ARC review: Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

“She didn’t know when or where, but her brothers and Peter had been there. Peter. A delirious laugh bubbled in her throat. Her Peter. Peter Pan. He was real. And she needed to find him.”

Publisher: Swoon Reads (US), Pan Macmillan (UK)

Release date: 23rd March 2021 (US), 4th August 2022 (UK)

Pages: 384

Representation: BIPOC best friend.

Trigger warnings: Child death, kidnapping, murder, panic attacks, PTSD, Nail biting, blood, memory loss,parental death mention, car accident, alcohol abuse.

Summary: Wendy Darling was 13 when her brothers went missing, and 13 ½ when the police found her alone in the woods with 6 months of missing memories. Now she’s ready to head to college, until she meets Peter. A kid that knows her name, even though they’ve never met before, and now he’s claiming to be her Peter. Peter Pan. The impossible boy she used to tell John and Michael about. One problem; he’s older than he ever was in her stories, and he seems to be getting older by the day. When more local kids start going missing, it brings up bad memories for the darling family, it’s up to Wendy to figure out what’s happening to these children, and how she can help Peter Pan before he grows up for good.

Lost in the Never Woods is the perfect novel for those that flew away to neverland, but had to come home and grow up.

Purchase the book using the following links to support Indie bookshops, and me:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A perfect reimagining of a well loved fairy tale. It mixes both the Disney story that popularised it, and the original tale in a way that I absolutely loved.

We never get to see Neverland, and I’m not upset about it. Taking place in the modern day, in the USA, makes it all the more Jarring and meaningful when things start to go wrong. It’s so far from your first impression when you hear the words ‘Peter Pan’ that it puts you almost on edge, which sets a perfect mood for the rest of the book.

I loved the overall, it was definitely an original take and was certainly entertaining. As a plot driven book it was a little slow at times, but never enough to seriously impact my enjoyment. The ending was genuinely a complete surprise to me, a little anticlimactic but I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. It definitely left me satisfied!

I wanted to give Wendy a hug. She clearly had PTSD, and was extremely traumatised. It was written in a way that made us empathise with her, and you could see how much the entire thing meant to her. She was a shell of the bossy little girl we think of, but she was still very much Wendy Darling. Headstrong and brave and willing to do anything for her brothers.

Peter was such an utter delight. I had to put my hand over my mouth several times to stop myself almost squealing because of how much I was enjoying his characterisation. He was the equivalent of sunshine on a page, even when he was scared or suffering. I will never be able to stop thinking about Thomas’ interpretation of him.

Overall, it was a fun, playful yet heartbreaking read that I’m going to be thinking about for a long time.

Its shining glory: Peter’s childlike innocence and wonder shines through in every interaction he has. It was pure joy that leapt off the page. He was so wonderfully written, and every ounce the character we all know.

Its fatal flaw: At times it was a little slow and over-descriptive. This took away from the tension and pulled me out of the story at times.

Read this if: You love retellings and reinterpretations. You’ve got an open mind and honestly? You just want more Peter Pan in your life.

Skip this if: You expect a story like the Disney version, and aren’t open to things being bleak. You like action-packed, fast paced reads. You don’t want to read a retelling.

Purchase the book using the following links to support Indie bookshops, and me:


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