Book Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

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 his 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 J. M. Barrie's classic tale, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up—and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Release Date: May 13, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Madi B

I was super excited to read this book for two reasons. The first being that cover. Let's just take a minute and appreciate it. Ah.  And number two is the whole PETER PAN PART!!!! Yeah, I was pumped. I haven’t read the original Peter Pan book, but I’ve seen the movie so it was really cool to figure out where the movie and the book connect throughout the story. Figuring out the references was pretty cool too. (Like the names Pete and Belle etc., ok fine, those weren’t that hard but IT’S STILL FUN!) I especially loved how the story took place in California and how surfing was incorporated. The whole book was really well done!
But because I haven’t read the original Peter Pan, when I got to the ending of Second Star, I didn’t know if it was technically correct or not (Because it sure wasn’t like the movie) and THAT KILLED ME! And that love triangle, gosh dang, it was crazy. I thought it would be the death of me. (In a good way) So obviously the story line wasn’t slow paced. Once the story got started, (It takes a couple chapters) you get all wrapped up in it. I read this in a couple of hours because the thought of putting it down was out of the question.

The bad thing about getting wrapped up in a book with a love triangle? EVERYTHING IS EVIL WHEN YOU GUESS WRONG! And this girl was wrong. (And I’m NEVER WRONG!) Gosh dang I just wanted to slap her.

Another thing I didn’t super love was how…off…Wendy was. When the book starts out, Wendy’s brothers are missing, so everything isn’t exactly peachy for her. This validates for her slight off-ness (And I mean slight) but just because it’s validated doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Overall I really loved this book. I’ve never heard of anyone attempt to modernize Peter Pan (Can’t say the same for Cinderella) so reading this was a really cool experience. I also really liked how even without the Peter Pan parts, I still would have liked the book. (A girl in a love triangle on a quest to find her brothers? Heck yeah I would read that!) The author didn’t just rely on old material, and that's what made Second Star a great read.


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