15 Sept 2021

#Review: NEVER NEVER by Brianna R. Shrum


Author: Brianna R. Shrum
Series: N/A
Source: Audio from Audible Plus
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.

Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a pretty solid read overall. I thought the characters were done fairly well (with a few exceptions, that we will get to). But it just didn't quite read as YA to me. Sure, Hook started out at 12 but by like three chapters in, he was 20 lol. So like I wish this had actually been written as an adult book that explored the themes of death and anger more than it got into with this.

I liked Hook and seeing how Peter became his nemesis. I liked seeing the dark themes in Peter Pan and the "lost boys." I thought it was really cool to see the "behind the scenes" to how those different interactions occurred. And I liked that it brought us to where we typically see in Peter Pan stories with the Darlings. So this was a quasi-prequel because in the end we did get to that point.

But the whole idea of the forced love between Tiger Lily and Peter - and the amount of times that she was showcased, alongside her father, as an "Indian" - just didn't sit right for me. I know that there was a reason behind it but it just felt off. I think this is probably a sign of how things evolve and change over time.

The conflict though. The conflict!!! I believe this was Brianna R. Shrum's first novel. I've read another one of their books before and I can see the growth, the clear path into YA, but oh my gosh. I loved this book way more. I would love to see an Adult novel, especially fantasy, that focuses on these darker themes. Please do that!!!

I did think the pacing was a little off sometimes. The book dragged a little bit and it felt like it was being stretched for it to be a full novel. But I got through it quick enough without DNFing or feeling too much like I should be DNFing.

TLDR: This was really good! I liked the prequel aspect and the tie in to the story we know. I liked the characterization of Hook. But like it wasn't YA. But still a fun, short read! 

Have you read this book? Are you going to pick up this or any of Brianna R. Shrum's other novels?

1 comment:

  1. Oh nice! This one is in my TBR pile...somewhere! Lol. That has literally gotten away from me and is so messy and spread out! Lol. I love a good Peter Pan story. I love how authors can totally turn it on its head or give us a prequel we never knew we needed, or seeing things from a different perspective! Have you read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson? That one was really good! It's been years since I read it, but I remember loving it! Nice review all the same! I know I got on a tangent there. Lol :)


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