Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (no spoilers)

Book: Second Star
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication: May 13th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: May 24th-26th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure 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.
My Thoughts:

The beginning of Second Star was beautiful. It set the scene of sunny California, spending all day at the beach in the sun. Then it started to incorporate elements of Peter Pan. Here's the thing the publishing industry did wrong with this one. I was expecting an original peter pan retelling and at the beginning I think Peter Pan was incorporated in there well while still be an original story of Wendy Darling who is searching for her twin brothers John and Michael. John and Michael were always chasing the next wave and have been missing since January. 

At the beginning of the book I was loving every minute, the romance, the lost boys, and Wendy's quest for her brothers. Then everything changed toward the middle. Wendy might have been a bit crazy in the beginning, but by the middle I was pretty sure she lost her mind. She was doing things that I didn't understand and didn't really think she needed to do in order to find her brothers. Another thing that let me down is all the elements of Peter Pan disappeared in the middle. I couldn't find any traces of J.M. Barrie's story. 

Everything all came back at the end and I was totally interested in the novel again. I think Peter Pan elements came back to the story and the ending was not totally satisfactory because I was looking for more romance, but it was a magical ending. The ending gave hope, but when I got to it I thought of how it could have been so much more. I guess I just wanted more closure with the characters. 

The characters in this novel were interesting to say the least. My favorite had to be Hughie, he was a minor character, I think he brought so much hope and insight to this novel that I fell in love with him. Then there was Wendy. I have mixed feelings about Wendy. I think she will forever be plaqued by her brother's disappearance and that has changed her life and her way of thinking. As I said before her decisions in this book weren't exactly the best. I get the feeling of wanting to find your brothers, but I don't think she had the right way of going about. Then of course there was Pete. I think Pete should have had more of a role in this novel, but there were parts he would totally disappear. Otherwise Pete was charming, caring, but he was also the Peter Pan we know. He was forgetful and he lied and lived a carefree life. Then there was Belle, she was the Tinker Bell we all know and love. She was rude and impatient, but she was also fearless when Belle was surfing we saw a whole other side of her. That is what made me fall in love with her as a character. Then there was Jas. I won't tell you what his role was you will figure it out. I didn't like Jas and I didn't like his attitude and his way of achieving his goals. The characters in this novel could have been better, but for the most part they were pretty good. 

I respect this author a lot for creating an original contemporary and incorporating elements of Peter Pan into the story. The advertising for this book was incorrect and set my expectations to expect something different than I came across. I love the story of Peter Pan and I wanted more Peter Pan from the story. I think this should have more just been an original contemporary. The idea for the novel was totally unique and I respect the author a lot for that. I really did enjoy this novel which is why I gave it a high rating just don't going in expecting to see the story of Peter Pan throughout the novel. Go into this novel expecting to see an original story about surfers. Second Star was a great book to read during the summer. The atmosphere of the book made me want to go get out on the water. I recommend Second Star for people who love contemporary. Enjoy the ride!


  1. I agree, it was definitely an original story. But the elements of Peter Pan that WERE used, and the way she used them, just delighted me. Of course surfing is like flying! Of course pixie dust is a drug. I was skeptical about how a contemporary could be a modern-day Peter Pan, and while it was, as you said, original, not a retelling, there were still enough of the story's elements to satisfy me :)

    Glad you still had fun with it!

    1. Everything said I still enjoyed the novel, it just didn't totally meet my expectations.

  2. All the power to you for enjoying this one! I actually struggled with it so much that I didn't even get through it, though I'll consider giving it another chance now.

    1. It wasn't my favorite novel of the year for sure.


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