Saturday, June 28, 2014

Surfing Flop: [Second Star]

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Pages: 256
Keywords: fairytale, mystery, family
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley (thank you!)
Add It: 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.
Since I read an e-version of this, I didn't get to fully appreciate how pretty the cover is. I am loving the lens flares and color combos on this cover, especially since it kind of puts everything in a foggy, disbelieving sort of light. It seems like a magical place.

But that's where my excitement ended. I kind of forgot this was a Peter Pan retelling until it was PAINFULLY obvious. I wanted this to be more like Sara Benincasa's "Great," where you couldn't really tell until big things happened, and then you were thinking, "Oh! Yes! This is spectuacular!" This one, instead, was painstakingly annoying with its obvious ties to Peter Pan. Everyone had the same names except Jas, who seemed to be a new character just stuck in there (the best one, in my opinion, but I'll get to that later). There were a few other people at the beginning like Fiona, Wendy's best friend, that I thought were the most interesting and could have made the story so much better, but it was too stuck on the Peter Pan storyline to give attention to things that weren't tie-ins.

Jas was the mysterious neighbor who was infamous for selling "dust," which is this new kind of pill that basically spaces everyone out for several days. Pete was the guy she met once and fell in love with. Quickly. Jas actually had a conversation and seemed interested, and yes, he had some issues, but he was, by far, the more interesting of the two, and I thought he deserved way more stage time.

There just did not seem to be a lot happening in the book, and I felt like at 75% I should be in the thick of the novel and on edge, but it still felt like Wendy was stuck in the same cycle and wasn't going anywhere for a while.

Read When: Skip this one unless you're REALLY into Peter Pan. But even then, I'd recommend Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson instead. 


  1. I was drawn by the cover of this one but since I recently read Tiger Lily I thought I would give myself time before I picked it up. Now I think I'm just going to pass. I like retellings when there is a story within the original story, if that makes sense. Sorry you didn't care for it, but good review!

  2. Was Jas the Captain Hook character? Or was Hook in there somewhere else?

    Haven't read this one yet. The last Peter Pan retelling I read was called Neverland and it was really weak. I think my favourite in this vein is Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It's middle grade, but it's really well done.

    1. There wasn't really a Hook character. Jas wasn't a pirate or anything, he was the antagonist surfer who sold drugs. But I really really liked his character, and I wanted the author to give him more stage time. And I will have to check out Peter and the Starcatchers.
      Thanks for stopping by! :)


I love receiving comments. I read each and every comment and do my best to respond and visit your blog.