By: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary
oceansideadventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
I am a huge fan of retellings of classic stories so I was so excited to read Second Star, a Peter Pan retelling. Though it was a lot darker then I was expecting it to be. Wendy Darling is convinced her brothers, John and Michael are still alive, despite the police closing the case and declaring them dead. Wendy's search leads her to the home of Pete and his friends, a group of orphans that survive by stealing food from others, sleeping in abandon homes, and who love to surf.
I enjoyed the characters, but I wish they were more fleshed out. I felt the only one I knew well was Wendy and Jas. Jas was supposed to be the bad guy, but there is more to him than meets the eye and I thought Wendy and Jas had a wonderful connection. I would have liked to know more about Pete. I felt that even at the end of the story, I still didn't know anything about him. Pete and Wendy lied to each other from the very beginning, but Jas was nothing but open and honest with her.
I also would have liked a more concrete ending. I didn't like the back and forth of if everything was real or not. Did Wendy imagine Pete and Jas and the rest of the gang? Is Wendy crazy? Is Wendy a drug addict? I guess the very end was supposed to leave the reader feeling happy with their questions answered, but for me, I was left more confused and with more questions. It does seem like their could be a second book, but the story could also end here.
Overall, I did enjoy Second Star. I wish the end was a little different, but overall a nice retelling.