Sunday, 13 September 2015

Book Review: Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Read: September 10 - 13   Verdict: 5 Stars

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

When James Hook was twelve years old, he really looked forward to becoming a student in Eton College and learning to be a man just as good as his father. That is, until, he meets a strange pixie-like boy in Kensington Gardens. Peter Pan manages to convince James Hook that perhaps growing-up isn't a good thing after all, and he allows Pan to take him to Neverland for a short holiday.

If you've ever wondered how a man like James Hook ended up on a magical island where children never grow up, this is a story for you. I really loved this take on the story. Presenting James Hook as a rather misunderstood hero is a rather genius idea, especially for anyone a fan of Once Upon A Time.

Never Never really brings into play all the wondrous ideas we all have of Peter Pan, the endless play, the cheeky smile, the amazing imagination. But, it also introduces some more sinister things as well. The manipulative nature of Pan - he tricked James Hook into flying to Neverland, and then, disgusted that James didn't think the same way he did about growing up, never showed him the way home. Pan also is a true child in that, when someone doesn't do it his way, he becomes a bully and rather vicious. What happens to the rare Lost Boy whose experiences do make them grow up. Unfortunately, we find out in Never Never.

I feel like Shrum brought in elements of all our favourite Peter Pan stories and wove them all together to create the perfect story of the ultimate anti-hero. We got J.M Barrie's Peter and then the impishness and the likability of the pirates of Disney's cartoon movie. I believe that the emphasis on 'good and bad form' definitely came out of Steven Spielberg's Hook while the dark side to both Neverland and Peter Pan could be cast back to the Peter we knew from ABC's Once Upon A Time.

This is a magical book, telling the story of the Lost Boy (or Girl) inside all of us and that terrible desire to grow up but stay forever young at the same time.


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