by Rainbow Rowell
I actually expected to finish this book ages ago, but I had a very rocky start with it. Honestly, I thought it was going to be the first Rainbow Rowell book I've ever hated -- and for the first 100-160 pages, I did sort of hate this book. But by the end, I totally loved it.Summary: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
The plot? The world within the story? To be honest, I didn't like it much until very near the end. I had so little interest in it. I think it was the melodrama of it all, it just didn't do it for me, plus it was very predictable in so many ways. The first quarter of the book was a total drag to get through -- that's the part that took me ages to read and made me put the book down for so long. Then I sped through the rest of it when Baz happened.
That's thing that saved the book for me: Baz. As soon as he showed up, things got so much brighter and I found I was turning the pages because I wanted to and not because I was just determined to finish the book (as I had been doing before). His character was interesting and adorable and I loved him. And I shipped him and Simon so hard, they were so sweet and funny and their relationship was really well done (and I lovelovelove that it didn't make this huge deal about them being gay or coming out -- those stories have their place but not every LGBTQ+ story has to be like that). I really liked the friendship he formed with Penny too, I liked her on her own but I loved her friendships with Baz and Simon.
I'd give the book 2 stars out of 5 for the first few hundred pages and everything not relating to Baz, 5 out of 5 for Baz and Baz/Simon...overall, I'll give it 4 stars out of 5.
It does say a lot about how talented Rainbow is as a writer that there can be things about the book I kind of hate and I still find myself loving the book in spite of those things -- not many authors can pull that off.
(Oh, and if you've read the book/read it at some point, seriously check out the tumblr tags for the book/characters because the posts and fan art for it on there are awesome.)