Publication date: October 8, 2015
Targeted Audience: Young Adult
Blurb: Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
In the beginning, I won’t lie, this book was giving off serious Harry Potter vibes. Simon reminded me of Harry, Penny as Hermione, her family was like the Weasleys, Baz reminded me of Draco and Watford reminded me so strongly of Hogwarts (which brought about a serious feels attack).
But there are a few differences as well. Their spells are phrases and not words, the magick (this is how it’s spelled) has a ‘feeling’, a ‘reserve’. They play football in their school and NOT quidditch, the mage is nothing like Dumbledore and the villain who is named the Humdrum is nothing like Voldemort.
Now the story is about Simon who is attending his last year at Watford. They have been terrorized by a being named the Humdrum, who sucks magick out of a place. This Humdrum is hell bent on killing Simon, who is the chosen one, who is destined to save the magickal world. Then we have Baz who is “supposedly” out to kill Simon, and Penny who is Simon’s best friend.
The book takes some time to pick up speed but once Baz appears everything becomes interesting (x10). Needless to say I love Baz’s POV. He is very snarky and cynical and just fabulous.
The romance between Simon and Baz didn’t really interest me. It was cute but that’s about all I felt. Their romance actually reminded me of all the Drarry fanfics out there.
The Humdrum was a very interesting villian. He was one of the reasons why I kept reading in the beginning because I needed to know what he was all about. And in no way did he disappoint me. I think Rainbow Rowell has done a fabulous job on making this character so unique and different.
This book is actually more like a mystery book set in a fantasy world. But the problem I had with this book was that it felt like it was going nowhere in the beginning. I mean, I picked it up because:
1. It’s a Rainbow Rowell book.
2. It’s fantasy.
But this book had way too much romance and I just don’t really prefer reading romance. You see the problem here? This book had so much Simon and Baz romance that it felt a little random to me. Which is probably why I like the ending the most because there is some really good action and mystery reveal happening.
I guess the fact that we were just catapulted into Simon’s last year at Watford was also another reason why I was a little on the sidelines with the whole inside joke/revenge thing that had been going on.
I did not love this book but neither did I hate it. It was just okay. I didn’t FEEL anything for any of the characters. And the entire time I felt disconnected from the Watford world. I just couldn’t imagine it looking any different from Hogwarts.
I guess you could say that by the end, this book did not remind me of Harry Potter. It was similar yes, but also very different (if that makes any sense).
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a light fantasy read and also a good mystery and a lot of fantasy romance.
Ratings: 3/5 not one of the best books I’ve read by Rainbow Rowell.
Lots of love and Pasta,