Thank you to NetGalley and Spencer Hill Press for allowing me to read and review an ebook copy of Never Never by Brianna Shrum.
Never Never is a retelling of Peter Pan, except it's not really about Peter. It's about James Hook when he is a child and he WANTS to grow up. When he meets Peter Pan he agrees to go on holiday to Neverland with him. Peter promises him that he will take him back to London. However, once Hook is ready to go home, Peter refuses to take him back. Thus begins the tale of a pirate captain versus the boy who refused to grow up.
Never Never started off very strongly for me. I have only seen the Peter Pan Disney movie (and some Once Upon a Time episodes with Peter in it) and other than that I have no experience with anything else related to Peter Pan. I've never read the original story, I've never watched the movie Hook, or anything else. So I was extremely excited to see Captain Hook's side of things. The first quarter of the book had me hooked (get it hooked? lol) right away. Hook as a child meeting Peter, how he got to Neverland, and his experiences while first in Neverland was so darn GOOD. I LOVED seeing how Peter essentially stole away Hook's life and why Hook came to despise Peter so much.
After that is where the book dropped off a bit for me. The last three quarters of the book my interest just tapered off the longer the book went on. Somewhere along the way Never Never just lost the connection to the reader. I started to feel really distanced from the characters and what was going on in the book. Honestly, it just got pretty dull and flat. Also, I think there is a few small things in the book that I would have liked to have been explored more and they just weren't.
Overall Never Never is alright. I think it is more of a middle grade novel than YA, which is okay, but not what I was expecting. I probably should have DNF'd Never Never, but I kept hoping it would get back to being as good as the beginning of the novel was. It had such promise!
I would recommend Never Never for die hard Peter Pan retelling fans, people who realize that Peter Pan is a jerk and would enjoy seeing him portrayed a bit darker, and for middle grade children who like pirates.