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522 pages, Hardcover
First published October 6, 2015
“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.”
THE BLOODY MAGE
Baz’s mouth is colder than Agatha’s.
Because he’s a boy, I think, and then: No, because he’s a monster.
He’s not a monster. He’s just a villain.
He’s not a villain. He’s just a boy.
I’m kissing a boy.
“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you.”
The Written Review
New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
Yes, this is based on Harry Potter and Fan Fiction.
I’ve loved Fangirl, especially the excerpts from Cath’s fanfics featuring Simon and Baz. But this! This is just a whole new level of intense. And if the above will not make you die of extreme sweetness, I don’t know what will.
You might have observed as well that the quotes above are all from Baz’s POV. It doesn’t mean that Simon didn’t have his moments (because he most certainly did!), but I’ve always imagined Baz to be a snobbish, condescending prick when I’d get to finally hear his voice. Well, he was most of the time but I wasn’t expecting the endless pining and the secret crushing over Simon Snow.
But then again, who wouldn’t fall in love with Simon? He’s just this ray of light – naïve but brave and bold and selfless. Most of the time, he’s reckless but you wouldn’t be able to hold it against him because he wears his heart on his sleeve. It makes you want to protect him even though he’s doing all the actual saving.
Yet to Simon, Baz is this immaculate, flawless, and well-mannered guy who is everything he isn’t. Handsome, smart, and cool, Simon thinks Baz always gets what he wants. For so long, he hated the guy because he symbolizes everything that he won’t ever be, and well, Baz has been taunting and scheming against him time and again. But in actuality for Baz, it’s a defense mechanism for a love that will never be his.
Factor in that they both represent opposite sides in the war of the mages – Simon as The Mage’s heir calling for reforms and equality, and Baz as the last living heir of the Pitches, the most influential name in the Old Families, who believe in tradition and power being given to the few elites. They’ve been doing this exhausting keep-your-enemies-closer dance for so long. For the good first part of the book, it’s messy and intriguing. Suspenseful. Rowell keeping you on your toes and building the story up towards something.
And when you finally think you’re at your wits' end, the dam breaks with that scorching first kiss. Then everything just explodes. Revelation after countless revelation. Rowell was relentless. And it was exhilarating and beautiful. Simon and Baz’s relationship turning to something more. Rowell bombarding you with all these new twists to the plot. And it just works well with the entire story. It’s like when a talented opera singer works with the best orchestra – creating this hair raising symphony of melody that is pleasing to your ears. Everything is in perfect harmony. And it’s exactly like that with how Rainbow Rowell gave direction to this book. The micro and macro side of things in the story working together towards one solid goal.
And that is to provide us readers with an epic adventure full of love and magic that leaves you feeling like an oxymoron – utterly exhausted but pleasantly contented.
I am contented! I mean, I was. And well, I know the photo above says to keep my cool and carry on. But God, I wish there were more. Not only of the story but more books such as this. As an LGBT reviewer, I am more than happy that Rowell was able to penetrate the mainstream community with gay characters like Simon and Baz. I know that there have been successful attempts by several authors, but not to this extent. And I’m hoping this helps in paving the way for more LGBT books being accepted in the mainstream, so that in the near future, there won’t ever be adjectives placed before the word ‘book’ or ‘novel’.
Well-done! And friggin' highly recommended.
“Even some of our cookbooks are banned. (Though it's been centuries, at least, since the Pitches ate fairies.) (You can't even find fairies anymore.) (And it isn't because we ate them all.)”
“The first time I came back to Watford, my second year, I climbed right into my bed and cried like a baby. I was still crying when Baz came in. “Why are you already weeping?” he snarled. “You’re ruining my plans to push you to tears.”
“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I hold back—“And you like that?”
“I love it,” he says.
“Because we match.”
“I'm not sure what we're doing, to be perfectly honest -- but nothing's on fire anymore. And I feel like maybe we've solved something. Even though this is probably just a new problem.”