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Any Way the Wind Blows

by Rainbow Rowell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Simon Snow (3), Fangirl (4)

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9092722,065 (4.08)10
Fantasy. Romance. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell's epic young adult fantasy Simon Snow series continues in Any Way the Wind Blows.
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 a cursed 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.… (more)

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I loved this so much!! I'm so sad the series is ending :(. ( )
  BlingthePing | Aug 27, 2023 |
This is either a four or five-star read, and either way it's wonderful and happy and sad, too. It's a story about how good can triumph, but good also comes out changed, too, and even when people who do terrible things are stopped, there are still victims left behind, and those victims typically don't have cure-alls or ways to turn back the clock. It was also creepily accurate on the way cults are developed, particularly evangelist ones, which makes more sense as Rowell is American, and we're more familiar with that than the Brits are.

I was often frustrated with Baz and Simon's will-they-won't-they constant anxious meltdowns, but I suppose it does kind of reflect the anxiety of a first real relationship and being surrounded by a million other problems and trying to keep one stable thing - the person you care about most - in your life. I've written anxious messes, even ones who constantly question their relationship status - so I find it difficult to take issue with how it is, here. I guess because this book is so laborious in going through the motions. A single page can process a million turns in one of the characters - usually Simon - waffling and not knowing what he wants. And while what he needs is therapy, I think he needs more than that. And it's a bit uncomfortable to watch. And maybe that's fine? Because humans are messy?

It's hard because I do hope for a better ending. A cure-all. A fix. I have to live with chronic pain and the knowledge that I don't have those, let alone what looks like a soulmate. It's nice to see them in fiction, though. And while this does have an HEA, it's not as... neat? as others are.

I found Agatha and Niamh really charming, and I'm happy for them, particularly in how Agatha found a way for herself.

I'm glad Shepard and Penelope worked out, and I loved the scene with the demon. That was quite nifty. They also seemed to be at the center of the weirdness in the "writing British people/writing Americans" because originally I thought this was written by a British person, but apparently Rowell is an American, which would explain why one of the earlier reviews I recall reading complained about how terrible Rowell is at writing British people. It's funny because, and maybe this is my Americanness showing, I took more issue with some of the ways she wrote Americans, particularly in this book. There's a line that Shepard has: "We have so much less pie, in general", which, especially from someone living in Nebraska, is an utterly bizarre statement. We don't have hot pasties the way they do in England (though we have similar things), but it is a bizarre statement for an American to make that America is somehow pie-deficient, particularly since the US obsession with apple pie in particular is such a common insult. I don't even eat pie and I'm practically surrounded by it on a regular basis, even when my mom isn't making it all the time. And it's not just the one thing. It's little things like that. Part of it is probably that I've never been to Nebraska and maybe Shepard is more realistic for Nebraskans, and particularly someone written by someone born in the late 70s, but I never got any of his references, and I'm supposed to be roughly his age, and even the people I know around his age don't talk like he does. I could understand some of the stuff he's referencing because I can identify the references, but I wouldn't use them because they're not familiar to me. Heck, I'm a lawyer and I've never once referenced Matlock in my entire life.

But outside of that, I do like Shepard, and I like the rest of the cast. I'm sure there are British-isms that went wrong that flew right over my head, but such is life.

The story felt a bit slower than the previous books until the climax, which is normal, and it was a good climax, which is normal. It ended a lot of loose threads from previous novels, particularly near the end, and I'm hopeful for Simon and Baz's futures.

Overall, it's a mostly fun, cute, queer ending to a very good trilogy. I'm glad I finally picked it up. ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
If memory serves (which it rarely does), I wasn't that taken with the previous volume of this series, Wayward Son -- though as I began reading this one and was reminded of the plot lines in that volume, I realized it was a pretty ripping yarn. This one started a bit slow -- the main characters (Simon, Baz, Penelope, Agatha, and Shepard) have returned to London after their American adventures, and are trying to figure out how to process everything, and where to go next. Of course, adventures follow these guys, and this time it manifests in the form of Smith Smith-Richards, one of a passel of pretenders to the Chosen One mantle -- one who has assembled an impressive following, and who even enthralls Simon, with his promises of returning or enhancing magic for mages who lack power. But, aside from this caper, which pulls them all in from different sides, the narrative is especially preoccupied with the relationship between Simon and Baz (of course), and in particular, the developing physical intimacy and the many hours of kissing and caressing that occur. I actually took a star from my review for this preoccupation -- maybe 30 years ago I would have found this exciting, even titillating, but at my age and stage of life, I sort of found it tiresome. Sexual awakening blah blah. Another character finds themselves drawn to a person they would never have expected, and I found that mildly more interesting, though I still saw it coming a mile away and thought it was a bit ho-hum, in the end. Anyway, despite all that, I was able to enjoy this fast-paced adventure, perhaps especially because it is the end of the trilogy, and it wrapped up quite nicely. Farewell, Simon Snow, it was nice knowing you. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
The end of the Simon Snow trilogy! With Simon no longer the Chosen One, others have risen up. But are they charlatans or are they real? Does it matter? Simon, Baz, Penny & Agatha must all find a way to live in this new world. Great finale ( )
  MandyPS | May 13, 2023 |
I have been excited to read this since I heard it came out, and while it wasn't as full of action as the last two, it was still the finale I feel I deserved. I loved seeing how all the loose ends tied together - Simon's parentage, Baz finding out something about vampires that will change everything, Agatha finally finding herself and her own wants (and love), and Pen and Shep finally sorting out their own issues. A wonderful story. I love this trilogy. ( )
  viiemzee | Feb 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rainbow Rowellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morton, EuanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for you.
Never let them tell you
you're not magic.
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There's a candle in my window.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fantasy. Romance. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell's epic young adult fantasy Simon Snow series continues in Any Way the Wind Blows.
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 a cursed 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.

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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.
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