Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Never Never {by Brianna Shrum}

Never Never by Brianna Shum
Title: Never Never
Author: Brianna Shrum
Genre: YA Fairytale Retelling/Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: NetGalley

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.
Except one.

I loved this story. Peter Pan retellings are one of my favorite kinds of fairytale retellings (yes, says the person who hadn't even seen a version, not even the Disney one, of it until she was 19). But there is something so magical and haunting and curious about the story of Peter Pan. And I'm not talking about the cutesy little boy from Disney. I'm talking the true nitty gritty stories. Which is exactly what we get here.

James Hook is a boy who only wants to grow up. The only childish fantasy he allows himself is his dreams of pirates. Then, he meets Peter Pan, who tells him tales of a land with fairies and where boys never grow up. James agrees to go with him on holiday, only when he gets there, Peter refuses to take him back. And thus begins his descent into the Hook that we know from the stories.

I loved that this was from Hook's perspective. The most interesting ones often are. And yes, this was a story about Hook and his time in Neverland, but it was so much more than that. It was a book about black and white and gray areas, and about morality and what that really means. We saw a different side of Peter, one I think often gets forgotten: that he can be really, well, evil. I think it explores some great thoughts on being children. And even, the descent into madness.

And the story was just beautifully written. It caught my attention from the beginning. For me, it did lag a little in the middle, around 30%, but then picked up again around 50% and hooked (no pun intended) me the rest of the time. I thought this was a gorgeous story, and I loved it. 

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Brianna Shrum:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I also very much enjoy Peter Pan retellings! It was about one of my favorite movies as a kid. I'm totally going to go for this! :D Great Review!

    1. Thank you! I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even see the Disney version until about a year ago. But I love retellings of this story.