ARC Book Review: Wendy Darling: Stars

Wendy Darling: Stars by Colleen Oakes
Published: October 13th 2015 by SparkPress
Source: NetGalley
Format: eBook
Rating: 5 out of 5

From the Best-Selling Author of Queen of Hearts comes a dark and mesmerizing twist on the beloved Children's Classic, Peter Pan.

Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

I love Peter Pan. When I was a child (not that long ago, I'm 18), I had an embarrassing crush on him which is why I am totally obsessed with the idea of a Peter Pan story told through the eyes of Wendy. I want to fall in love with Peter all over again and see the magical Neverland. Let's just say, I got everything I wanted AND SO MUCH MORE. Wendy Darling: Stars is a dark retelling of Peter Pan that will surprise everyone.
If the stars above saw what I felt for you, they would pour out their wonders...
Peter Pan. Oh Peter. You beautiful, cruel boy. Wendy is drawn to Peter. His wicked smile promises adventure and freedom that she's missing from her life. Peter has a God complex because of the Lost Boys. They praise him for allowing them to stay in his kingdom of endless fun. Slowly Wendy realizes that Neverland isn't as perfect as it seems. It is violent and dark. Twelve year old boys kill pirates for a drink of alcohol. I found myself slowly falling into Peter Pan's trap along with Wendy throughout the book. He is charming and mysterious. I was so caught up in the feels for Peter that I never expected the game he played with everyone's mind. When I reached the dark twist of the book, my jaw dropped because I GOT PLAYED. Peter Pan is a convincing manipulative character. His love is addicting but dangerous and predatory. I was able to see the horrifying reality of Neverland that I was naive to believe in my entire life.
I knew I was bound for something different. Something better. I was meant to rule the stars, not gaze at them from under our poverty.
Details of every scene. I feel like a good portion of the book is descriptions of the setting and every action that happens. Usually I hate books that have too much description because I want to get straight to the story but it's different here. The author fed the readers' childhood desires of going to Neverland. I was able to perfectly imagine what Neverland looked and felt like from the details. It made everything more realistic and filled me with more passion in every scene because I felt like I was Wendy. I felt the luring of the mermaids' songs and felt the heart racing excitement of fighting pirates. I just want to applaud the author because the book is beautifully written and utilizes imagery to the max. If I could describe Wendy Darling in one word it would be: Wanderlust.
Even the light here was different, she marveled— it was as if every particle of light had been brushed with gold, giving a hazy glow to everything it touched.
Tinkerbell. There's no Peter Pan without Tinkerbell. I think everyone can agree that Tink and Peter have an intense relationship. Tinkerbell is one of the darkest parts of the book. She's the last fairy of Neverland and is totally devoted to Peter. You can imagine how she feels when Wendy comes in and disrupts her haven. This obsessive love turns the fairy crazed and violent.
He is the sun and the moon and everything in between.
SO MUCH ENERGY. I have never read a book with as much energy as this one. The energy just kept building with every page turn. My breath was stuck in my throat and I spent the last half of the book constantly dropping my jaw. The ending left me in terror. I also let out a scream at that cliffhanger. I am so excited for to learn more about the character at the end in the next sequel!!
I promise you energy and passion from this book. However, I admit the heart pumping energy doesn't exactly start until 50% into the book. The beginning is basically hyping up the crowd with the magic and beauty in Neverland. I still enjoyed it a lot because I'm all for swooning after Peter Pan and wanted to explore Neverland. But the dark portion of the book that I know most people are looking forward to doesn't start until halfway into the book. IT'S STILL A REALLY GOOD BOOK THOUGH. I know you will love it. It's worth it.

Overall, I love Wendy Darling: Stars and it is a new favorite. I will definitely buy this book when it COMES OUT ON OCTOBER 13, 2015. I recommend this book to everyone. It will cause you emotional pain and also an adrenaline rush. Prepare yourselves because you will be visiting Neverland and all its terrifying yet exciting promises in this book.

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