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The Neverland Wars: Beautiful Prose, But Not Enough Plot

bookreview

The Neverland Wars

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.

The Neverland Wars (Book 1)
Retellings/Fantasy/YA
302 Pages
Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date:  May 9th, 2016
Get a copy here!

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: super descriptive, beautiful prose; not much in the way of actual story; interesting, vibrantly written characters; a lot happens, but I didn’t feel like much of anything happened; love how much we saw of the fairies; the ending was sort of abrupt and weird

Look, penguins–ANOTHER book review! Are you all proud of me for actually sitting down and getting some reading done? I haven’t finished a book in so long, and today (or, rather, today for me, which….isn’t today for you all but still), I finished off two! YAY ME!

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Unfortunately, this retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales fell a bit flat for me overall. But let’s start with first things first: the prose. Audrey Greathouse wove some gorgeous, stunning imagery throughout this read. There were many times throughout these pages I found myself in awe of the beautiful, captivating AMOUNT of detail she managed to sneak into every sentence–it was as if every one of my five senses was awakened and heightened. I was transported into this world–or, at least, into Neverland, which is where Audrey Greathouse’s imagery really pays off.

However, I felt as if–while it seems a lot happens within the course of this journey–there wasn’t really a story taking place at all. While Gwen is both captivating and entertaining as a character, she is also stuck in the midway place between child- and adulthood. This makes for an interesting and complex point of view…but also a stifled, sometimes confusing one. Gwen is struggling to come to grips with a lot of things in this book, and I felt that the action was perhaps a bit lagging to focus instead on her relationship with her little sister…and her struggles to make peace with what’s happening around her. It was a fun, enthralling read–but I don’t feel like much story was told in the end.

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The characters were vibrantly written and complex, however. The relationships explored throughout–between Peter and the lost children, Peter and the mermaids, Gwen and the mermaids… All of them helped to mold and shape my opinions of them as individuals and as a cohesive group. It was especially interesting to watch Gwen interact, as sort of a hovering outsider–someone not quite on the inside, but not on the periphery either. Her reactions and interactions were both endearing and entertaining.

In the end, this was just an okay retelling for me. The prose is gorgeous and descriptive, but I felt the story fell very flat. The characters were intriguing, though, and Neverland came to life for me in a new and exciting way. I was curious about the war between reality and Neverland they kept alluding to…but unfortunately wasn’t given as many answers in this book as I’d hoped. I’d still recommend this to lovers of Peter Pan, retellings, and dystopian/fantasies. This was a fun and complex journey; I just wish I’d enjoyed it a little bit more.

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Cover Reveal: Neverland Evermore

Neverland Evermore
Sarah J. Pepper
Publication date: June 11th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Neverland has a way of breaking people. It corrupts souls. It destroys hope. The evil festering inside it brings out the darkness in our hearts and leaves us worse than dead. No good has ever come from it. Ever.

It is where I was born.

Therefore, darkness is all I know. Corruption is in my bones. So when I see him, I mean to win his heart and then break him. I mean to lure him to my arms and then destroy him. But it is his intentions and his wicked smile that deter me…at least until a lost soul from my past catches up with us.

My world ignites into flames. My love’s sinks to the depths of the sea. We are from two different worlds that overlap for a brief moment in time. But it is that moment which carries me forward. It is that moment in which he lives in the past. It is that moment in which I embrace my true nature and seek vengeance against those responsible for feeding his hand to that godforsaken alligator.

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Author Bio:

Award Winning Author, Sarah J. Pepper, specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She unveils the beauty of love in her new adult/young adult novels. Her works envelope dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, bunnies, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? Get a glimpse inside her head at http://www.sarahjpepper.com

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Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson…

IS SO TOTALLY ON SALE TODAY for Kindle/ereaders!!!!!!

If you’re anything like me and love retellings and/or Peter Pan, I highly recommend you go check this book out!  I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on it from other readers, but you all know me by now–I LOVE the books that a lot of other people LOATHE, so it’s no wonder this book got

5Penguins

from this reader!

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

GO GET IT FOR $1.99!

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Bookishly Obsessed (#4)

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This is going to be a weekly post for Saturdays featuring anything “Bookish” I find myself obsessed with.  In most cases, this will be a certain type of book/read/author.  I might branch out to include covers, as well, but we’ll see.  By “obsessed”…I mean I own tons of/go out of my way to collect!

This week:

Peter Pan

In Order:

Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
Hook, by Terry Brooks
Capt. Hook:  The Adventures of a Notorious Youth, by J.V. Hart
Another Pan (Another #2), by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
The Child Thief, by Brom
Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Second Star, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

I also own several movie versions, including:

So… I’m only just a LITTLE bit obsessed with Peter Pan!  But I mean…can you blame me?!  Is there a mischievous character you can’t help but collect like a maniac?  Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments, or post up your own Bookishly Obsessed and link me!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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