Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Peter Pan! It was by far my favorite childhood story, so when I discovered Second Star featuring a modern day Wendy I could not resist. In this update Peter Pan is just Pete, a former foster child and now a surfer who spends his days happily flying across the waves at a lovely secluded beach. He, his lost boys, and tiny but spirited Belle live by themselves in a dilapidated, long abandoned luxury home perched high atop the crumbling cliff that looms over the hidden cove where they surf.
Wendy is a good-girl straight A student, just graduated from high school and going to Stanford in the fall. She grew up in a home with glass walls so she’s never slept in the dark--the city lights below their hill have always been her stars. Wendy stumbles into Pete’s hideaway while searching for her brothers Michael and John, two surf-loving 16-year olds who have been missing for months. Everyone else accepts that they are dead since two surfers matching their descriptions were seen wiping out on a giant wave and never resurfacing, but Wendy can’t let go. Maybe it was two other boys. Maybe her brothers are just on the lam, chasing the best waves. Wendy’s parents and friends believe she is deluding herself and needs therapy so she can grieve properly and face reality. Wendy won’t listen. She just wants to find Michael and John so she concocts a story for her parents, telling them that she’s vacationing with her best friend, and then sets off on her mission alone, which is when she finds Pete.
While there’s no actual flying there is a feeling of magic in this story. The many beach scenes are so well imagined they conjure up vivid sensations of sand, sun, salt, and sea. Wendy falls hard for Pete and loses her way for a little while as she immerses herself in his world, surfing for the first time and even breaking into expensive homes with Pete’s crew to collect supplies, but she never forgets about searching for her brothers. Though Pete warns Wendy against it she accepts help and then love from Pete’s nemesis--a handsome Captain Hook character, here a surfing, high living drug dealer named Jas who tells Wendy he thinks he may know where John and Michael are. As the story goes on what is real and imaginary starts to become unclear, which disappointed me a little as I was reading, but the ending satisfactorily ties the strands of Wendy’s life together and in general this is a wonderful and hypnotic Peter Pan update.
I received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. The opinions are mine.