{Review} Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

May 25, 2014 Reviews, Young Adult 10 ★★★★

{Review} Second Star by Alyssa B. SheinmelSecond Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Pages: 256
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux, Macmillan on May 13, 2014
Genres: Adaptations, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher

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 his 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 J. M. Barrie's classic tale, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up—and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

YA Review My Thoughts

As soon as I heard that this was a re-telling of Peter Pan I was excited to read Second Star. When I started to see reviews saying this was a unique take on the story, I was even more intrigued. Second Star is the story of Wendy Darling. And I have to say, this is a pretty incredible book. It is a very quick read. I easily devoured it in a couple of hours. I was so impressed with the story that Alyssa B. Sheinmel came up with. Yes, it is a re-telling of sorts of Peter Pan, but it seemed like way more than that to me. The character names are the same, and there are loose similarities in themes, but overall this is a wonderfully executed story. I am still not 100% sure what exactly happened at the end of the story. Was it completely contemporary or was there a touch of magic? It could have been either and I applaud Alyssa for how she pulled it all off.

Wendy is just graduating high school. My heart completely broke for her. Her twin brothers were surfers and one day they just disappeared. The police found their surfboards and declared them missing and then dead. But Wendy doesn’t think that is what happened at all. So she sets out in search of them. No one believes her, not even her best friend. When Wendy found Pete and Belle and the boys down on Kensie beach, I truly felt her despair and loneliness. She was a little like a lost boy. I really liked Pete, but I never really fell in love with him. I’m not sure why. He seems like a really great guy. Very caring and I really do think that he likes Wendy a lot. But something just felt off. Even after reading the whole story, I can’t be sure what it was. Even before Jas showed up, I wasn’t completely on board with Pete and Wendy. I loved Jas. He seemed like he cared more about Wendy in his own weird way. It certainly seemed like he went more out of his way to look out for her. I didn’t approve of too many of his other decisions, but when it came to Wendy I found him strangely endearing. I really want to read more about him.

Second Star is a story about getting answers. Wendy wants answers about what happened to her brothers. And Wendy ends up finding out answers about herself. This is a personal growth journey that will make you smile, laugh, and maybe even cry. It is beautiful, sad and happy all at once. Wendy’s story is compelling and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her when the book ended. I loved Second Star. It took me by surprise many times. It really blew me away.



About Alyssa B. Sheinmel

I was born in Stanford, California, and even though I moved across the country to New York when I was six years old, I still think of myself as a California girl.

Like so many writers, I grew up loving books. I loved stories so much that when there was nothing to read, I wrote my own stories just to give myself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, I made up stories and acted them out by myself. I played all the parts, and I was never bored.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

10 Responses to “{Review} Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel”

  1. Christina R.

    I LOVE Peter Pan!! This sounds like a wonderful contemporary retelling, and I love that it’s from Wendy’s POV!

    The mystery sounds awesome too, and I like that it might have a bit of magic in it too 🙂

    Lovely review 🙂

  2. Librarian Lavender

    This sounds like such an interesting book to read! I’ve recently read Peter Pan and loved the story, so I might like this retelling too! Great review!

  3. kindlemom1

    So glad you enjoyed this one, I have seen some mixed reviews on it and it is nice to see a positive one because I really wanted to try this one.

    • Michelle @ Book Briefs

      Yes, I saw so mixed reviews on it too as I was posting my review to goodreads and I was surprised. People didn’t seem to like the Drugs associated with Jas, but I thought it worked well with the “magical” aspect of the story and just as well (sadly) with the contemporary aspect.

      I hope you enjoy this one. I look forward to your thoughts if you do read it 🙂

  4. Brit M.

    I’m glad you liked this book. I’ve seen and read reviews where it didn’t stand up to the hype it was getting.

  5. Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages

    It was a bit of a let down for me although I did really enjoy it and read it quite quickly. I guess I was just expecting more Peter Pan. It was completely original contemporary and well crafted. I still rated it highly although I was slightly disappointed.

  6. Bella

    I am 12 and I loved it! I was quick to make all the connections, and I love how the authoir really made the readers look deep into the characters… they arent all perfect.

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