Never Never was hard to rate. Partly because I liked it, and partly because I am sure I was not the target audience for this story. I did enjoy this retelling and getting to know Captain Hook more.
Published by Spencer Hill Press on August 14th 2015
Genres: Adventure Stories, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
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.
I was picturing the movie Hook with Robin Williams throughout this whole story. I know that doesn’t evoke a lot of sympathy for Captain Hook, but I used what I had. Yea, I swear, I never liked anything Peter Pan as a kid. I felt like it was a boy’s fairy tale. This book totally confirmed that theory. Lost boys, pirates, Indians, sword fights, and a ticking crocodile; this fairy tale was not written for little girls.
I really enjoyed seeing things from James Hook’s perspective. I really sympathized and wanted him to have a happy ever after. He does, sort of, but I am getting way ahead of myself. In the beginning we see James at home with his faily and then follow him and Pan to Neverland. James just wanted to visit Neverland, he had no intention of becoming a lost boy forever. Of course he did become a resident of Neverland, but unlike the lost boys, James grew up. James became the most fearsome pirate in all of Neverland, and this story explains why he hated Pan so much.
I loved reading about Neverland. I loved the concept but I am guessing that is why there is such a following for retellings of this story. I thought Pan was an egotistical brat when I was a kid and so it was super easy to hate him throughout this story. He had done real damage to James Hook and never seemed sorry for it. In that respect, it was a great retelling. I had genuine sympathy for Captain Hook. He’s the bad guy in every Peter Pan story, but this book made me love him.
I enjoyed the bits with Tiger Lily. This book really encompasses her full story and it is a story of wanting. Her love(s) in this book broke me. I know people are classifying this as a middle grade story, but it isn’t. This is all YA. There are some PG type scenes which are for an older YA audience. There are fighting scenes good but the fact that one of the players was a boy just killed them for me. There was also a bit of dying in this book, which gave me mixed feelings.
I enjoyed Never Never but I don’t think I was the target audience. This would be great for fans of the fairy tale.