Book Review: Wayward Son

I love Rainbow Rowell. Did you know that? There's just something about the way she writes that really really works for me - I'm still not over Eleanor and Park, and it's safely in the category of loved it so much I'm scared to reread. I love Rainbow Rowell and I loved Carry On which, for the uninitiated, is the actual book the fanfiction in her other novel Fangirl is written about - and let's not lie, it's a but of a Harry/Draco parody also. We all know this is a loving poke at the HP books, it doesn't pretend not to be and I love it more for that.  When I heard that Rainbow had written a sequel to Carry On I did a little bit of a happy dance.

And now I've read it. It's called Wayward Son - probably I should have led with that - and I want to chat about it.

This book is precious. It takes place after Carry On is over - Simon Snow defeated the villain and got the guy. The war is over. So what next? Well not a lot actually because Simon is in a slump; he won't get off the sofa and his boyfriend Baz and his best friend Penny are at a loss. So Penny suggests a road-trip. Of course she does. And somehow the trio find themselves flying across the world to drive a convertible car across America.

Oh God, give me all the idiot boys in love, all the road trip stories, all the scrapes and jaunts and near-disasters. This book is like a what Josephine likes paint by numbers. I was so chock full of anticipation and it didn't disappoint, not much anyhow. I
 won't lie; I did love Carry On a little bit more, but that's not to say that this book that takes what is - or as I read it - PTSD and shows how that impacts on not just the sufferer but everybody around them and makes it real and relatable alongside snark and the wittiest banter and the cutest moments that make you melt into the gooiest puddle of goo isn't excellent.

It is so excellent.

It's so funny - and you know what, and I loved this about Carry On also, I love that it's all about the magic, this is a magical story, kids, but it has a contemporary setting and it's pitched absolutely perfectly. It works better almost than all those books with incredible magical worldbuilding and I just loved it. These three magical English kids driving across America and their spells don't work because of the language differences. Oh, I laughed. Rowell writes teenage voices so well - all three of these guys feel so very very real to me and the way one minute they're fighting vampires with magic they can't use n a strange country and the next they're sniping at each other over the smallest things and the next Baz can't think of anything other than how cute his boyfriend is, and it's the best.
I do wish there had been more - mostly because the whole thing with how Simon was handling things post Carry On was so interestin, as was how he now related to Baz and Penny, and the walking-on-eggshells element of his relationship with Baz broke my heart a little and I am always such a sucker for getting into the nitty gritty of those things - this book wasn't that, though, and you know it really is fine because this was such a read. It's full to the brim with all the fanfic tropes which absolutely delights me. So tongue in cheek and I love it.

I swear, I would read books about this little gang for the rest of my days because who doesn't want to keep reading about the kind of people who end up taking down dangerous vampire ring planning to take over the world when really they just wanted a quiet holiday (and to visit Penny's American boyfriend)?