Title: Wendy Darling: Stars
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Wendy Darling #1
Publication: October 13th 2015 by SparkPress
Genre: Young Adult ~ Retelling ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
From the Best-Selling Author of Queen of Hearts comes a dark and mesmerizing twist on the beloved Children’s Classic, Peter Pan.
Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.
As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.
Wendy Darling took me by surprise. I had a hard time rating this book because it felt somewhere between three and four stars. It was quite good but it took me a while to start getting into the book and really liking it. It actually wasn’t until the last couple of chapters that I really started getting invested with the story and Wendy.
I’ve read and seen lots of retellings around Peter Pan and Neverland. Most retellings don’t really portrait her as a nice person so that’s one way this book makes it unique. The story starts out pretty much the same as the classic tale of Peter Pan we all know with small changes here and there but also some bigger ones that make it a true retelling.
Like I said before, for most of the book I wasn’t liking it all that much at first. It had a very strong prologue but it went a little downhill from there. I guess there wasn’t much happening and I was getting a wee bit bored. Also, at that point I wasn’t liking Wendy all that much. She’s nice and all but that’s where it stopped for me.
But then the story started getting quite chilling when Peter shows his true colors to Wendy. I thought this was actually a really great turn of events, even though it felt all pretty dark. But it was there that I started caring much more for Wendy and realizing how she truly is a great heroine.
Wendy’s brother Michael was adorable but John annoyed the hell out of me. I get that being in Neverland changes people, but he was so disrespectful towards his sister. The Lost Boys were something else. I really liked some of them very much. Especially Abbott. He was a character I wanted to learn more about. And there was Tink. I’m not sure what to say about her except that I really felt sorry for what Peter made her go through and how he treated her.
The writing was absolutely wonderful. I really have nothing negative to say about that. It was at times really beautiful and even lyrical. Basically perfect for a Neverland story. And that ending! Holy crap, I need the sequel right now! So, yeah, be prepared for a cliffhanger!
Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom Series and the upcoming YA fantasy Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins Summer 2016.) She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She is currently at work on the final Elly novel and another YA fantasy series called Wendy Darling (Sparkpress, October 2015.)