Friday, June 6, 2014

Review ~ Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary (Peter Pan retelling)
Pages: 256
Publication date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Macmillian)
Goodreads Description: 
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 Pete's 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 a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I didn't enjoy reading Second Star, unfortunately. There was so many things that didn't work for me at all and only a couple things that I actually liked.


First of all, there was a love triangle. Now, I usually don't mind romances like that--a lot of times, I've love them--but this one didn't sit well for me. It was too back-and-forth for me. Wendy's feelings for each boy didn't feel developed enough. I also didn't like how quickly she would get together with one guy then get mad at him and walk off, crying. I didn't feel the connections that she had with either Pete or Jas, so it was tough to like any part of the romance.


I didn't care that much for the point of the story (she was searching for her brothers that she refused to believe were dead). It just wasn't a very interesting one for me. Also, a big portion of the book felt uneventful. It seemed like nothing was happening! Not anything big or important, at least--this left me bored with the story.

I actually did like the Peter Pan connections, though. The way the author made details from the original story fit into this modern contemporary was creative.


I didn't like Wendy and I didn't find many qualities that made her seem like a well written character. She oftentimes made big decisions with barely any hesitation or resistance, which seemed odd considering the type of person she was. I didn't connect with her. I didn't feel or believe her emotions most of the time.

Most of the other characters didn't stand out much to me, but weirdly enough, I really liked Jas. Whenever he was in a scene, I suddenly didn't mind the book. I'm not sure why that was. Maybe he was more developed? Maybe he was the only interesting character? There was just something about him that I liked.


Second Star and I were not friends. Sure, it had its bright moments--such a the mystical atmosphere it had despite being a contemporary--but mostly, it didn't go well for me. Would I recommend it? It depends. If you're really excited to read it already, you may have a better experience with it than I did. If you're only somewhat interested and have a thing against love triangles, I would pass it up. There are better books for you to read.

My questions for you:

Have you ever read a Peter Pan retelling?
What do you think of love triangles?


  1. Awww really? That bad? :( I was so excited for this book…too bad you didn't like it. The thing that caught my eye was the Peter Pan idea, I love retellings :)) hihi Lovely review!

    1. The Peter Pan part caught my eye too. I'm sad that I didn't like it very much. :( Thank you!

  2. I had such problems with this book. There really wasn't any character development and I didn't care for the plot of it :/

    I hope your next book is a better read!

    1. A book with little to no character development really disappoints me. :(

      Thankfully, my next reads are going much better!

  3. NOO!!! I still have this book on Netgalley and I've been dreading starting because I've read some bad reviews about it. Hopefully I like it, but I probably wont.
    Good review, hopefully the next book you read is better :)

    1. The bright side? This book is a really quick read, so if you don't like it very much, it'll go quickly.
      Thank you, Aneta. My next books are going much better. :)

  4. Darn it, I've read a couple of negative reviews and maybe I'll just pass onto it. I've read 1 Peter Pan retelling so far and that is Tiger Lily which was super awesome. I have a feeling I wouldn't like Wendy in Second Star either because I despised her also in Tiger Lily haha but I loved her in the Peter Pan movie.

    1. I've heard Tiger Lily is amazing! I bet it's a way better retelling than this one.

  5. Oh My! When I first saw this book I was extremely excited to read it! I have a love for Peter Pan that dates back to when I was a child and I always found Hook to be such a fascinating character and so the idea of him being well good intrigued me... good in the sense that you can like him. But off recent I have heard nothing but negative reviews from this book which has greatly lessened my want to read it!

    1. Sadly, I don't think you would like this one very much. It's not that good of a Peter Pan retelling. :(


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