🌸 Title: Lost in the Never Woods
🌸Author: Aiden Thomas
🌸Release Date: March 23rd, 2021
🌸Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Retellings
🌸 A non-major spoilers review.
🌸Note: I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Lost in the Never Woods introduces us to Wendy Darling, a girl traumatized after losing her memories and her brothers. Five years later, a boy falls from the sky—literally, and tells her that she’s the key to finding the children who have been disappearing. But she will have to face her fears and go into the woods to do so.
I had high hopes for Lost in the Never Woods.
Peter Pan and the Lost Boys and Neverland—it was my favorite story growing up. I’m not sure why; the idea of never growing old, the fact that the main characters were always strong female leads, and the magic I’m sure had a big part to play.
So when I heard this was a fairytale retelling with the title Lost in the Never Woods…you already know I screamed. It seemed too good to be true.
And it was. Sadly, I was really disappointed.
I had expected a lot because everyone and their mother went crazy over Thomas’s Cemetery Boys (which I picked up a copy of at my library this week) too, but alas. I always forget that you can’t always judge a book by its author.
Nothing really happens in the first 80% of Lost in the Never Woods.
Some of you might argue that things do happen. And that’s okay. I know it’s meant to be a mystery, and sometimes that takes time to figure out what’s happening.
They do some fun stuff, and there is a scary, somewhat horror-y moment. It got me all excited for the rest, but it never happens again.
I also found it terribly boring that we had to undergo Wendy’s monotonous monologue of the same things over and over again.
The book dragged out to the point I begged it to get to the good stuff. I started to skim just to get to Peter’s parts.
Peter carried Lost in the Never Woods.
It’s obvious that Peter was more fleshed out than Wendy. It’s not hard: Peter Pan has been known for decades now.
Wendy is our main character, but for lack of better terms, she’s so back and forth it’s weird.
They constantly go to rein in his shadow somehow, and she never brings anything to…you know…actually sew his shadow back to him.
This part irked me. She literally went in with no plan and basically just followed Peter around. I can’t really blame Peter, because he’s meant to act like a kid. That’s, like, his thing.
Either way, I’m not sure why Peter didn’t give her any instructions as to what happened last time. Like, he could have said, “Yeah, you’re going to need a thread and needle!” But instead, he’s just like, “Yeah, I need your help Wendy!”
Lost in the Never Woods would have appealed much better to a Middle-Grade audience rather than YA.
The writing style seems extremely juvenile, even though Wendy is 18. Maybe I’m just influenced by other books I’ve read? I don’t really know.
It was very child-like and not very…YA-like. Although my feelings could be misconstrued by the fact that A Court of Thorns and Roses is somehow YA, and that’s a whole other story.
Some things just don’t make sense.
The 5-year gap between things happening and Wendy and Peter meeting again after all that time seems strange and doesn’t quite add up.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense if it happened sooner? Why didn’t things go to s*** immediately?
I wish I knew, too, reader.
I will admit, the end of Lost in the Never Woods made me cry.
Like, I knew what was going to happen, but still. It was nice seeing Wendy’s character finally grow as she gained the confidence to reach for more rather than letting her past weigh her down.
The twist at the end and the representation of family trauma were also done very well and really did make me sad. Trauma in a family is no easy thing to deal with, and I think it was tackled well.