Never Ever Will I Finish This: Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

Source: GoodReads

I DNF’d this book within 40 pages.

It just wasn’t for me.

I am going to bullet point this review and it’s probably going to be really short.  If you want a more thorough review of this book I suggest you check out other reviews because honestly I gave up on it so soon that I don’t even know if this review is worth a shit.

Anyway, here’s the reasons I DNF’d it.

  • Stiff Style: It was one of those hard to connect to styles that just kind of hard to get into.  This might not bother a lot of people, but it bothered me.
  • Another Evil Peter Pan.  At least there’s no sexy Hook (so far) so it’s not a complete Once Upon a Time rip off yet.
  • A MC who gives a rat’s ass about anything else other than her love life even though she claims to care about her family.
  • Note, she treats her family like crap.
  • Usual sullen teenager dealing with divorce trope.
  • Modernization of the characters names from the original because you know you can’t name characters Wendy, John, and Michael anymore.  Wylie, Joshua, and Micha sound better and Phinn sounds better than fucking Peter Pan.
  • Because everyone has a party on a roof top in New York.
  • That whole going into Neverland drug induced scene-yeah, I stopped after that because that was just so stupid.

Like I said, not really a lot to go off of here if you’re really interested in the book, but just for you to know, it didn’t work for me.  It was just really bad and cliche…and when it’s only redeeming feature is not having the obligatory Sexy Hook! (or at least as far as I know, he still might’ve popped in there after the thirty or so pages I read).

Overall Rating: A mother fucking DNF.

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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.

SMH.

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

Fairy Dust Will Do This to Your Brain: Second Star by Alyssa B Sheinmel

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.

Okay, maybe this is slightly disturbing. In the Disney spectrum.

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.

God…..

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.

Obviously, everyone wanted to in Peter’s errr…tights.

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.

See….everyone knows about Rufio.  And I really could get behind this Hook.

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.  So, yes, if you haven’t guessed it gets an F.