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"Wendy Darling tries to be a proper young lady despite her forbidden romance with a bookseller's son. Yet when a strange, beautiful, flying (!) youth tempts her and her younger brothers to abandon stodgy Edwardian London, she yields to long-suppressed yearnings for adventure. Described in lush, lingering detail, Neverland is all that Peter Pan promises: vibrant, gorgeous, filled with magic and excitement. But it also harbors unexpected dangers...perhaps none greater than Peter himself. While she is initially intoxicated by his charisma, Wendy's practical good sense, stubborn loyalty, and newly liberated fire give her the courage to defy Peter...only to land, in a stunning cliffhanger, in even worse peril. Dark, even horrific in its graphic bloodshed and psychological menace; but the nuanced portrayals--of a hero frequently excused by his whimsical glamour and a heroine too often dismissed as girlishly insipid--are riveting. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
"This Peter Pan story may sound familiar, but the tale takes a darker turn when the children arrive on Pan Island in Neverland. The longer they stay on the island, the harder they find it to remember their former lives. It soon becomes apparent that Peter, far from a naive boy who won't grow up, is a cunning, manipulative leader. This is Neverland crossed with William Golding's Lord of the Flies; there is jealousy, anger, maliciousness, and death. And this Peter Pan is a young man who has his sinister sights set on Wendy. When she begins to remember her past and expresses a desire to return home, Peter turns cruel and abusive. During the rest of the action-packed novel, she tries to escape him and the dangers of the island with her brothers in tow. VERDICT A dark twist on a familiar tale that readers will have difficulty putting down."
--School Library Journal
"We are all familiar with the story of Peter Pan, whether from J.M. Barries' original 1911 novel or the many film versions it inspired. Oakes' tale, told form Wendy's point of view, breathes new life into Peter's story and makes it her own. This Neverland is far more mesmerizing and dangerous than Barries', and I was pulled in by the lyrical writing. Every time I opened the cover, I felt completely transported into Wendy's world. The perilous call of the mermaids, Tinker Bell's violent obsession with Peter, sinister Captain Hook -- all compelling reasons to read Wendy Darling."
--Middle Shelf Magazine
"This beautifully written series [Wendy Darling] is sure to intrigue both fantasy fans and young adult readers alike."
--Emily Kiebel, author of Serenade
Wendy Darling takes readers far beyond the second star to the right and straight on till morning. It is the story of a girl loved by two men—the steady and handsome bookseller's son from London and Peter Pan, dashing, charming, and dangerous. From the cobblestone streets of London to the fantastical world of Neverland's many secrets, readers will love watching Wendy's journey as she grows from a girl into a woman, and realizes that Neverland, like her heart, is a wild place, teaming with dark secrets and dangerous obsessions.
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