May 4, 2020

Review--Neverland by Anna Katmore

Why is there a boy who doesn’t want to grow up?

How can an apple start the sweetest romance in fairytale history?
And what does a ruthless pirate have to do with it all?

Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales. But she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. That’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall.

Ending up in Neverland where no one seems to age and laws of nature are out of control, Angel has no idea how to get home. Worse, the ruthless Captain Hook captures her and keeps her trapped on his ship, the Jolly Roger, where she gets caught between the lines of a timeless battle. But the more time Angel spends with the captain, the more she sees beneath his ruthless façade.

As Angel desperately tries to find a way to return to her real life, she discovers a train ticket to London in her pocket. It won’t be any help in getting off the island, but as her memory fades away the longer she stays, this is all she has left to remind her of her former life and why she can’t give up trying.

Or is staying in Neverland forever the better choice after all?

Grab a happy thought and follow Angel on an adventure that will keep you breathless and smiling long after you read the last page…

I went into Anna Katmore's Neverland thinking it was a New Adult version of Peter Pan! That's why I remember adding it to my TBR pile at least. But quickly after starting it, I learned that this is NOT NA, in fact it's pure Young Adult! Not a problem there, but a part of me was really looking forward to an NA Peter Pan story because how cool would that be?!

As it is though, this was still a unique take on the Peter Pan story we all know and love! Peter is more of a teenager than the 12 year old boy I always imagined him as and, Hook is more like nineteen. So big changes there!

The story begins with Angelina tending to her younger sisters one night, she was just getting ready to tuck them into bed when a bizarre accident sends her tumbling over the edge of her balcony and instead of crashing two stories to the ground, she lands herself in Neverland! There she meets the one and only Peter Pan who is excited to see a new person in Neverland, and a girl no less! He's ready for her to join his clan of Lost Boys and sets off showing her around the island, his hideout, and his treasure. Much like the excited boy who never wanted to grow up, he has quite a few childlike tendencies and its these tendencies that leaves him to abandon Angelina later that night after an argument of some sort. It was likely more Angelina telling him she needs to find a way to get home that set him off.

The next day as Angelina is wandering about the nearby town she meets the enigmatic Jamie. True, he didn't impress her at first, but then when he offers to help her find a way to get home, she's more willing to accept his offer. She soon learns however that Jamie is short for James as in Captain James Hook (though truthfully, Hook isn't even his name either!).

James is determined to find Peter's treasure because it was actually his treasure that Peter stole. Among the pieces is a locked chest that has something he very much wants because it's the key to everything he wants. Mysterious enough for you? 

James plans to use Angelina to make her lead him to the treasure or the very least to Peter's hideout so he can make Peter tell him where it is, but once again, things go awry. And now James finds himself with Angelina on his hands permanently as Peter is still mad at her. Naturally, you know what this will mean.

But Angelina learns in a roundabout way, the more time you spend in Neverland, the more you forget yourself. In fact, upon arriving in Neverland, Angelina didn't even know her own name. She remembered absolutely everything else about her life, except for that. I found that part a little odd. Not remembering yes, that makes sense. But she literally remembered EVERYTHING except for her name. As the days pass by while she's on Neverland, she slowly starts to forget the everything else a little at a time.

The relationship that slowly developed between James and Angelina was the sweet slow burn kind. Everything you thought you knew about Hook is about to be challenged in this story. In fact, everything you thought you knew about Peter Pan is about to be challenged as well! I enjoyed this unique take on the Peter Pan story. There's a surprising backstory to Peter and James that will leave you shell shocked! The way things set up the story we already know and loved will be forever changed!

But back to that slow burn'll be swept away by how sweet and tender it was! I also enjoyed that though the story was told mostly through Angelina's point of view, at a certain point we start getting added chapters from James' point of view.

The story ends in a surprising way! I don't know what I was expecting to be honest. The turns the story took was shocking and yet, not unbelievable either. Though something that nagged at me every now and then was when James would spout off a little too modern slang. I mean...Neverland is another place entirely, and though he was amazed to hear about airplanes and cars in London, which was nicely done, I was a bit baffled by him knowing certain adjectives that didn't seem to fit the old-timey feel of Neverland itself.

The story almost wraps itself into a neat little bow until the very end which has quite a bit of a cliffhanger! I'm off to get myself a copy of the sequel so I can start it asap because what with the final book's title, I am positively dying to know what will happen...and what already happened prior to that ending! Lol! Needless to say things were wild and shocking!

Overall, Neverland was an interesting read. It caught me by surprise right away what with my misinformation regarding "age level," but the story itself was still pretty good! There were a few minor things within the writing that didn't always mesh with the story at hand, but they could easily be overlooked. Definitely picking up the next book asap!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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