Love, betrayal, and teenage angst return to Neverland in this brooding sequel to Never Ever (2016).
The story picks up with Wylie Dalton, the New York heroine from the first volume, separated from her brothers and adrift on a boat with several fellow lost kids. She is determined to revenge herself on Phinn, the Peter Pan stand-in who callously toyed with her emotions. The novel takes the darkness inherent in the original Barrie play and expands upon it—and the tale loses much of its magic as a result. Now that the children are teenagers, the coldheartedness of the original tale seems magnified. Saedi (Americanized, 2018, etc.) uses this fairy-tale landscape to explore the emotions of young people who are broken, alone, and grasping for a sense of family. The narration, which offers a dramatic exploration of the trials and tribulations of growing up, tips into melodrama rather than building suspense. This second act features a heroine who has long since shed the innocence of Wendy and who isn’t too ladylike to discuss sex or drugs. Above all, she is a survivor, desperate to be strong enough to stand up to the boy who hurt her and to be the leader that her fellow lost kids need. Characters’ ethnicities cannot be determined.
An overly ambitious use of Neverland to explore feminism, love, and the heartache inherent in growing up. (Fantasy. 14-18)