I finished reading Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel for and Around the World ARC Tour.
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.
I love books based off of Disney movies (or books that have been turned into Disney movies). I should say that I usually love them since I didn't much care for the last one I read. Luckily I enjoyed this spin on Peter Pan.
There were so many little things in this book that came from the movie (yes, I know Peter Pan was a book first but I like the movie). And yes, this time I kept track of them all. First off, the title Second Star. One of the famous quotes from Peter Pan is "Second star to the right and straight on til morning." What a way to start off the book! Of course you have many of the character names that are Peter Pan-ish. Wendy Darling and her brothers Michael and John and dog Nana. Then there's Pete and his jealous girl (friend?) Belle (so a Disney princess name and a take on Tinkerbell). I didn't get the reference for Jas if there was one. Maybe I'm missing something but I thought he should have been named Hook. Then you have the drug in the book-fairy dust. When Wendy talked about surfing, Pete told her to "think of something that makes you happy" just like in Peter Pan how they had to think happy thoughts before they could fly. And how Wendy said that while surfing she felt light enough to fly. I just loved all of these references!
Disney references aside, this was a serious book about a girl who lost her brothers. Right or wrong, she can't accept that the probability that her brothers drowned while surfing were high. I felt so badly for her. I couldn't decide whether she was right to keep looking for them or to just let it go. It has to be so much harder for family members when there is no concrete evidence of a death (like a body). There's always a little bit of hope that way, which isn't always a good thing.
Towards the end, I found myself disappointed with the way the book was going but right at the very end, it redeemed itself. It doesn't look like there is going to be a sequel but I wish there was going to be one. I'd grab it!
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
Second Star will be released on May 13, 2014
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.