By Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Griffin, 2015. 522 pgs. Young Adult
Simon Snow is the "chosen one," a young wizard who has been plagued through his entire education at the Watford School of Magicks by a mysterious evil nemesis. It doesn't help that his roommate for the past seven years, Baz, might be a vampire as well as trying to kill him. As he starts his last year at school, Simon seems to have more to deal with than ever: his wand doesn't work half the time and when it does, he blows something up. His girlfriend might not be his girlfriend anymore and his nemesis has been running around wearing his face. Worst of all, Baz hasn't bothered showing up for school and Simon can't imagine what kind of trouble he has been brewing in his absence.
Sound familiar? This story has obvious - and intentional - parallels to Harry Potter, but with entirely its own spin and point. Readers looking for a "grown up" version of Harry Potter will probably find this appealing (if they don't mind frequent language). I would also highly recommend this to fans of Rowell's other books, her talent as a writer shines in this new (for her) genre.