Book Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

9 December 2019


Hello Readers & Friends,

Such a disappointing review today! As you all know, I fell in love with Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, so when I heard there was a sequel I was super excited. My excitement built when I saw all the dreamy cover variations, and I saved reading it for a rainy day. Unfortunately, I give it 2 stars on GoodReads. In my head, it's more of a 1.5 purely because of how terrible it was when compared to Carry On.
 It wasn't the quick, fun read I had enjoyed with Carry On. In fact, is was quite a chore to get through.

So, my problems were as follows:

1. Baz and Snow Romance
I loved the LGBT relationship we got to enjoy in Carry On, but in this book it was a bit rubbish. In fact, it was extremely rubbish.
 At the very start, we see them rocky, with Snow a bit lost following his ending in Carry On. In fact, he's so miserable and angry and bitter that he discusses breaking up with Baz in the first chapter or so. And then what? Who knows. Nothing happens. They don't discuss it, they don't fight, just...nothing.
They just go on this roadtrip and nothing about their relationship of any value or depth is touched on again.
And as for the romance? It was just a bit bleh. A bit nothing. Every now and again, Rowell throws in some fluffy, quotable lines such as, “I'd give him all that I am.  I'd give him all that I was.  I'd open up a vein. I'd tie our hearts together, chamber by chamber.”  

But ultimately, it all feels forced and inauthentic because I don't actually get to see anything that tells me the relationship is real. A few random quotes like that thrown in here or there doesn't really mean much, especially when you open the book with them about to break up and then sweep it under the carpet, never to be raised or questioned again.
I know all the Baz 'n' Snow fans out there will hate me for saying this, but I just don't buy it. 
I actually felt more sexual tension between Penelope and Shepard. And that's saying something. There was no tension of any kind between Baz and Snow this time around, it felt like a totally different relationship to Book 1 with no rhyme or reason for the change. Flat, flat, and sad.



2. Missing Plot.
The thing with this sequel is, it was never needed. The first book was a great standalone, and ended perfectly fine. The baddie was defeated, the goodies were looking forward, and everything was well. This book had no need, and as a result, no plot. We had the three of them on this bizarre road trip with no real goal and no action until the very, very end. In fact, 75% of the book is descriptions of America, long stretches on the road and in hotel rooms where nothing happens. 
 The plot was so slow-paced, and this is why I didn't look forward to reading it and it felt chore-like. And then, when something did happen, it was glossed over so quickly I could barely digest it. Things which should be a whole scene were cut to a sentence or two, whereas we get pages and pages of hotel-stops and roadside descriptions. (Also many paragraphs describing Baz's different Gucci suits.)  It all felt very 'aesthetic' without any actual depth or matter.
But seriously, what was the plot? Can anyone explain it to me? I see the bones for a plot in the last 20 pages or so, but for the hundreds of pages before we meet the Vampire King, what is the plot and what are the characters goals?

 3. Character Development.
On top of all this, none of the characters undergo any real development. Snow supposedly finds the meaning of life again and perks up, but we didn't actually experience him being depressed, so we don't care. We are just told in chapter one that he's been depressed for however long. Penelope is less likable than she was in Book1, and is snappy and snidy all because of a boy, which goes against her empowering book 1 character. Baz is less cool and sharp than he was in book one, without his witty bite that gave him so much punch in Carry On. It was a huge 2-dimensional flop for me. There wasn't even really any magic!!!


Overall it was a huge disappointment and really fell flat for me. And the worst part is that after this entire book of nothing happening, she throws in a huge cliff-hanger at the end to leave an opening for a third book.
I, for one, will not be buying it. No matter how pretty the cover is.

Love,
C x



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