author : alyssa b. sheinmel
pages : [hardcover] 256
favorite characters : wendy & jas
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete’s nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up–and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
I love anything and everything to do with Peter Pan so as soon as this book came to Netgalley I jumped at the chance to request it! This is a contemporary retelling so I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, especially because the whole book is focused around people who seem to love surfing and nothing else. I wanted to love this and add it to all of the other Peter Pan retellings I know and love but that just didn’t happen for me.
First of all, am I the only one who thinks Peter is a more attractive name than Peter? I really don’t see the point in the author’s slightly changing every character’s name except for the Darlings’. I feel like that should have been an all or nothing decision. Anyway, Pete wasn’t a perfect guy, obviously-part of what I love about Peter Pan are his flaws and how other characters react to them. Even though I knew he’d been aged into a surfer in his late teens but he’d lost his boyish charm and instead turned into the kind of guy who’s never good enough for you.
Sometimes I’d catch myself reading and would think, Wendy wouldn’t do that like this. Wendy wouldn’t react that way. I was expecting our leading lady to follow the same thought processes and retain most of the same personality from the character she was modeled after. With all of the differences in her, if the characters in here all had different names, the ‘fairy dust’ was called something different and Wendy didn’t fixate on a second star, I’d have no clue that this was modeled after Peter Pan.
The ending was what really frustrated me; I didn’t know what I was supposed to believe and know that was the point though it was all thrown at me so suddenly I was left wondering why it’d only been in the last thirty pages or so that all of this started going down. It definitely could have been expanded or some of the earlier scenes could have been switched out to make room for the interesting twists in the end. They didn’t really work for me, not enough to make me forget that for the most part this was a forgettable contemporary novel about surfers that uses the Peter Pan name to garner interest. If you want to give this a go, you might like it more than I did.