{Bieke Reviews} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Posted September 14, 2015 by Bee in Reviews / 11 Comments

{Bieke Reviews} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Never Never

by Brianna Shrum
Published on September 22nd 2015
by Spencer Hill Press
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Also by this author: Never Never

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 received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 Stars

Let’s be honest, guys, villains are often the most interesting characters in a story. Harry Potter is awesome, but wouldn’t it be fascinating to get a glimpse of Voldemort’s thoughts? Or find out why Maleficent or Ursula end up being who they are? And that’s what this book gives us. It shows us the story of Captain James Hook and it was very, very good.

James Hook wants to grow up. He can’t wait to be a man and start a family and get a job. But then one night, he meets Peter Pan. A boy who doesn’t want to grow up. Ever. When Peter talks James into coming along with him to Neverland for a holiday, James agrees. But James doesn’t fit in and soon he wishes to go home. When Peter refuses to bring him home, James has to learn how to adapt to life in Neverland, a land where children are not allowed to grow up. But James does grow up.

To be honest, Peter Pan has never been among my favorite Disney movies. I was never quite fond of it or Peter Pan himself. I just didn’t like him as a character and I didn’t care about him as the hero of the story. He was no hero to me. But I always love retellings, especially if they’re from the villain’s point of view. So I requested this one when I saw it on Netgalley and I was happy to be approved for it too! And though this book may not have blown my mind, mainly because my lack of love for the story of Peter Pan, I did really, really enjoy it. I didn’t expect this to be as sad as it ended up being, though. This was not a happy story. James’ story is a sad one. And I felt really, really bad for him the whole time. Peter Pan stole his life and honestly, I had a feeling of how this book would end judging as I was reading it. The writing was really good too, I loved the fairy tale-style it had. I really love that in this type of story! Oh! and I also loved that I got to learn more about Neverland itself!

Never Never has a bunch of great characters. Mostly side characters, some familiar, some new. I liked all of them and knew enough about them to care if something (should) happen. Yes, Wendy and her brothers do make a brief appearance too. But let’s be honest, this book is about two characters. First, Peter Pan. Though he’s not the main protagonist in this one (he never was to me anyway), I do have to talk about him. I didn’t like him. At all. I didn’t like him in the Disney movie and I really, really do not like him in this book. He’s just mean, spoiled, childish, cruel,… He took everything from James and he kills without thinking, not even remembering it afterwards. It wasn’t hard to root for James. And I did. Like I said, his story is a sad one and I felt bad for him. He starts out as a boy when we meet him and grows up rather fast once he is in Neverland. He grows up to be Captain Hook, the pirate thirsty for revenge on Peter Pan. And I honestly understood why he wanted Peter dead. He lost so much because of him. So the ending was, though expected, quite a sad one.

Never Never is a great retelling told from the villain’s POV. It made me care about James Hook more than I ever did for Peter Pan. If you’re a fan of the story, I do recommend this one. Though if you’re not, like me, I still recommend it because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.



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11 responses to “{Bieke Reviews} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

  1. […] 13] Bookish Babble: Rachel’s Redemption Readathon | Week 2 Update [Sept 14] Bieke’s Reviews: Never Never by Brianna Shrum [Sept 15] Bookish Babble: Liebster Award [Sept 16] What Tomorrow Brings: The Shadow Queen by C.J. […]

  2. Oh my. This sounds like something I would like to read. I have never read any Peter Pan retellings before I have watch the old disney movie. Villains have always intrigue me and it puts me off how movies and books sometimes dont bother providing us a backstory for them. Mostly it made the villains one dimensional. Captain Hook has intrigued me although like you, i never really warm up to Peter Pan. I thought him to be childish and quite a bit selfish.

    I will add this book to my tbr. I like sad stories. Sadness often change people and I would love to see how it changed Cap’n Hook.

    Great post, Bieke 🙂

    Evelyn @ Books With Chemistry recently posted: Top Five Reasons Why I Love Reading Horror.

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