Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.
This is the second review of the Ten Books I Forgot I Had on My TBR.
Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum, Narrated by Simon Vance
Published September 22nd 2015 by Spencer Hill Press, November 6th 2018 by Blackstone Publishing
Synopsis: James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does. And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
I was a big fan of the television series, “Once Upon a Time.” In that show, Peter Pan was not a good guy. He was actually rather evil and unlikable, as opposed to the Walt Disney version of the happy go lucky boy. Well, in Brianna Shrum’s story, he is the evil boy with no conscience. Peter heads off to London where he meets James Hook. James thinks that Neverland sounds like a great place to visit and he is assured by Peter that he can go home whenever he wants so he agrees to go on a vacation. Once there, Peter gives him the rules and refuses to help him get home when he is ready to leave. We meet all the characters we already know and love like the lost boys, the pirates, the indians including Tiger Lily and the fairies. Peter is not very nice and is always wanting to attack others. James does not like this at all. When you don’t like what is happening in Neverland and stop dreaming, you start to age and young James Hook turns into an adult, thus being banished from Peter’s camp.
This story has a very different spin on the story I am familiar with. I enjoyed hearing it from Captain Hook’s point of view. There were some very interesting twists on the relationships in Neverland, as well as the evolution of Captain Hook. As he ages and becomes the captain of his ship, his hatred for Peter grows. Throughout this story they are always after each other, but the reason is very different in this book. It is easy to see why James hates Peter and wants to kill him, but I also like how his humanity is shown. There is an interesting storyline involving Tiger Lily as well. So is this a middle grades book? I thought it might be, but I think it is definitely more YA due to that theme. I did enjoy this book and am glad I finally read it.
I listened to the audiobook of this story read by Simon Vance. His expression, intonation and inflection made this a delightful listening experience. I liked that the publisher selected a male narrator as most of the story was told by male characters. The pacing was right on and I enjoyed listening to this story.