Wow. Where to even begin with this book?!! I sat down to read it, and never got up. Read straight past my bed time, into the night, until turning the very last page. For me, the writing was absolutely enchanting and dreamlike--a fairy tale shimmering to life in a modern day retelling by the beach. By far, the most magical book I've read in a very long time.
Wendy Darling's world is shattered when her twin brothers go missing after going surfing and then never come back. Her parents are shells of themselves, merely passing through the motions of life. Wendy, in the mean time, is convinced her brothers are still out there somewhere.
She's a straight A student-- Stanford bound in fact, but Wendy feels the tug of the ocean, the whispers of her brothers.
A chance meeting with a beautiful boy named Pete leads her to Kensington. Once the home of millionaires, now an abandoned neighborhood clinging dangerously close to the edge of a cliff backed up to the ocean. Wendy is sure her brothers could have know this very spot where the perfect waves crash in and the tide washes away the path that leads back home. She is inexplicably drawn to the salty air and fire-lit nights.
Second Star brought me back to my senior year in Califronia and the summers in between. Taking weekends at lazy beach towns, finding warm sand between my toes and then shaking it all out again to head back to school, the sunny days and carefree atmosphere.
Pete is perfect. He's exactly what you would imagine a modern day Peter Pan to be. Belle, his moody, angry girlfriend has secrets of her own. And the other lost boys, Hughie and Matt come together to form their own makeshift family. But there is a very real threat living on the other side of the beach.
He can hook you with his lies, his dust and his enigmatic pull. The love triangle all happens so fast you won't know what hit.
Wendy finds herself doing things she would never normally do, and second guessing her mind as she chases the second star in search of the truth. Lines between reality and dream becomes blurred (as often happens with trauma, love and loss), s0 much so that even the reader is not sure what is fact and what is imagining.
I'm guessing this is a standalone, because of the ending. I don't want to spoil anything for readers. But suffice it to say, Second Star is a twisty, turvy ride that will suck you in, pull you under and spit you back out wanting another wave. It takes everything you think you know and shakes it up-- but for me it was perfect.
Highly recommend Second Star. If you are looking for it to stick to your pre-conceived notions about the well known childhood story of Peter Pan, you may be disappointed-- but if you want amazing writing, here you'll find fast paced story spinning at its best. Thanks so much to Ksenia at MacMillan Teen Books for sending me this treasure!
My advice... head over to NetGalley and request it. Pre-order and add Second Star to your wishlist NOW.
Content: Due to this being such an early review I won't list specifics yet. There are several elements of mature content but not in so much detail that it was bothersome to me, will release the parental warnings after the book is published.