Sunday 26 July 2015

Book Review: Neverland; Shari Arnold.

I feel like I've been pretty lucky with my last few reads, they've all been so enjoyable. I felt a little nervous about starting this book because I so wanted to enjoy it and I was scared that I would be disappointed. I needn't have felt that way however, because this book was fantastic!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Neverland
AUTHOR: Shari Arnold
PUBLISHER: Shari Arnold
PAGES: 313
GENRE: Young Adult, Retelling, Contemporary, Fantasy

RATING: 5/5 Stars

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more. 

But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound. 

Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?

What I Liked:
  • There was so much about this book that I loved, above all the perfectly formed plot-line. Firstly, it is a real emotional roller-coaster. I cried at quite a few moments while reading, and laughed out loud at others. By the end I had a huge great smile on my face and felt this strange calm wash over me, quite unlike anything I have ever felt while reading. Yes this book contains magic, mystery, adventures and excitement, but above all it is the story of a young girl coming to terms with the loss of her little sister. Having a younger sister myself, I found it particularly touching.
  • The characters were really well written and above all, believable. Livy, the heroine, was someone I felt I could connect to. Above all, I just wanted her to find a way to overcome her struggles and find happiness again. The connections to J.M. Barrie's original 'Peter Pan' were clear too, despite changing the names. Meyer, the Pan in this story, was exactly how I imagined him. Youthful, energetic and full of life, yet frustrating, spontaneous and illusive also. I liked the way Shari handled James Hale also, Livy's mysterious new tutor. The connection to Captain Hook was clear in his dangerous aura, and yet he wasn't the 'bad guy' either.
  • Shari Arnold has an absolutely gorgeous writing style. I was absolutely swept away from start to finish. She writes emotions and memories so well which is important in a story like this. Her words really enlivened my imagination and helped me to completely envisage what was happening.
What I Disliked:
  • The pacing was not fast but I didn't mid this so much in Part One of the story. However, when Part Two (there are three in all) came around, it meant that it felt a little rushed. I would have liked to see a little more of Neverland and have time to wrap my head around the new change to the story progression, as it was a rather sudden onslaught of Magic and Fantasy. I can see why Arnold decided to keep it quick, as it did contribute to the sense of decision making urgency.
Overall Conclusion:
I absolutely adored this re-telling of J.M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan'. I'm a huge fan of Fairy Tales re-imagined, and this is certainly the best I have read in a long time! It had a really good plot-line with huge emotional highs and lows that had me gripped from beginning to end. Arnold's characters stood out too, managing to conform to the Peter Pan characters we know and love, and still bring something new to the table also. I loved, above all, Arnold's writing style, and I will certainly be getting into more of her books in the future.

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