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Second Star - Alyssa B. Sheinmel

I finished this book a week ago, and have been trying this entire time to figure out exactly what to say about it. As I start to write this review, I realize that is the entire issue: this book made me feel nothing. I did not feel connected to any of the characters, the plot was not engaging. The fact that this was a retelling of Peter Pan was not enough to save it.

The most frustrating character in the entire story is by far Wendy. Her lack of focus and her flakiness in particular. She hops between the two points of the badly constructed love triangle every other chapter and lets the boys manipulate and control her. Pete lies right to her face from the moment she meets him, keeps secrets from her, and they have no chemistry whatsoever.  And yet, despite this, it is only one chapter into the story before Wendy is swooning and pining for him. Then there is Jas.  He has a dead-end, dangerous as hell, illegal profession and tells her he is stalking her and she feels comforted. Seriously?

As far as the characters being adaptations from the original story, not once in the story did any of these characters do or say something that reminded me of their original counterparts. Jas is supposed to be Hook, Belle is supposed to be Tinker Bell? If their names had not been similar to the original characters, I would have had no idea who was who. I only knew Jas was supposed to be Hook after reading another blogger’s opinions about the book. This is not a good sign.

The plot is almost worse than the characters. As I said before, this book was supposed to be a retelling of Peter Pan. The problem with this for me is that the references to the original story are few and far between.  There are so many missed opportunities to make subtle references to the story that it is a bit ridiculous. The author does, however, make a habit of ending several chapters with a cheesy reference to making wishes on the “second star” of the night. This would have been clever if she hadn’t employed this same trick over and over, making the phrase feel forced and overused after the first couple times it is used.

Unfortunately, the adaptation is not the only issue with the plot—this book is also horribly slow and boring. Wendy’s brothers are missing, Pete and his friends are orphans/runaways living as thieves on a cliff, there are drugs floating around—there are literally a million exciting things that could be happening at any given time, and we see none of them.

Overall I was unbelievably disappointed with this. It did not deliver on any level. The characters were a miss, the plot was a miss, and the adaptation of the original story was a miss. If you are looking for a good alternative to “Second Star” that has amazing characters, a wonderful plot, and is a beautiful retelling of the “Peter Pan” story, do yourself a favor and go pick up “Tiger Lily” by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It is absolutely amazing and will knock your socks off.  ”Second Star” will just put you to sleep.