More of the Sexy Hook Trope: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Source: GoodReads

I have like three Peter Pan books in my TBR pile and I think I have another one coming in the mail this month.  Which was good of a reason why to read one.

I’ve noticed from the blurb of these books that a lot of them focus on the Hook character.  And make him some sort of sexy love interest.   I blame Colin O’donoghue for that-thank you Colin, you’ve probably made Peter Pan a villain for life because you can rock a leather cloak and guyliner and have the whole stupid YA bad boy complex going on (except in that show he is legal).

Whatever though.   I’m game for an villain story anytime, especially if said villain is a sexy pirate.  And aside from revamping the story where Hook in the hero, Unhooked had an interesting concepts-Neverland more or less being a fey realm, but at the end of the day it failed so bad on so many levels.

The characterization was weak for all characters.  I really thought from the blurb that the friendship between Gwen and Olivia was going to play a bigger role than it did, but for the most part that friendship was basically non-existent and was pretty much Olivia being brain washed into some bizzaro Peter Pan fangirl because-um, yeah, plot.


Maybe it’s because I just read a really good YA book where friendships actually played a significant part in the story, but I was hoping that more of the same would’ve been here.  It was really a missed opportunity on Maxwell’s part.

It also didn’t help that I didn’t care for anyone.  I mean,  the characters are barely fleshed out-if any-from good guy/bad guy and we are told rather than shown their motivations.  On a positive note, this makes this book considerably shorter than a lot of books that would’ve taken the same concept-it’s just shy of over 300 pages with considerably short chapters.

That being said, the pacing was completely awkward.   While I read the book fairly quickly, I had to go back several times to figure out how so and so happened.  It was a confusing book to read.

Again, which is really sad because the concept and parts of the world building had a lot of promise.

I sadly can’t recommend reading Unhooked.  I have two-soon to be three-more Pan retellings to get through and I’m hoping that both of them are better than this one.  While there are some things that I did like about Unhooked the execution was really quite horrid.

Overall Rating: A D.  It doesn’t totally fail because there are glimpses at what could’ve been but the overall plotting and character development was quite horrendous.  I really wish that the editors would’ve taken more control of this one because the story and Maxwell have potential


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