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Friday, March 12, 2021

Review: Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

Lost in the Never Woods
by Aiden Thomas
Narrated by Avi Roque

Thanks so much to Macmillan Audio and for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publish Date: March 23, 2021
12 hrs 14 min
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling

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.

My Review:

Last time I read a Peter Pan retelling, he turned out to be a real asshole and I couldn't shake that opinion of him.... UNTIL NOW.  Oh still my beating heart for this very emotional and binge worthy read/listen (btw, loved the narrator!).

Thomas gives us a different view of Wendy and Peter.  It's been half a decade since she left with her brothers and was the only one to come back... and she can't remember what happened.  Her mind has protected her by keeping these memories repressed.  When Peter shows up to gain Wendy's help again to find his Shadow.... well, here is where this new adventure begins.  

What's fantastic about this story is how we still get this fairy tale feeling but it is encased in a family dealing with loss, grief and just meandering the day by day as best as they can.  Peter's entrance back into Wendy's life brings about many changes for everyone involved and the progression of this is extremely well done.  I did roll my eyes a bit with the romantic tension that was peppered throughout - I'm not sure this arc was very necessary but by the end I didn't hate it either... I was so involved with everything else.

I really felt for Wendy.  While she is the last child standing, at times she may as well not even be there.  Even 5 years later, her parents are still a mess, which is understandable but I wanted to shake them at times.  Her relationship with Peter is what shines here.  As they are both the kind to take care of every one else, their coming together and joining forces brings about an atmosphere that jumps off the pages.

 I don't know you guys - I just really enjoyed listening to this story.  I have a love/hate relationship with retellings but this one really worked for me.  So thank you, Thomas and Roque, for bringing my love back.  If you like the Peter Pan story and want a bit of a modern day take on it, come hither.  I would definitely recommend this audio.


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