Genre: Young Adult, Retelling Publication Date: September 22, 2015 Pages: 368 Published By: Spencer Hill Press Website Brianna Shrum Website My review copy: Purchased
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does.
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
But there was some pull inside James that whispered at him to ignore the alarm bells. That no one ever got an adventure without giving up a little sense first.
And he didn't cry. He didn't fret. He lay there on the earth, realizing and accepting and hardening. That was the night that James Hook began to grow up.
"Nothing," He stared at her, drawn in by her. This was why he'd stayed away from her for so many years
this thrumming of his heart, the heat at his skin, the wickedly delicious thoughts swirling around in his head.
Never Never is a hauntingly unique retelling of James Hook and how he landed his role in Neverland. I will openly admit I was curious as to how this would be written. Would James be the villain that Disney painted him to be or would he be painted as the innocent? I enjoyed Peter Pan as a child, but as an adult I saw the flaws in his tale. Peter Pan and Captain Hook have a tale where the line between good guy, and bad guy can easily be blurred.
There were no details left behind as Shrum spun her tale of James Hook and how he was to become the feared Captain Hook. I loved the little details that she gave and the bigger picture that she created. Every chapter, every page had exactly what was needed to draw the reader in and capture their imagination. There were moments that I did want it to go a little faster, but in the end I appreciated that the author had created a unique pace. Pacing wasn't quite perfect but I believe in order to develop the depth and truth of James' story, sometimes it needed to slow down.
James Hook wanted to be a man, he wanted to grow up. Well at least he did until Pan made him question it all. What boy faced with things that defy logic wouldn't want to try it out. I wouldn't say the infamous Captain Hook is innocent, but this story also shows that he isn't exactly what most stories paint him to be. James did take his spot as the notorious pirate captain but his desire to kill Pan may not be as it seems either. In fact Neverland is not really what it seems to be at all, and maybe even everyone's love for Pan. There were so many chances to end Pan, hints that maybe not everyone adored him as it seems and maybe our view of him hasn't always been clear. With these thoughts in mind, it is undeniable that Hook may not be what we once thought him to be.
This is probably one of my shorter reviews but it is hard to explain without ruining this fantastic read. Shrum did a better job than I could have ever imagined, and in all honesty I probably could have read longer had she pulled the story out longer. I have developed a love for this author and her ability to twist a tale, and would happily pick up anything else that she writes. For people that love a good twisted tale or retelling I would highly suggest picking this beauty up.