Thursday, September 24, 2015

*ARC* Never Never - DNF Review

Never Never

By: Brianna R. Shrum

Published: September 22, 2015 by Spencer Hill Press

368 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does. 

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.
Perhaps naive of me, but I was really hoping for more from this story. This was the first retelling that I decided to read so I had nothing to compare it to as to whether I would enjoy it or not. Seeing as how I really want my stories to have some sense of a romance mixed in, maybe I didn't pay enough attention to the description on Goodreads before requesting this...or maybe I was just hoping for something more than what this story is about. Perhaps how James Hook first fell in love but he knew he needed to grow up first....I don't know. I'm not a writer. I just know what I like in the books I read.

This book, though I only read 15%, was very similar to that of many of the movie versions and plays I've seen (admittedly I've never read any Peter Pan stories though). Many scenes were familiar to me, based on the story point of view from Peter and Wendy, and others, and felt too similar for me from the movie adaptation with Robin Williams, specifically some of the Lost Boys scenes. Here is the beginning to a scene when the Lost Boys tell Peter they are hungry - if you know anything about this classic story, you'll be familiar with it:

      Then, he motioned his hand in the air like he was grabbing some morsel and bit down on it, "it" being nothing. James was perplexed. (Not that that was new.) He noted minute looks of malcontent on all the boys' faces, but they disappeared as quickly as they came, and the entire party took up biting and tearing and scooping at the air.

Beyond my disappointment with those things, this version of the story follows James Hook as a 13 year old boy, who having previously dreamt of pirates and being a captain of his own ship, meets Peter Pan one night and proceeds to travel to Neverland with Peter. There he discovers that his own dreams created a pirate ship and the crew that work it. Since Peter and all lost boys hate adults, these are their sole archenemy.

I will say the one intriguing bit to me was the blood thirsty look that Peter gets when he's killing pirates. This perhaps was the one interesting and disturbing perspective to me and maybe more develops from there with a different side of Peter than we are used to seeing.

But to be honest guys, I don't have any hope of any kind of romance brewing within this retelling as I realize that is not the focus of this particular version of the story. Mostly for that reason, I don't see this story captivating me to continue to read more.

Though it's not for me, I would think this story would appeal more to middle school ages and based on the clean content through the 15% mark I would recommend it even to my own kids (who at the time of this posting are 13 and 11).

Language Rating: 0 (none) 
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating:  DNF


  1. I'm thinking of crossing this one off my wish list. I've read lots of reviews, the same as this. So glad that I didn't get approved to review this. Maybe I'll borrow it from my library one day.


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