Second Star by Alyssa B Sheinmel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publishing Date: May 13, 2014
Visit the author's website HERE
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Preorder it from Amazon for $8.89 today (4/28/14)
I'm not sure what to say about this one, friends. I had read some bad reviews prior to starting the book and so forged ahead with little expectations. Whether that was helpful or harmful, I have yet to determine.
The idea of the book is that Wendy Darling is looking for her twin brothers, John and Michael, who, obsessed with surfing, disappeared one day. Police are certain they died after finding their broken surfboards on the beach, but Wendy doesn't believe it. She sets out to find them on her own. Her journey leads her to an abandoned house full of lost kids who love to surf. Instantly she is attracted to the 'leader' of the group Pete, makes out with him, only to find out later he is dating Belle. Just up the beach cliffs is Pete's ex-best friend Jas, who sells a wickedly addictive drug called fairy dust. Wendy stays with the kids in the abandoned house, learning to surf and trying to gain the acceptance of the others. Along the way there is surfing, drug taking, surfing, and pure craziness.
I really struggled with Wendy's character. She was a self-professed straight-A student who had never broken a rule or told a lie. Yet along the course of the story we find her easily smoking cigarettes, breaking into houses, swigging beer, and even popping some fairy dust. All with barely a second thought. I couldn't wrap my mind around that. Why was I supposed to believe Wendy was such a good kid?? She was distrustful, and rash, and sort of bland. I couldn't understand her attraction to Pete beyond the fact that he was hot and the original Peter Pan fairy tale indicated that they should be. Her attraction to the dark, stoic, handsome, BUT STILL a drug seller, Jas was almost just as weird.
I am NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY SPOILERS, but.......the ending. It felt rushed, confusing, and completely lacking some good detail. I was totally on Wendy's 'side', wondering how it was all going to go 'that way'. Only to find out otherwise, maybe?? --->All of that will only make sense if you read this book all the way to the very end.
Since I can't give away an spoilers, I feel like I can't completely share why I was so disappointed in this book. It was good enough while reading to not feel the need to DNF it, but after finishing I wondered where the author had just taken me. What was the point of that journey? The original Peter Pan ended as if the Darlings' time in Never Never Land was just a dream, but at least along the way we got some good story and some good morals. In "Second Star" we aren't given story, or morals, or a point to the journey we just completed. It was a nice attempt, but I think it just fell totally flat. I'm giving "Second Star" 1.5 Stars and recommend it to those who are also obsessed with surfing and don't mind taking a journey that may be enjoyable, but pointless.