Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Second Star
by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Pub Date: May 13, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

My Review
I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't even know where to start. This is a YA retelling of Peter Pan about a girl who hangs out at an abandoned beach with two surfer boys! Just the concept is crazy awesome. I was beyond thrilled for the chance to read this early, and I loved it even more than I expected. I was so obsessed with this book while I was reading it. When I had to put it down before I was finished, I kept thinking about it and telling my friend about it. It was so so so good!

One thing I thought was great (even though it kind of drove me crazy at the same time) was how the author maintained this sort of magical tone throughout the whole story. It kept me guessing until the very end about what was real.

And, of course, what I thought was the greatest was the boys. Pete and Jas. They were both ridiculously great, but I have a tendency to root for the "bad" guy. At first I did think I'd get annoyed with Wendy sort of bouncing back and forth between two boys. But it actually felt believable and the author managed to do it without me losing any respect for Wendy. It probably had something to do with the whole magical/real-or-not-real quality of the story, too.

The last thing I want to say is slightly spoiler-y, so you might wanna skip this paragraph!

The ending. I was rooting crazy hard for a totally cheesy, ridiculously happy ending. But I started realizing way before the end that it wasn't going to be as ride-off-into-the-sunset as I wanted it to be. And I was okay with that, only because I reminded myself of Peter Pan. The story was always kind of sad to me. But also awesome.

And that's totally what Second Star was. Kind of sad, but even more awesome. I thought it was perfect. If you like fairy tale retellings, read it. Seriously. It was so creatively done.

Second Star is available Tuesday.

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