Lisa Reviews: Alyssa Sheinmel's - "The Second Star"

sheinmel_SecondStar_CoverRevealSecond Star is a book filled with surfers, waves, wild kids, and LOTS of boys! While Second Star sounds like the perfect beach read, it isn’t the average one! Second Star is actually a retelling of Peter Pan! Before I started reading this story, I wasn’t sure how Alyssa Sheinmel would pull of this Peter Pan surfer guy retelling…

In the end, my curiosity got the best of me; I couldn’t resist and HAD to pick it up!

The main character in Second Star is a recent high school graduate, Wendy Darling, who is on her way to college in the fall. Things seem to being good for Wendy, but Wendy and her parents are still struggle with her two younger missing brothers. The twins haven’t been seen or heard from since. Her parents are moping around and convinced that they will never see their children again, Wendy is believes that they are somewhere out there catching the next wave to surf.

Wendy is determined to find them, and bring them home, no matter what her parents and best friend think or say. The perfect opportunity arises when she bumps into another surfer at her graduation bonfire.  His name is Pete and he lives with a few other runaways in an abandoned house on the beach.

Pete is like no one Wendy has ever met, he is a completely free soul, who wants to do nothing but surf and spend time with his friends. When Wendy finally decides to pack her things and go on a search, she begs her best friend to cover for her. When she finally agrees, Wendy isn’t really sure where to start, but the best place would be with Pete and the other surfer runaways in the hopes that one of them will know something!

With all odds going against her, and even a betrayal by two people that were the closest to her, Wendy isn’t willing to believe what everyone is telling her. She knows that John and Michael are somewhere out in the ocean, and therapists, hospitals, her parents, and her best friend aren’t going to keep her from thinking that.

When I started reading Second Star, I had no idea just how emotional this story was going to be. There was honestly so much going from the relationships between Wendy, Pete, Jas, Belle, the twins and some of the other runaways.

The “retelling” part is what suckered me into picking up this book; I wanted to see how the author would pull these two VERY different subjects together, to make it work. I was excited to see it all happen! But in the end I didn’t see much of it there. Yes, the characters were named after the Peter Pan characters, and yes Wendy went to a kind of “Neverland”. But besides that, there wasn’t too much else. I guess I was expecting there too be a lot more similarities, and was a little disappointed when there wasn’t.

There were a lot of good characters in this book, Wendy, Pete, Jas, Belle, Wendy’s best friend, and some of the guys. Wendy wasn’t willing to just give up on her brothers, she still had hope, which I liked and found courageous. Pete was a caring leader, who knew exactly what he had to do to keep his group safe. Belle was the perfect mean girl, and even opened up a bit towards the end. Jas was the faerie dust dealer, who seems to be this bad (ish) boy, but he also opens up and is so much more than that.

Overall I enjoyed Second Star. But with that said I don’t feel like it should have been categorized as a retelling. I feel like Second Star would have been off much better as a story within itself. The characters were amazing, the story was good, what brought it down for me, were the expectations of a retelling which just didn’t exist in this book.

I would recommend this book, but I would tell you not to focus on the “retelling” part. Just enjoy the characters and story!


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