Sunday 4 January 2015

REVIEW: Never by Shay Lynam

Bookish Details:
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Publisher: Indie World Publishing and Author Services
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Source: This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK


Wynn Harper spends her days trying to blend into the background. This isn't very easy, especially being the great granddaughter of the late Wendy Darling. Wynn used to love Great Gran's stories about her adventures in Neverland with Peter Pan and his lost boys, but that's all they were. Just stories, right? That's what Wynn keeps telling herself.

But then she meets Peter, the beautiful boy with a voice to match, and when he whisks her off to Neverland, Wynn knows this is no fairy tale. The lost boys are a group of rebellious ex-pirates, young Hook has a soft side, and Peter Pan isn't as innocent as you might think.

My Review:
I love modern retellings of classic stories, so Never was definitely a story that caught my attention. Never is a modern retelling of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and it follows Wynn Harper, the great granddaughter of Wendy Darling.

The book starts soon after Wendy’s death, and we see Wynn struggling to cope. At a night out with her best friend, she meets Peter and realises Wendy’s ‘crazy’ stories of Neverland were real. The events of the story all seemed to unfold quite quickly to me. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more of Wynn’s life in LA before she was flown off to Neverland.

As we follow the pair to Neverland, we meet the Lost Boys. I adored the Lost Boys. They were definitely one of my favourite things about the story. I especially liked Pal, because his story had a little more depth to it. From there, we get the all the sights and people that Neverland has to offer: the mermaids, the fairies, Tiger Lily, etc.

Who I really liked was Captain Hook. He was probably one of my favourite characters in the story. I just wish we’d gotten to know more about him. I felt like there was a lot more to his character that we could’ve learnt. The same goes for Russ. His story was definitely one that could’ve been expanded, but wasn’t.

I wanted to like Peter and Wynn more than I did. Peter made a statement at the start of the story as to how Wynn shouldn’t judge him by the Disney movie, but he then went on to act almost the same. I would’ve preferred it if maybe he was a little different, just something to make him less cliché.

I had conflicting emotions about the ending. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Now, I love happy ending. I really do. But I didn’t want Peter to go with Wynn back to LA and for the two of them to have a simple, happy ending. What I felt it lacked was some sort of explanation as to why Peter was in Neverland. Was it like the original story? Was he there because he didn’t what to grow up? And if he was, then why wasn’t there a conversation about it? I wanted a moment in the book where Peter faces why he doesn’t want to grow up, and why that’s changed because of Wynn.

Although I never judge a book by the cover, and the cover for this book is very beautiful, it doesn’t really reflect the story. It made me feel like the story should have been darker than it was, more a twisted retelling, where Neverland isn’t what it seems. But it was actually rather calm, and I didn’t feel like there was any big threat throughout the story. Even the scenes with Hook didn’t seem as dangerous as they should have.

Never is a pleasant story to read and anyone who loves fairy tales will definitely want to give it try. There were parts of the story I enjoyed, and parts that I felt let the story down. But overall, I’m glad I took the time to read it, and Lynam has a beautifully descriptive writing style.  

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