It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
Another book by Aiden Thomas. Heck yes, I was interested in it. I was slightly wary because I’m always wary about Peter Pan books; it’s just a thing for me. But, after read Cemtery Boys and Darling (another 2021 Peter Pan retelling!), I was incredibly eager to see what this book was about! Trigger warnings: panic attacks, anxiety
I am not quite sure how I feel about this book. I think I am incredibly neutral towards it, which is a weird feeling. I’m not quite a shrug, that feels too negative. Maybe something just above a shrug. This makes writing a review kind of hard, but I’m going to try my best because there are things I want to say about this book!
Alright, first off, I’m going to start off with the biggest positive for me, which was the writing. Thomas knows how to WRITE. Seriously, everything about the prose is just gorgeous. It’s haunting and beautiful and emotional all at the same time. Really, the writing is a big reason why this book is just above a shrug for me.
Another positive for me was the ending. Of course, I can’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but the ending was fantastic. It allows the book to cement itself as a truly wonderful Peter Pan retelling. It takes such a beloved story and makes it something completely original and noteworthy while staying true to the magic the original held. But the magic this book brought is what makes this book shine, in my opinion.
I liked the characters, and I was on the verge of loving them! I especially liked Wendy. There’s just something about her, her inherent loving nature and how big her heart is. She seems like she’s so solidly nice and caring, and it was easy to root for her.
There is nothing really that made this book bad to me or any reason I feel so neutral towards it. I feel like there was an opportunity for this book to go dark, and I’m kind of bummed it didn’t go in that direction. But at the same time, I really love the direction this retelling decided to take. I think the plot moved a bit too slow for me. And I didn’t quite connect with Peter’s character. I think I wanted more out of both of those things, and it threw off the rest of the book for me.
Nevertheless, I do not think this is a bad book at all! There’s even things I like about it! Please don’t be discouraged from reading it, because I think a lot of people will really love it. It’s a fantastically written Peter Pan retelling and I hope it finds the people of who will fall completely in love with it.