Reflecting on only two chapters doesn’t feel like much. Considering this books track record, chapters are usually either packed with content or just short pointless beings. There is no in between. But now we have entered a new phase in this book – the multiple POV phase. Do not expect a single narrator for chapters anymore. The new trend is the more perspectives in one chapter, the better. Fuck consistency!
Now, you know that this entire read all I could think about is these two characters kissing. The moment has finally arrived and I find myself going, mehhhh. That scene did not justify the overly tedious build up. The scene takes the shape of every romance trope. Fire engulfs them. They are at risk to be burned to death yet all they can do is kiss one another. It is comparable to Ron and Hermione making out during the Battle of Hogwarts (seriously, I want to love that moment so badly but it just sucks so hard!). It is about as compelling as an empty garbage can rolling away in the wind. You want to care, you should care, but you just let it roll off into the neighbors driveway or walk away wondering if it will disappear altogether.
I have been waiting for this moment for so long, and finally it is here and it just isn’t that good. It feels forced and silly. Like, Rowell had to get these guys to kiss so she just writes that Simon kisses Baz because he doesn’t want him to hurt? Dude, get him out of this fire! Then he won’t hurt because neither of you will be burning to death! W.T.F.
There is a lot of back and forth between perspectives. Each one is very short and does a lot of telling instead of showing. Seriously, eff this book.
They finally stop making out to get rid of the fire Baz started. Baz throws Simon’s cross necklace away. He thinks that Simon will eventually die kissing him one day? Okay…?? Chapter over. Ugh, this book.
I think the scene could have been so much better. Picture this — Baz starts the fire out of pure rage and Simon has to force his magic into Baz to calm him down and together, after some Simon talking Baz down and telling him how worth while he is and uplifting stuff, they put the fire out. They question their mortality after the close call and then in that moment, adrenaline pulses through them and they kiss one another. Just simply removing the stupid fire kiss and terrible back and forth perspectives would make that scene so much better. UGH.
The next chapter is what I wish was the kissing moment. There is a point when Simon questions his sexuality but then shrugs it off, not needing to think about it at this point. I know to some this may seem to take the character in a bad direction, but you would be surprised at how many ask this question and then shrug it off because it is too complex to think about at that moment. Honestly, it is one of the most realistic aspects of these two chapters.
Baz does some hunting. Simon can’t stop smiling because he is in love. Que googly eyes.
This chapter also jumps back and forth between perspectives. Not joking, this is how stupid this structure is. Baz has a section with one freaking sentence…
“I don’t know what I’m thinking.”
That is literally all it says. Why do we need everything spelled out for us?? WHY?
The boys…have sex? I’m not totally sure to be honest. This book is not subtle at all except at the part where I actually need to know what happens. They discuss their sexuality and Baz comes out to Simon. Simon says he never thought about it much because he didn’t have to. Again, an honest remark. It also harks back to the beginning of the book when we saw Simon making lists in his head of things to think about and things to not think about (which I don’t quite get because I don’t know how you can choose not to think about something without thinking about it first and making the conscious decision).
Then there is a really tender moment where Baz admits he has wanted Simon for a long time. He kisses a mole on Simon’s cheek and I can’t help but yell, THIS IS WHAT I WANTED! Toss the fire scene! This is what the book has been building up to!
I tend to avoid reading romance novels, as you know, just because they are often very forced, cliche, and plotty. I can’t even think of a properly good novel that is also purely a romance. Rarely do these types of stories take character motivations into account. Rarely do they paint real characters. Rarely do they reach a complexity at all. I appreciate that this book is trying to defy these tropes but in the attempt it is sort of fulfilling them without even realizing it. So I don’t know how to feel. I just hope things get better from here.
Until next time, friend. Danielle.