Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Neverland by Shari Arnold

Neverland by Shari Arnold

Published: April 7th 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace
Page Count: Paperback, 358 pages
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult
Find The Author: BlogTwitter
Buy This Book: Amazon
Add It To Your GoodReads Shelf

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.
But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound. 
Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?
In this modern reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

This book is a total love letter to the fantastical and beloved world created by JM Barrie. With that being said…It is also a thoughtful, caring look into the world of grief, innocence, and the challenges of the whole coming of age process.

It was solidly written, possessed a creative premise, and delivered strongly. The main character isn’t one of those characters that you end up kind of hating - she’s a caring young woman going through a huge experience. A girl who just wants to do the right thing. The world and imagery that Arnold creates to express the world of JM Barrie is beautiful and enticing. At one point (mild spoiler alert!) I seriously wanted to dress up in a costume and go take over an abandoned carnival. The ending was satisfying and bittersweet and happy. A great recipe for a YA novel.

Yet, I struggled a little bit to write this review. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what was going on. Like, it has all the ingredients and I definitely, absolutely recommend it for a future read. However... I didn’t feel an emotional connection the way I normally do with characters like Livy Cloud. I feel the same way about my little sister as she did hers. And I would be crushed beyond belief if I ever even came close to losing my sister the way she did hers. It just...I think that there was so much discussion and actions and not enough time spent on emotions.

She was grieving and lost but the plotline was so focused on Meyer and the outside forces working around her that she never became a real, grieving person for me. She was going through some massive things and her parents..her friends...the little girl she was trying to all should have hit a more deeper emotional punch with the reader than it actually did. It was a good read, a good story, and a good tribute to JM Barrie. It just...wasn’t all that it could have been. Of course, I’m like one of those people that NEEDS to be able to connect with the main character. I wonder if it had been written from Meyer’s view point if there would be a connection problem.

Either way, I give it….four out of five stars. Why? Because as I said before - written solidly, creative premise, solid plotline, and a completely magical twist on a beloved and known fairy tale.
Go read it - Did you like it??? Did you relate to Livy Cloud??? Am I crazy or did you have the same difficulties? Please come back and discuss - I’ll keep an eye out for your comments! :)


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