This review won’t be spoiler-free, because I’ve got feelings to discuss.
The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse Pages: 205 Format: e-arc Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing Released date: May 9, 2016
Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.
However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.
She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance. (Source: Goodreads)
Another retelling- to be honest I was pumped especially that I have seen good reviews for the Booktube Tours, but it eventually deflated like a balloon (that happened after I’ve read it and checked the GoodReads reviews)
I love retellings (I am still fangirling over the Lunar Chronicles), but this just -I am really sorry- butchered Peter Pan for me.
The cover looks good, it really does say something about the plot, but the story was not.
(a.) You got your characters one-dimensional, hastily described and all-too generic. You got Gwen- who by the way happens to be an apathetic teenager giving zero f@#$ about being pretty and make-up homecoming and school and was written in two-pages (this also includes her caring about being like by her long time crush and probably the reason she has zero personality). She also describes hormones to her little sister as tiny bug that will lead you to the road of “grownupness” (I can really see that red line below the word, when I was typing this). Science puh, I know.
Then we have her family, her little sister, who decided one night to runaway with Peter Pan.
This could be the main loophole of this book.
After what her parents went through for a page (missing sister and all) – the next few pages didn’t even write the parents with any concern whatsoever about the missing kid. And get this -the sister decided to comeback, asked Gwen to runaway with her and Gwen agrees wrote a note for her parents and flew away with Peter Pan and her sister. (And we never heard anything from her parents even at the end of the book) Typical YA trope.
(b.) It started good, but then you had the reached the 1st conflict (her sister running away) in the story and read that few pages and felt dumb. This was the part that magic being real was established, but it was explain in a way that you just wanna ask why a lot of times, because (1) it happened a page after her parents when nuts over her missing sister (2) explanation didn’t really went well. It all is suffering from a case : Establishing friendship over a few paragraphs and hastily writing a love interest which you wouldn’t read again until you got to the last 50 pages of the book.
(c.) Then we have Neverland. Let’s not even talk about it.
(d) Then Gwen decided to go back to reality, kisses her long-time crush. Talks to her unconcerned one dimensional friends and people at a party (Bad beer and getting stoned), then there’s police coming in and they were looking for a child (at this point I have no idea what was going on) then there was Peter and fairies and Gwen was whisk away.
I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.