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“My life has been a series of poorly timed moves for as long as I can remember. But something about this place has me pausing.”
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: YA Fantasy
Themes: Fairy tales, retellings, fairies, pirates
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Days I took to Read:9
ABOUT THE BOOK
Gwendolyn Allister just wants to be able to settle down, and call someplace home. But her mother, constantly in terror of horrible monsters and chasing them, has uprooted their tiny family of two once again, but this time, they’re headed all the way to London, England. The only thing she has at her side (other than her stuffed suitcases, of course) is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming to help them move in and provide some company for the summer. Everything seems stressful but normal, until the two girls are kidnapped by mysterious creatures to a place called Neverland.
This island is nothing like what they’ve read of in books, and it takes all of Gwen’s strength to stay alive and fight the magic of this strange new world, especially when that magic is taking away both her and Olivia’s memories little by little. Gwen doesn’t know who to trust to get her home, the classic fantasy boy who never quite grew up, or the mysteriously dark pirate with more up his sleeve than just a shiny hook.
Alrighty, guys, I’m going to fill you in on a little secret, I’m a little nuts about Peter Pan retellings featuring a romantic plot with Captain Hook. This, obviously, is one of many reasons why I love Once Upon A Time (which I’m planning on talking about in a post, concerning fairy-tale retellings and characterization). Now, I’m not going to try and tell you that this whole book was about the romance between Gwen or Olivia with any of the characters because 1) I wouldn’t want to spoil you and 2) it’s really not the main focus of the book in the first place. But clearly (as seen in my Fangirl review), even when it’s a subplot it really comes to the forefront when I get my hands on it.
I actually picked up this book on “recommendation” from a YouTube video by Kim Chance (I cant remember which one in particular it was), and when I heard it had a young Captain Hook in it, I immediately took off for the bookstore. I’ll go ahead and tell you guys right now that I was not disappointed. Unhooked is not only a fabulous semi-romance novel, but it’s also a really intriguing take on the Peter Pan legend/story by J. M. Barrie. Maxwell was able to take a fantastical tale of a young boy who never wants to grow up, and turns it into a haunting plot about a girl and her best friend trying to escape a foreign and dangerous place while simultaneously losing their memories.
That was one thing that I kind of had a double-edged sword opinion on: as a narrator, Gwen was unreliable, because her memories were slowly fading from her mind. However, it also brought a really cool spin on being out of her element. You as the reader have the chance to discover and paint this world around her as you go through the book, and if not for the other reasons, I would recommend this book on that alone.
Now, there were a couple of plot twists and turns that I really didn’t think were tied up properly by the end of the book — which is why I keep digging to find out if there’s going to be a sequel! I won’t spoil you guys here, but if I had the chance to re-read the book again, I might do what I do while reading now, and take notes throughout it so that I don’t get lost with minor plot devices and points that later become huge twists. Especially because I’m working full-time this summer and I’m reading slowly, it gets a little hard to remember all the little details throughout it if you don’t know that they’re going to become important later.
All in all, I thought Maxwell did a fantastic job with Unhooked, and I can’t wait to read the rest of her books (one is listed below), I hope you guys can do the same!