Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Farrar, Straus, & Giroux BYR on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Second Star
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication Date: May 13, 2014

My Pre-Reading

Synopsis: 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.


Review: So... this book. I'm really torn about it. There were times I loved it and times I hated it. But for all of the problems that I saw with it, I found things that I really liked. I haven't really felt this undecided about a book in a while. 

I think one of my major problems with this book was with Wendy. I liked that she was searching for her brothers, John and Michael, but I didn't like that it didn't really seem like she cared if they were alive or dead... she just needed closure. She mourned for them, but she even says that she was never really all that close to them because they were in their own world. I feel like if I lost my sibling, I would be a total wreck. She's also ridiculously indecisive. She spends the first of the book "in love" with Pete, and then she decides that she's "in love" with Jas for the rest of the book. I mean, come on.

And then, she decides that taking a drug that she KNOWS is crazy addictive and has destroyed lives is a good idea? Especially when nobody even knows what's in it? Ugh. I just wanted to slap her every time she did something stupid. I really wish I had connected more with her or actually felt sympathy for her, but I just couldn't. She's pretty much the worst. 

I was also a little concerned that I thought Jas was the better of the two boys. Like in what universe is a drug dealer better for a girl than the guy who is trying to help kids get off of drugs? I know there's always that "bad boy" appeal, but Jas isn't really a bad boy... he just does bad things to make money and is actually a very sweet guy. The characters are just so messed up and I am so conflicted about all of them.

The plot, however, was written very well and moved along at a pretty decent pace. I never felt like the story was lacking or that there was a lull in the plot. Everything happens for a reason, and by the end I honestly had no idea what to believe. I think that was done very well, and I would be interested to see if there's a sequel that would explain more about what Wendy is going through. I was definitely not expecting the explanation or the ending, so props on that!

I think, overall, this was an interesting reimagining of the Peter Pan story. It's unlike any Peter Pan story I've ever read, and it's definitely on that I'll remember for a while. It wasn't my favorite, and I really hated most of the characters most of the time, but it's still a pretty decent story with interesting twists and turns. If you enjoy Peter Pan stories, and especially want a little romance and mystery, I would totally recommend this book. I'd only give it a 3/5, but I think there's an audience for it. It just wasn't really me. 


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