Review | Stars

Posted 27 November, 2017 by Jade in Book Review / 0 Comments

Review | StarsStars (Wendy Darling, #1) by Colleen Oakes
Series: Wendy Darling #1
Published by SparkPress on October 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 317
Format: Kindle eBook

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 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, to Neverland, an intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boys’ 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.

“Everyone loses themselves a little in Neverland.”

I have never loved and hated a Peter Pan so much in my life. Stars starts like a typical retelling of Peter Pan, it shows the stifling life of London, the expectations falling on Wendy’s shoulders, the restrictions of class, and disappointments that come with growing up. Then Peter sweeps in in a swirl of colours and starlight, and Wendy can’t look away.

love retellings, and Stars is a fun one. It’s a little darker than the original, playing off the mischievous and possessive nature of Peter, and Wendy is far more timid in this adaptation compared to others.

There are so many hints in the novel about Peter’s true nature, but it’s all hidden from Wendy between beautiful tours of Neverland and Pan Island, romantic moments, and adventures. It’s all a game to Peter, and he’s always there to save her or call the troops to war. Peter is threatening beneath the charming and confident bravado, and he wants a change in Neverland that he needs Wendy for. Is it awful of me to like this relationship so much? Like, Peter is awful, but it’s so much fun.

Their dynamic is done really well, and I really liked how she realised everything bit by bit as the novel progressed. Seeing her work through the lies, the charm, and work to convince herself and her brothers was nice to read, and it was great to see some conviction from her nearing the end of the novel. Wendy is very cautious in this novel; she has to tell herself to ‘be brave, be brave’ and this time she does.

“Wendy, I wanted to take you here to show you something extraordinary. Something you would never see in that other world. Darling, you haven’t seen anything yet of Neverland. I will show you every treasure, every secret pocket of this land. There are so many beautiful things here.” 

I love all of the characters in this book. Peter’s Lost Boys are adorable, and his generals are fantastic. Abbott and Oxley are my favourites by far, and I adore Wendy’s interactions with Abbott. He’s so exasperated by her, Peter, everything, but he seems to understand her a bit better than the rest. I kind of ship them a bit to be honest lol Oxley’s fantastic too, and I definitely want to see more of him.

Tink, as well, is an amazing character. She’s so torn between helping Wendy, loving Peter, and jealously guarding what is hers. There were moments where I felt like the novel would just delve into ‘girls hate other girls because of guys’ territory, but it didn’t and I’m so happy about it. While they aren’t the best of friends by the end, they don’t hate each other simply because of Peter Pan.

One character I’m definitely looking forward to in the next book is Hook. I’m curious as to what he’ll be like in this universe compared to others, and what with the way Peter is now it’s definitely going to be interesting. I can’t wait for his interactions with Wendy and Wendy’s future interactions with Peter (and Abbott!).

“Life is for the living, Wendy. And I plan on living a very, very long time.”

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