I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Disclaimer: As far as I know there are no drugs on Neverland. Wonderland I can’t guarantee and Oz–well, we won’t even go on with what happens in Kansas. I’ll also say that I received Second Star from Netgalley and it obviously did not effect my opinion of this book.
Let’s face in, childhood classics can be bat shit crazy. As wholesome as Disney tries to make its movies there’s still some rather grotesque imagery that scars us for life. As far as scarring material goes, Peter Pan really isn’t that bad. There are no little boys that are turned to donkeys are are sold to a life of indentured servitude in the mines. There’s no court that rules a little girl has to lose her head because an evil despot says so. But, this is the YA retelling where drugs explains everything. And Wendy Darling, well, is a druggie.
I kid you not. To be fair, Wendy only used once in this book. But you know those good ole’ PSA one time is enough to make you a full blown rehab ready junkie. At least according to Wendy’s best friend who totally narcs on her-it’s actually a pretty common occurrence so I really don’t feel that bad for Wendy because she should’ve know better than confiding in that twit. Much like she should’ve known better about a lot of stuff.
At this point, you’re probably thinking I’m on something because I’m already ranting about a book that I haven’t really describe to you. Well, here it is. Think a very (and I mean very) loose Peter Pan retelling where only the characters names are used and that’s pretty much it and add surfing and drugs and you get this book.
I knew about the whole drug subplot before going into this one, but I thought it might be okay. Not so much because I thought hey drug abuse might be a good book, but I didn’t think drug use would be explored so senseless in this book.
With the days of Celebrity Rehab and the internet, it’s not that difficult to Google in drug abuse and find out how people become addicted and who someone merely can’t detox at home. But I guess the good old Stephenie Meyer excuse works here as good as time as any (note to self, see if they have make a Stephenie Meyer excuse meme).
I might have also been a bit curious about how a I’m Going to Stanford-yes, we hear that only four hundred and twenty-two times-teen who makes logical decisions decides to pop a drug she KNOWS caused addiction issues for her brothers.
Um, honey, you know you could’ve faked taking that. Plenty of television patients with mental illness do it and they manage.
I wish the other characters in this mess were a bit better so that I could give this book some love for that. But I didn’t love either Pete or Jas.
Let’s start with Pete, a.k.a. Peter Pan. Did I mention that I had a huge crush on the Disney character when I was younger. Seriously, I think he was my first love.
I was four.
But this is a character that really could be explored in so many ways. He’s the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. His past is really ambivalent, and if the Disney movie is anything to go by, he could be depicted as a cad. But what do we in Second Star? A little womanizing weasel. Who has excuse after excuse for being a little turd. Yes, I get that Peter Pan has moments, but man this Pan is not the Pan. We really need someone to go Rufio on his ass (and if you don’t know that reference, shame on you).
And if you think our other love interest is better, well, you’ve been watching too much Once Upon a Time.
This Hook is not that Hook. He’s a drug dealer. And yes, I know that there are plenty of drug dealers in today’s media the ooze sex appeal. I’m really trying not to be Little Miss PSA here-the book already has one, I’ll get to you soon narc (don’t worry)-but GOD! I don’t get why Wendy claimed she loved him. Sure, he helped her out when she got sloshed-well, sort of-but he’s the person responsible for it in the first place. And he’s the reason her brother’s disappeared.
Well, he does have blue eyes…
And that does seem to make the difference in the genre.
I think the character I hated the most though, was the best friend. Oh God. I don’t know how anyone would want to be friends with that tool. She basically calls Wendy nuts from the start of the book, even though anyone in Wendy’s position would want to hold out hope that their brothers were out there like that. And for that matter, her immediately calling Wendy’s parents instead of a doctor when Wendy is withdrawing from ONE (ONE) pill. Um, wouldn’t it have been better if you were that concerned to call a medical professional rather than ratting her out?
Wendy, girl, get yourself some new friends.
And then there’s the ending…
This is sort of like the elephant in the room.
I thought about not talking about it because hello, spoilers. But it’s sort of something I have to mention. This ending, to me, is the worst sort of ending. It’s what I call a cop out ending. I won’t go into much more detail than that. But really, not impressed.
Overall, this one is a disappointment. I originally was going to give it a higher score than I did for a creative concept, but then I read that it was produced by Alloy and so I really can’t give it creativity points.