Not too long ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I got approved for an ARC of Lost in the Never Woods via NetGalley. Seriously, I was so surprised. But happy! I had a feeling this was going to be good — and it was. So here are my final thoughts on this Peter Pan retelling!
Lost in the Never Woods
By Aiden ThomasPublished March 23 by Swoon Reads
retelling | mystery | young adult
My rating: ★★★★☆
When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.
Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
What I Liked
There is a lot to like about this story, but let me begin with the setting. The story takes place in Astoria, Oregon, a small coastal town that is an actual place (if you already knew that, sorry, my worldly knowledge is… not that great). I recommend looking it up, because it’s seriously cute. And it also provides the perfect backdrop. It’s located on a peninsula, with on one side the ocean, and on the other the forest. And the forest is where it all goes wrong, of course.
Let’s move on to the characters. The entire book is told from Wendy’s perspective, who is 18 years old and ready to go to college after the Summer. I really liked her character because I thought her to be so relatable. She mapped out her entire college career and I literally did the same. But, you can also tell that she is still clearly suffering from the trauma of what happened to her and her brothers five years ago. Then there’s Peter, who is of course Peter Pan. I love how he was portrayed in this book. You can clearly tell that he is so kid-like; being serious one moment and getting distracted by something fun the next. He really added a funny and light tone to a book that otherwise would’ve been very dark.
On to plot. This isn’t an overly large book, so it doesn’t take long for the story to really kick off. I was immediately hooked, because there is just so much mystery! Where are Wendy’s brothers? What does Peter know? Why is he in the real world in the first place? I had to find out as soon as possible!
Finally, I really enjoyed Aiden Thomas’s writing style. Despite this not being a super long book, there are lot of little details that made the scenes pop off the page. Little things like which shoes Wendy wore to the woods, decorative items in her room. It made it all feel very real and like I was truly in the story.
What I Liked Less
Even though this book was very enjoyable, I did feel like there were some inconsistencies still. I’m of course assuming that those will be weeded out before the book is published, but it affected the flow to the point that it affected my enjoyment of it. Some things were just didn’t make sense. I also felt like the main villain resembled that of a children’s story more than of a young adult story. He was just a little too dramatic. Nevertheless, it was an interesting villain.