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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


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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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (1,023)

  • Jordan C.

    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.

  • Aubrey K.

    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.

  • Jessica D.

    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!

  • Candice T.

    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.

  • Conny G.

    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?!