Second Star

By Alyssa Sheinmel

Source: Received from the publisher

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: May 13, 2014

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux

My Rating: three-half-stars

Second Star

Summary and cover image from Goodreads:

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.

The cover of this book caught my eye. It’s soft and dreamy and beautiful, and when I read the synopsis, I was so eager to get my hands on this!

I loved the concept, with Wendy looking for her brothers, surfers who’ve gone missing. Now, I’m not super familiar with the Peter Pan story, but what I remembered was here: the ‘second star’, Peter, John, Wendy, Nana, the lost boys, Tink, and Hook (albeit with different names). I loved the way that what I remembered from that story was woven into Sheinmel’s book, giving me that wonderful sense of recognition that comes when I feel like I’m picking up on something when I read a retelling.

The writing was pretty good, with lots of beautiful imagery about the water and surfing. However, the romance was a bit insta-love to me. It just happened so fast, and I never really felt that I got to know either Peter or Jas (the love interests, of course) as well as I wanted to.

The mystery of John and Michael’s fate is what really kept me reading. I needed to know what happened, and I wanted Wendy to know for sure what happened. The end of the book messed with my mind just a little, but now that I’ve had a few days to think about it, I’m actually pretty happy with the way this story ended. And like the cover, this book was kind of dreamy and beautiful. The things I liked (the writing, the story and ending, Wendy) outweighed what I didn’t like (the romance), and I would recommend this one. It would make a great summer read!

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