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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“It was never real. The island doesn’t exist. I’ve repeated those words for two years”
Gwendolyn Bairre was sent away to a mental institution for several years after she was missing for several weeks. Her parents were killed by pirates and she was left adrift. When she comes home speaking of an island and the boy who saved her, her remaining family is convinced she is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. After years of therapy and finally just giving in and telling them what they want to hear so that she can get on with her life, she is allowed to return to college. Under the watchful eye of her brother Micah she starts to adjust to a normal life… Until he shows up. Peter is a big man on campus, and is desperate for Gwen’s attention. However she is terrified of him, he looks too much like the boy, her boy. After trying to convince everyone, including herself, that what happened to her wasn’t real, here he is. Is he real? Is she going crazy again?
This modern day retelling of Peter Pan had such promise. I was unaware at the time that I was reading it that that’s what this was. It may have made more sense to me had I known. However, there are still giant holes in this story regardless. Some parts of the story jumped so abruptly from one thing to the next that I had no idea what was going on. There was either no build up or no explanation as to why two people were connected that I felt confused or just disconnected to the characters. I liked Gwen and I did care about her and her fight to maintain her sanity. I felt that she was not in fact crazy but the more she tried to assert that the more crazy she looked. I did not however, feel or understand her connection to Peter. I was just not feeling their chemistry. Maybe on his part but definitely not on hers.
There did come a point in the book that was a huge aha! moment for me. Unfortunately that was at the last few pages of the book. All of the small details and references to the original story of Peter Pan and the island of lost boys were actually quite brilliant. I thought back to everything I had read and said wow that was brilliant. And then just like that the book ended. Just when I was getting into it and starting to feel like everything made sense, why Gwen and Peter were so drawn to each other, what their connection was, it was over. I have read some rumors that there may be a sequel. I would like to see more, to have these characters develop more; there is so much more story that could be told.
3 stars and I have to recommend a nice bubbly champagne. Enjoy!
ARC generously offered in exchange for an honest review