Goodreads description: 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
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love Peter Pan, so I was interested by Second Star‘s premise of a modern day retelling. I got a chance to read it now on Netgalley and I was really excited.
Wendy Darling’s brothers have been missing for months, and most people believe their dead. But Wendy can’t and won’t stop hoping that they’re still out there. She searches for them and meets some interesting people.
I am mainly just really confused by this book. Honestly, I think it would be better for the book to not be seen as a retelling at all. It doesn’t feel like a retelling and doesn’t seem to have much in common with what most people are probably familiar with. Maybe as a separate entity, it could just be a story about a girl who misses her brothers and gets involved with stupid and dangerous people.
That is basically what happens. She goes looking and meets Peter, a homeless surfer guy. He’s squatting at an abandoned house on a cliff. He used to be in foster care and ran away from that life. Now all he does is surf and helps kids. They scavenge to live, from the houses of the wealthy. It is kind of ridiculous. Wendy even goes with them and finds this activity glamorous. Peter hates his old friend Jas because he turned to drug dealing. When Wendy finds out Jas might have more information about her brothers, she gets involved with him, and some drugs. It is beyond ridiculous.
Wendy’s hope is easy to care about and in that respect, she’s easy to sympathize with. It’s easy to let sadness sway you and get mixed up in awful situations. But I just couldn’t understand her actions. She’s reckless and after a certain point, I couldn’t pull for her anymore. Freeing yourself from responsibility by surfing might be fun. Stealing because nobody that lives in the house wants to do anything but surf isn’t. Making sacrifices to find your brothers might be strong, but not waiting a damn night and taking drugs to get into the house isn’t. It’s stupid. Not that characters that make mistakes or do drugs can’t be enjoyable, but besides her hope, nothing about Wendy was enjoyable for me. Nothing about the story was enjoyable or meaningful to me, I didn’t feel like she learned anything or grew at all, which made the story seem sort of pointless to me.
I couldn’t get into any sort of romance, it was all creepy to me. Peter and Jas are both creepy in different ways, but Jas is especially disgusting and I just didn’t understand why Wendy wanted anything to do with him. I was also really confused by the ending but at that point I didn’t even care anymore, I just wanted to be done with it. This didn’t feel like a retelling to me. While books about similar situations might be interesting, I just kept questioning everything that happened and wondering why any of it was happening.
This was not a book for me. But if you really like surfing, recklessness, and some darkness and drug-related stuff, you might enjoy it and should give it a shot!
Have you read this one? Are you interested in it? Do you love Peter Pan? Let me know!