where Simon Snow is involved. As Rainbow Rowell describes the novel on her website, the sequel is for those who want to know what happens after the hero saves the day, and it completely lives up to this. 

Throughout reading the first novel, I had a constant feeling of hope for the characters, especially Simon and his boyfriend Baz, however throughout Wayward Son, these feelings did not return. The novel begins with Simon being pretty depressed about his circumstances, so not off to a great start. He can’t seem to get over the fact that he no longer has his magick, and that his boyfriend and best friend still do. In attempts to cheer Simon up, Penelope takes the gang on a trip to the United States with false hopes that it will solve all of their

problems. Not long after they land, things begin to go awry. Penelope’s so-called boyfriend breaks up with her, setting the tone for the rest of the novel.

During their trip there are moments between Baz and Simon that are so sweet it almost hurts to read. From riding in the back of a truck looking at the stars, to Simon getting jealous of Baz getting groped by their enemies, their vacation turned quest is full of those little moments that make you forget that their relationship seems to be doomed. Despite this, as the novel goes on, Simon and Baz’s thoughts continue to show the turmoil in their relationship. While neither wants to leave the other, they both believe that it would be best for them to do so Although it appears to be a complex ordeal, it seems to me like another problem that could be solved if they simply just talked about their feelings (what a concept). As the intensity of the plot continues, so does the heartbreak, leaving the readers with a cliffhanger that physically hurts. Thankfully, Rowell has promised a third book which will hopefully mend all of our broken hearts. Fingers crossed it doesn’t take another four years.

For me, Wayward Son was extremely relatable to the times in my life where I completed something that I had been working towards for a long time, such as graduating high school or moving out on my own. While this doesn’t quite compare to Simon fighting dragons and defeating the Insidious Humdrum, it provides the same nostalgic feeling of the end of an era. If you’re looking to ride a rollercoaster of emotions, I would definitely recommend this read.

PRR Writer, Leah Kist

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