Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller's son. But one night, while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children's nursery, and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning into Neverland, an intoxicating island of freedom.
As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy's paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter's grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her, have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.
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Colleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling, blogging, or totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She currently at work on the final Elly novel and another YA fantasy series.
You can visit her webpage at: colleenoakes.net or at her very lengthy and sometimes embarrassingly personal blog, Heart and Ink, at colleensheartandink.blogspot.com
"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
Past Praise and Awards for Colleen Oakes
Winner—2014 Next Generation Independent Book Awards—Young Adult
Award-Winning Finalist—2014 International Book Awards—Fiction: Young Adult
“Most Cinematic Indie Books of 2014”—Kirkus Reviews
2014 “Best Indie Books of the Year”—Kirkus Reviews
"Oakes continues to weave literary magic as she pulls you down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland like you've never read before. Experience the world anew as you learn how a young princess becomes the villainous Queen of Hearts."
—Chanda Hahn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series
"Oakes skillfully portrays Dinah’s inevitable toughening as she realizes that sometimes there are no right choices and the only options are bad and worse. [...] This installment engagingly shows Dinah shifting further toward becoming the infamous Queen of Hearts, but it also portrays her as a likable human being—at least, so far. Fans of the first volume will devour this book and eagerly await the finale."
"While The Crown focused on the events leading up to Dinah’s escape from her father’s palace, The Wonder explores everything that happened in the wake of her rebelliousness. For those that enjoyed Dinah’s wilder side from the first book, this sequel will bring you more of what you want."
"This beautifully written series presents the captivating backstory of the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and is sure to intrigue both fantasy fans and young adult readers alike."
—Emily Kiebel, author of Serenade
"Fans of Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars will lose themselves in Colleen Oakes’s dark vision of Wonderland, which challenges everything Alice fans thought it was and takes readers on the Queen of Hearts’ journey from adolescence to off with their heads”
—Kayleigh Roberts, BOP and Tiger Beat
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