In Carry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong.
In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.
For Simon, that means deciding whether he still wants to be part of the World of Mages – and if he doesn’t, what does that mean for his relationship with Baz? Meanwhile Baz is bouncing between two family crises and not finding any time to talk to anyone about his newfound vampire knowledge. Penelope would love to help, but she’s smuggled an American Normal into London, and now she isn’t sure what to do with him. And Agatha? Well, Agatha Wellbelove has had enough.
Any Way the Wind Blows takes the gang back to England, back to Watford, and back to their families for their longest and most emotionally wrenching adventure yet.
This book is a finale. It tells secrets and answers questions and lays ghosts to rest.
Carry On was conceived as a book about Chosen One stories; Any Way the Wind Blows is an ending about endings. About catharsis and closure, and how we choose to move on from the traumas and triumphs that try to define us.
This book review will contain spoilers for the previous books in the Simon Snow series, please be aware. I will keep from mentioning too much about the goings on in AWTWB, but Carry On and Wayward Son will be ruined if you read…
As with many people Simon and Baz captured my heart in Fangirl and I was so happy to hear that Rainbow Rowell would be treating fans to a full length novel in the form of Carry On. However it came out when I was knee deep in nappies and no sleep so I didn’t read it until 2020, when its follow up, Wayward Son was already out. I devoured them both in a matter of days and fell in love with the character over again. The first was amazing, the second was action packed but a bit whiny. Simon started to annoy me a little wallowing in self pity. I mean he had just killed the person he looked up to his entire life, but his way of dealing with everything wound me up. Baz and Penny were amazing though and I loved how that book built those characters up.
Any Way the Wind Blows picks up where Wayward Son left off, with the characters back in London, having magicked Shepard to follow them. I loved the Shepard and Penny storyline from the start, with Penny’s families take too. The adventure they go on to find out more about Shepards curse made the first half of the book perfect for me. Simon was still annoying in the first part of the book and didn’t really redeem himself for a while… but when he eventually did, I really loved the direction of Simon and Baz’s storyline.
The action packed adventure of Wayward Son didn’t follow into AWTWB. Things went a lot slower in this book. It was mainly for character development and to form the idea that the Coven has more of a grasp of whats going on in magical communities in England than they do in America. I loved the nods of knowing what went on in America from Penny’s mums point of view, and I absolutely loved that we got to see more of Agatha away from the others, because she really didn’t quite fit with their dynamic.
The action in AWTWB started around a third of the way in. I loved the action side of this book and what it focused around for Simon and Baz. I don’t want to go into much detail but the idea of what went on scares the hell out of me, because it plays on the idea of people finding themselves in situations because of comparison against others. It can be dangerous, so dangerous, to compare yourself to others constantly and it makes people do scary tings. The storyline of this shows the extremes of this in a way that I hope makes readers think – especially younger ones.
I laughed out loud, and I cried big tears throughout this book. I never thought I’d cry over the type of animal I did while reading AWTWB, lets put it that way. And when I finished, I just held this book in my hands for a while and pondered. It is the end of the Simon Snow story and I didn’t want it to be over. I will always hold Simon Snow and Baz in my heart, and I really recommend these books for a teenage angst storyline if you’re in the mood!
Any Way The Wind Blows was published in July by Macmillan Children’s Books. My copy was purchased at my local Waterstones.
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