Any Way the Wind Blows
November 19, 2021 4:40 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by Literaryhero (5 comments total)
Eh, it was a little too long. I realize there needed to be a lot of set up so everyone could get their happily ever after, but I just wasn't that emotionally invested in it. The bad guy wasn't that scary for some reason and I didn't feel like there was any tension.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:41 PM on November 19, 2021

WAY too much time spent on Simon and Baz angst.

Other than that, I liked it. Particularly the scene with the demon.
posted by kyrademon at 5:53 AM on November 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I liked this one much better than the second; however, I read it less than six months ago and the only specific thing I remember is the descriptions of what Simon had to do to stuff the wings into his clothes. Like most YA trilogies, Simon’s story would have been better as a single book.
posted by something something at 12:38 PM on November 20, 2021

I felt like they didn't do enough to build up this guy as the bad guy. Like, I was never really invested in his role in the story, and I didn't really feel a significant tension or sense of threat there.

My favorite part was Penelope putting on her lawyer hat and getting Shepherd out of the contract with the demon.

I felt like there was too much jumping around, and it didn't feel like a coherent story. It sort of went on too long and also at the same time parts of it felt rushed.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:12 PM on December 3, 2021

This book really built on the previous ones and had a chance to work through some of the issues that got brought up before. I feel like I could finally sigh after holding my breath through Wayward Son. (In fact, I have trouble reading Wayward Son without reading the first 10% or so of Any Way the Wind Blows, because that's where it gets to a settled enough relationship place that I can just read normally.) There's a number of things that Carry On just kind of dropped in there for us that this one decided to pick up and go places with. I'm glad that we got the weeping girl portrait solved, because it was heartbreaking in Carry On when Simon noted that normally he would have pursued that kind of mystery until he knew everything about the person, but then he just passed it by, and even reading it the first time it was like, this is Lucy and you are her rosebud boy! You are missing this! And we got to resolve it, "Simon Snow is standing before me, holding my husband's sword. I can see Lucy in the set of his shoulders. And Davy in the set of his eyes. Why didn't I see it before? Lucy is gone. But perhaps...perhaps she let go. I told her to bring the child home. I prayed and pleaded. Bring it home. Let me help you keep it safe. And here he is." -Lady Ruth p. 554

Another was both Simon and Agatha describing their relationship as basically good pals with no chemistry whatsoever (though without the awareness yet that there could be chemistry, at least in the beginning of the book when they're still dating). I was so glad that Agatha also got to date someone with actual chemistry: "Niamh kisses me again, and I want to draw a line through everything I considered a kiss before. I never knew a kiss could ask this much from me." -Agatha p. 519

I identify somewhat with Simon being a mess. Not anywhere to that extent, but a mess nonetheless. In specific, I believed, for a surprisingly long time time, that divorce was rather like an earthquake. It came suddenly, with no warning, and then your marriage was in shambles. This did not stop me from getting married, but I was somewhat fatalistic about it. I wasn't as bad as Simon, but I did get married thinking, well, I love this man and I want as many years with him as I can get, whether that's just a few or I get a lot. I didn't actually think there was any choice involved. (Coming up on my twentieth wedding anniversary, I'm feeling more confident in my ability to have a good marriage. And I think it's likelier that my parents chose to not tell me why they got divorced than that they truly got divorced for no reason. I don't think they realized the problems this would have.) At any rate, I understand how Simon got where he did. "Is Simon okay? I mean, obviously, no, never. The real question is-- what kind of not-okay is he at the moment? And what do I need to do to deal with it?" -Baz p.423

More themes that continue from Carry On are getting lost, "We do hold hand almost all the time. Snow's like a child who's afraid of getting lost in the market." -Baz p504 Which I've always found poignant, as his father did lose him, on purpose. And then in Any Way the Wind Blows, "'I think he's lost, Baz.' 'Because you lost him, Bunce!' I'm charging into Simon's bedroom. 'I left him with you for a week, and you lost him!'" -Baz p. 47 Because Baz chooses to be Simon's family and doesn't let him go. And is also scared that if he goes away, Simon will vanish.

In Carry On, Baz says, "It was just flirting, it's not like I tried to feed her to a chimera." p. 277 (Presumably, he's serious about dating if he tries to feed you to a chimera?) Most of the other chimera references there were Simon griping about it and Baz saying he was just trying to scare Simon. In AWTWB, they come back to it.
"' me?' Snow nods 'Yeah,' he says, 'of course.' Like it's obvious. It isn't obvious. It has not been obvious 'You never said,' I say. 'Haven't I?' 'No." He frowns. 'I thought--I mean...I've killed so many things for you.'.... 'What are you, a house cat? Am I supposed to know how you feel because you brought me a mouse?'.... 'I brought you a cow once, remember? And I killed that chimera for you in fifth year.'" -Baz p. 95-6
I was also pleased to get the answer to the question of which friend counts as a half friend for Penelope: neither. She counts both Baz and Agatha as 3/4 of a friend apparently. Which, if Simon is a full friend, well. No wonder she doesn't have much energy left for other friends or thinks the rest are at a lower capacity. He's kind of a special case for friendship and I don't think she has any idea of that, since they've been best friends for years. This is just her life and she doesn't know any different.

"I used to think I was always right. I was wrong... About that. Which really makes me wonder what else I was wrong about. I mean, if you're wrong about almost always being right, anything is possible. Maybe you're almost always wrong. Maybe I am, I mean. It's like I'm a detective who's been solving cases for nineteen years with flawed methodology, and now I've had to reopen every one." - Penelope p. 42 I liked that Penny got her chances to wallow and be confused too. Though I still say that a boyfriend that can't manage to actually breakup when he means to couldn't actually have been as a good a boyfriend as everyone said. It's really not something to be cagey about.

I really liked that this book was more about relationships (Baz & Simon, Simon & Penny, Simon & family, Baz & family, Penny & family, Penny & Shepard) than about good vs evil. The stakes were fairly low, though they were there. I appreciated that Simon's issues were actually more important than the new con man convincing people that he's the chosen one. That Baz didn't just rescue his stepmum, she said he could bring home his boyfriend, the one who accidentally destroyed their house, and opened the door to closer relationship than they could have had otherwise. That Penny's mum is trying to keep an open mind about Shepard or and hasn't spelled him memory-less again. That Simon has a family now and they love feeding him sandwiches and cake. Simon loves sandwiches and cake.
posted by blueberry monster at 11:44 AM on December 28, 2021

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