Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling (Peter Pan)
My Rating: 4.7/5 stars
“Let me be the first one to welcome you to Neverland.”
“For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?”
This was my first Peter Pan retelling and I’m glad to say that it was AMAZING! I enjoyed every turn of the page, learning about the world and becoming one with Gwen, the protagonist. This retelling is a dark Peter Pan retelling and I’m definitely going to check more books with this particular theme in the future because I absolutely adored the movie (no I haven’t read it yet).
I loved how there was a mysterious aura surrounding the novel from the beginning. I was kept wondering what Gwen’s mother was running from. Of course when Gwen made bad choices I knew she would be in danger, isn’t that how most stories go? Gwen was very gullible and naïve, causing her to land in dangerous situations. The story gave me a City Of Bones vibe, because of the whole mother protecting child from another world. But they’re both good stories so please don’t think they’ll be similar. Oliva, whom is Gwen’s best friend, is one of the amazing friends there are, especially in the beginning. She looked out for her friend, even when she felt slightly uncomfortable. But as the story progressed you could tell she was no longer herself, but in the end she redeemed herself. Pan and Rowan kept changing from villain to hero and it was hard to distinguish who was on the “good side”. I loved both of them, and they both had very manipulative minds and “sweet side”. But alas, only one of them would be the hero and I’m okay with the choice Lisa has made. Although I still don’t know how to feel about it because I’ve always loved Peter but still. Rowan is bae though; he’s such a sweet person even with his uncaring exterior. (you have no idea how hard it is to keep from spoiling too much).
I’m glad that Lisa decided to make this a dark retelling of the original story because it kept in on edge all the time. I actually finished it in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. The pages gripped me after the first few chapters. I feel that Lisa did just the right amount of descriptions without losing my interest. The ending warmed my heart so much, Gwen and the hero (are you supposed to know who the bad and good person is?) have such a cute relationship.
Because of this amazing book, I’m definitely going to read more Peter Pan retellings and more of Lisa’s writing because it is amazing. It is also safe to say that dark Peter Pan retellings are now my favourite. Have any of you read this? Or have you got any Peter Pan retelling recommendations?