NEVER EVER by Sara Saedi


Age Range: 14 - 18
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A modern-day Peter Pan plucks a girl and her brothers from the Upper East Side.

Wylie Dalton lives a busy and complicated life. Observing the chaos of her parents’ marriage, she has no desire to fall in love and does not dream of fairy-tale endings. On her 17th birthday, which is also the night before her brother is to be sent off to juvie, olive-skinned Wylie meets white redhead Phinn, a real-life Peter Pan. To say she is swept off her feet is to put it lightly. Phinn sails off with Wylie and her brothers to Minor Island, off the coast of their native New York, where no one ages beyond 17, thereby giving Wylie her true desires: to be free from her everyday responsibilities and to keep her brother from jail. But as she spends time in this magical place, which seems like heaven, with this boy she begins to fall for, she soon realizes that this newfound freedom comes with hidden terms and conditions—ones she may not be in agreement with. In her debut, Saedi too often tells rather than shows, and the story suffers as a result, especially in the inconsistency and quick deterioration of the relationships among the siblings. Pedestrian writing sucks the magic out of scenes that should be thrilling and makes unfilled plot holes and authorial manipulation glaringly apparent.

In the end, a disjointed and unrealistic effort—and not because it takes place in a world where no one ages past 17. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 21st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-451-47576-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016