That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home. However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out thought – and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.
She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight or eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.
Review: Massive thank you to Audrey for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. Before I even start on the book itself, I can’t not mention the cover. This has to be one of my favourite ever book covers. It’s absolutely beautiful and so mystical and mysterious and oh gosh I can’t even do it justice trying to talk about it. Cover: 10/10 from me. Onto the story itself, The Neverland Wars is about Gwen who, travelling to Neverland to try and bring her sister, Rose, home meets mermaids and fairies, the lost boys and of course, the notorious Peter Pan. But whilst she’s there, she learns that there’s a war going on that intertwines reality and Neverland and she may have just got herself caught up in the middle of it. Her aim? Bring her sister home. But when Rose refuses to leave and Gwen realises that reality might not be the place she wants to be she has to chose between the two.
I really loved the concept of this book; I knew it would differ quite greatly from the original story of Peter Pan that we all know and love and that’s fine. I like adaptations of original fairy-tales for that very reason – to see an entirely new and different take on a classic depending on someone else’s imagination. As this book is part one of a series, I did feel that the overall storyline did lack some depth and was a bit wishy-washy in parts. More explanation was needed for some elements of what look like are going to be critical parts of the bigger picture. I’m surprised to say that I actually enjoyed the parts of the story outside of Neverland more than the chunk where she’s there. Neverland was very well described but it seemed to be concocted of a whole bunch of random events. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy some of those events; the part when they meet the red Indians I really enjoyed.
Another pit fall for me was the amount of characters and how quickly they were all introduced, especially the Lost Boys and Girls in Neverland. I liked Gwen, the main character. I think she has a huge potential to be a really strong and solid heroine in the coming books. Peter Pan was… well… Peter Pan. Arrogant and self-centred, just how we know him from the original. So I really liked how the author kept this image of Peter in her adaptation. He wouldn’t have seemed right any other way. But the Lost Boys and Girls and the fairies, I couldn’t tell you who was who, which is a shame. Because a lot of the characters were exceptionally young, I did find a lot of the book quite childish in parts. However, it would then switch quite dramatically and present you with a really deep and meaningful message – which I liked.
I enjoyed this book, but it needed some work. Some tweaking of the editing process and a clearer structure of the storyline would have done wonders. Although this is labelled as Young Adult, I would have gone as far as to say that it was a bit too young for me. But then, we’re talking about a huge party with alcohol and weed at the end so I’m not sure. It was kind of in the middle so there again lies another area I believe it could have improved on; having a much more definitive genre and aim at a much ore specific age range, that way it could have gone much darker. But I appreciate that that probably wasn’t the general theme of what the author was going for. I’d definitely be interested in reading the next book, to see where the story is going and to hopefully fill in some of the gaps left at the end of this one!