Lost in the Never Woods

Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. Mar. 2021. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250313973.
Gr 9 Up–This dark reimagining of Peter Pan concentrates on 18-year-old Wendy Darling. She’s struggling to get over the disturbing events of a kidnapping five years earlier that left her in the middle of the woods with no memories of what happened, and her two younger brothers missing. When kids begin disappearing in her sleepy hometown of Astoria, OR, it reignites the drive to find out the truth about her past. Once she runs into an older Peter Pan and his fleeing shadow, she begins to question what she knows about her childhood and starts to recover memories. Thomas brilliantly creates a malevolent tone to what should be a safe small town, crafting a feeling that something terrible is just around the bend. This modern-day fantasy touches on the classic source material while inventing new mythology that perfectly fits into place. The difficulty of overcoming a tragedy is realistically portrayed as Wendy and her family are traumatized by their shared history and have become estranged from one another as they have trouble moving on. Main characters appear to be white with the exception of Wendy’s best friend and sounding board Jordan, whose family is Latinx and occasionally speaks Spanish. Characters are well-developed with surprising and emotional story arcs which will leave readers looking at Peter Pan in a whole new light.
VERDICT A captivating mystery that will ensnare those who enjoy retellings and stories with a touch of magic.

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