Any Way the Wind Blows

Rainbow Rowell
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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2021-07-21

In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon, Baz, Penelope, and Agatha have to decide how to move forward after all they've all been through. For Simon, that means deciding if he still wants to be a part of the World of Mages. For Baz, it's bouncing between two family crises and figuring out how to process his newfound vampire knowledge. Meanwhile, Penelope smuggled Shepard into the country on a fake passport and now needs to figure out what to do with him. And Agatha... well Agatha has had enough...

 

This book is the finale to the Simon Snow series and is an ending about ending.

 

I love this. I love Simon and Baz (together and individually). I love the growth of Penny in this novel tremendously; I was always slightly annoyed with her in the first two but she's changed a lot. Shepard - I still would love to see a novel based on his adventures before meeting the trio! Agatha, I'm so, so glad she's standing on her own feet, doing her own thing, on her own terms; her ending was probably one of my favorites.

 

These books were always comfy for me. Crazy things would happen, but I always knew they would get figured out in the end. That's not to say that Rainbow Rowell didn't have me going through all kinds of emotions with this nearly 600 page novel though! The way Simon was still trying to figure out who he was now that he wasn't the puppet of the Mage had me on such a roller coaster.

 

"I'm too... broken. I don't know how to be close to people. I don't know how to be quiet. When Baz gets like this with me... When he hands me his heart, I don't know how to hold it. I want to scream. I want to run. Maybe it's part of what the Mage did to me. He said he got me wrong, that I was a cracked vessel. I can't hold on to anything good."

 

Simon's recovery never felt like it jumped in any way. He's still recovering, and he made mistakes along the way with how he treated his friends and loved ones, but he learned from those. And again, as with the second book, Wayward Son, Rowell showed Baz and Simon working on their relationship constantly throughout the novel. Even though these books are YA, I appreciate Rowell never sugarcoating their relationship to make it all happy-go-lucky.

 

"This is what people do.

They get close and try to stay there.

They stay.

They keep trying to hold on to each other, even though it's not really possible. I don't think. Because people are always moving, aren't they. But that is what they do. They keep trying.

I'll keep trying.

To keep him well.

To keep him happy..."

 

I also appreciate the effort Rowell put into tying up as many loose ends as possible. Though there was one that was kind of left a bit open ended, I wasn't upset about that, because it lets the reader imagine the two different ways it can go. Rowell started the Simon Snow series from Fangirl, a story about a girl writing fanfiction about this series. We may have said goodbye to the characters in "officially published" form, but these characters are bound to go on many adventures still through the words of online stories.

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