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Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Young adult

Wayward Son

by Rainbow Rowell

Quick take

The sequel to Carry On is the heroic romance you want, plus dragons and vampires. And yes, you will ugly cry.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_2ndSeries

    Second in series

Why I love it

Juliann Nelson
Content Producer, Fortune

Much like when I read Carry On, the first book in Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow series, I devoured Wayward Son the moment I got my hands on the highly anticipated sequel. With this series, Rowell has invented one of my favorite—and one of the most original—magic systems I’ve come across, and her ability to match heart and wit with fantasy and whimsy is unparalleled.

It’s been a year since Simon Snow saved the day in Carry On. Now, aimless and inert, Simon gets wrangled into road-tripping across America with his best friend Penny and (kind of) boyfriend Baz. The three find themselves up against an entirely new set of creatures and challenges in the States, as they each attempt to navigate some new, some broken, and a lot of tenuous relationships.

Wayward Son is charming; it’s magical; and it’s got a cast of characters I want to hang out with in real life. Reading this book and returning to the world of Simon Snow felt like shrugging into a favorite worn-out sweater, like catching up with an old friend, like coming home. I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Go read it, like, now.

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The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…

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Member thoughts

All (627)
All (627)
Love (412)
Like (187)
Dislike (28)
644 ratings
  • 64% Love
  • 29% Like
  • 4% Dislike
  • Sioux Center, IA

    The sequel to Carry On built on the previous plot well with personal conflict and major character building. Overall a great book that I would recommend to fans of Harry Potter and other fantasy books.

  • Gate City, VA

    A cross-country roadtrip that might leave you more frustrated than it found you. Honestly, the lack of proper communication is astounding. Mutual pining in an established relationship? It can be done.

  • South Paris, ME

    Opening up the world past England for our heroes allows them to spread their wings (literally). This sequel builds on the first book, submerging you successfully into their world. Definite must read.

  • Chico , CA

    Judge books by their cover! I tried this series solely based in the cover art and didn’t disappoint! Loved the character development. The angst, the flirting & quick banter are everything I needed!

  • Oakland, CA

    Rainbow Rowell has done it again! We find Simon, Baz and Penny trying to navigate what happens after they won. Super fun and relevant, what do you do after you achieve your goal. What happens next?!

  • Tulsa, OK

    Look, if I’m going to buckle up for a book that is extended HP fanfiction about a wizard and vampire traveling on a cross-country American road trip, I want to have a good time. Rowell GETS that!

  • Mountain View , WY

    Baz and Simon! Simon and Baz! They're back in an adventurous roadtrip across America. Of course they get into scrapes and have to rely on each other, and Penelope of course. Such a fun adventure!

  • Anchorage, AK

    Loved it so much! The tension in their relationship is really satisfying in a strange way. I wasn't expecting a cliff hanger though. Why didn't anyone tell me there was going to be a third book!!?

  • Fort Smith, AR

    My heart aches for Simon and Baz. You see their love for each other and long desperately to fix it. That combined with fast-paced action makes for a solid second installment. Bring on book three!

  • Bunkie, LA

    The anticipated sequel did not disappoint. Simon and Baz are at it again with the adventures, sacrifice, and emotional hang-ups. This cliffhanger though. Will there be a book three coming soon?

  • Dixon, CA

    I loved this book. I think this book got me out of my most recent reading alimp at the beinning of the year. I read over 100 pages the first time I picked it up then finished it the next day.

  • Kent, OH

    Wish it was longer, but I can forgive that as a third book is coming out! Good character development in progress and seeing the characters being free like this feels amazing and wonderful.

  • Centennial, CO

    What a fun follow up to a story that stole my heart and filled the hole left by Harry Potter so many years ago. So glad I got to know these characters more and hear more of their story.

  • Ronkonkoma, NY

    Theres just something about road trips that gets me super excited to read a book! Not to mention getting to return to the world of Simon Snow. This was almost a perfect book for me!

  • Clarksville, TN

    Oh. My. Lord. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the sequel to Carry On, especially given where it ended. This book was everything I needed it to be though! DYING for book three!

  • Glendale, CA

    It's a sequel with a book coming after it, so keep that in mind. It's angsty, but it makes up for it with all the stuff I loved from Carry On (book 1). I anxiously await book 3.

  • Madison, WI

    I absolutely love everything "Simon Snow," so I was thrilled to hear about a sequel and even more so to hear that we're getting an open-ended series. What an enchanting gift!

  • Agawam, MA

    I just love Simon and BAZ! This book was hilarious and intense, and I loved the banter between all the characters! Now I need book #3 to come out ASAP with that cliff hanger!

  • Rocky Hill , CT

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved the first one, and this one did not disappoint. I liked the magic premise of this series, as well. It was fun and entertaining to read.

  • Spanaway, WA

    So incredibly different in tone from the first, i feel like it matured with its characters. I hope there will be more to read in the future from this group of friends.

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