Sunday, 6 September 2015

Never, Never (Review, SST & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Never, Never
Author:  Brianna Shrum
Publisher:  Spencer Hill Press 
Published Date: 22nd September 2015
Rating: 5 Stars


*Thanks to the publisher and the SST Tours for the review copy!*

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.

Except one.

Review: I had been anticipating this read like crazy ever since I had first heard about it. I have been on a retelling high for a long time now, and I honestly cannot see myself coming down from it. As well as that, one of my older sisters loves the story of Peter Pan a lot which perked up my interest of it as well.

What I loved about this book so much was how we were able to see the complete journey of Hook. The book starts in his childhood when he is living at home (and at this point I feared it would be more of a middle grade feel than a young adult one). But as you keep reading we see James turn into a teenager, and then an adult and everything that happens in between to shape who he is. I could really connect with his character, even if I had never been lost from home, or became a pirate, or had anyone I hated so much as he hated Pan. Yet, I could still relate to him and I would narrow that down to the wonders of Shrum’s writing.

One of the best things about this novel is that it isn’t about turning characters into something completely different from who they are. Hook is still the villain. Peter Pan is still the childish, flying boy. But what this book does do is show us why Hook hates Pan so much. And why Pan being a child forever is not the best thing for him. We do get to see a very sinister side to Pan and it was quite surprising to see how easy it was to turn this originally light hearted story into a much darker one. It made me wonder if Pan was just as much a villain as Hook. And it definitely leaves it up to the reader to decide how evil or good Hook is.

I loved Hook’s character. He was a character that had a lot more anger than me, but I loved his idea of ‘good and bad form’. Even if he was a pirate he was someone with a certain elegance to him, someone who had his own morals and own ideals of what was right and wrong. He did feel guilt for some of the things he did, and he wasn’t unbreakable. I liked how he was so human, even if being a pirate is usually what people believe to be a terrible thing.

Everything about him is really explained. We get small details about why he wears the costume he does the way he does, why he never sails out of Neverland and about his crew as well. I liked that it was also so accurate to the original story. I did have to do a bit of research for that because my memory is shaky in places of Peter Pan’s story, but everything was very in sync with it, while being a unique story to itself.

We really did get to see a lot of Neverland as a place and why it works that way. There was the perfect amount of world building and I think Shrum did pretty well there. I would have liked to see a bit more though, especially of the Neverwastes, which was a place always mentioned but never seen or visited.

I LOVED the romance so much! It was a lot more heated than I expected it would be at first (especially since the story starts with kids!) but I suppose Hook matures, and well, romance is in order. I don’t know if it was Hook’s inner conflict or just how much he loved the love interest, but it definitely made for a bittersweet and a hot romance.

Disregarding all the words I said above, please read this book now! If you love a good retelling like me, or just a very interest novel then you will enjoy this one.

Quotes: *from an ARC copy and may not be the same in an unfinished one*

“Little children need things to believe in.”
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Giveaway: Enter to win a finished copy of Never, Never!



Olivia’s Question: Do you think that some people have their reasons for being bad?


Olivia-Savannah x

36 comments:

  1. Loved this review! I love Neverland and Peter Pan and this book sounds so freaking awesome. I'm totally adding it to my TBR. Peter Pan retellings seem to be popular this year with the movie Pan coming out soon and stuff. Will you be watching the movie? :D

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    1. If you love those two, you will definitely love this as well! I hope you get the opportunity to read it soon. I haven't heard of that movie actually, but I will definitely be seeing it.

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  2. I'm one of the few people (probably) who hasn't read nor seen any interpretations of Peter Pan, so I can't say I'm too familiar with the story at all. I like that the story wasn't a cannon (as most authors would do if they had to reinvent a tale). I like that it digs deeper into Hook's hatred of Pan. Maybe someday. :)

    Great review, Olivia!

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    1. You haven't? You should try the Disney movie and it should fill you in with the majority you need to know. I did like the villain point of view and the subtle small changes she made along the way.

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  3. That sounds very different and unique. It must feel weird to see a sinister side to Peter Pan. Good review!
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. It was so interesting to see it, and I liked how it showed the grey area between evil and good.

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  4. [ Smiles ] I think that we cannot go wrong with Peter Pan.

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    1. Agreeing with you thus far from the looks of things :)

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  5. I'm looking forward to getting this when It's released. You know I love a good retelling. Glad that you love this, as It's on my wish list.

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    1. I am hoping you'll love it just as much as I did x

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  6. Nice review. But I was not able to get one thing that you said many things about the book and yet you gave it 5 Stars.

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    1. I am someone who believes that a book doesn't have to be absolutely perfect to be five stars! All those reasons contributed to making it so :3

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  7. This is such a beautiful review, Olivia! (And hi! I saw your profile on Vlora's blog!) This sounds absolutely fantastic and I'm definitely pulling up that GR page to check it out more throughly. The retelling of Peter Pan sounds like it's done in a way that is not only true to the book, but true to the new story that is being told, and Hook seems like he's become a much more complex character, which I'm all for. I actually dislike the original PP, and consider it to be a kinda dark story anyway- seeing Pan in a light where he's not necessarily the "good guy" is something I'm more than happy to have, so I'm really looking forward to that, too. And romance for Hook! YAY!

    Seriously awesome review. xx

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    1. Hey Romi! I have followed you and found you there too now :) I am glad you liked the review -- it is longer than usual because I just felt so much after reading this one! I liked it being kept to the original and yet still its own story. It's so interesting when the villain gets to be known as more than simply the bad guy. Romance <3

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  8. This sounds absolutely amazing Olivia-Savannah! I hadn't heard of this one prior to reading your review, but now I am so, so intrigued. I read another Peter Pan retelling, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, a while back and it became one of my favorite books of all time so I've been a bit wary about reading other Peter Pan retellings since I feel they won't be able to match that one, but I'm definitely going to have to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

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    1. I hope you do try it and love it like I did! I haven't read Tiger Lily but it is on my TBR because I have a friend who has loved it. Which means I need to try it! And I have your love for it to back up that claim now as well.

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  9. OMG! OMG! I would want to check this out badly.

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  10. What an awesome review Olivia!! Peter Pan is one of my favourite tales but I'm always very skeptical about its retellings. However, getting to know why Hook is the villain sounds like a nice treat. I just love when books explain why the bad guys are the bad guys you know?

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    1. Yeah, I am in love with books that show why the bad guys are but still doesn't excuse it -- just explains it instead.

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  11. This review is awesome! It just makes me excited to read it because I LOVE the story of Peter Pan. And I do want to know more about Hook and his story, so to see something stay close to the story of Peter Pan but with a twist is great!!

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    1. Ooh, then this one sounds perfect for you! I hope you love this book as much as I did x

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  12. This one sounds really good! I love it when it is explained why certain characters are bad, if that doesn't happen I find they often feel like flat characters. Ever since seeying Peter Pan in Once Upon a Time I really like the idea of a Pan that isn't very good, so that also makes this book sound very interesting!

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    1. I know what you mean about flat characters, I forgot that Pan was baddie in that show too!

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  13. Olivia,
    I must admit that I have never read Peter Pan, so I don't know the story behind the tale. Your review certainly opened my eyes to what the tale is about, though. Thanks for the lovely review.

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    1. It is a pretty nice tale and watching the Disney movie can be fun and fill you in on all you need to know!

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  14. Aw this sounds like an awesome book! To answer your question, I definitely think people have reasons for being bad, and good reasons at that! Which still doesn't excuse them for their misdeeds, but it helps us understand why they do what they do. Can't wait to read this one!

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    1. I would agree with you! I do think that there can be reasons for it, although it doesn't excuse anything.

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  15. I hadn't known much about this book, but it sounds fascinating to see how Hook developed into the person he is now. This one seems like a great adaptation! Nice review :)

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. It really was a good character development!

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  16. Wonderful review. Happy to see you loved this one, it sounds so interesting. I love Peter Pan and retellings, and books that explore the characters. This is a must read for me.

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    1. I really do hope you can enjoy it even more than I did! Retellings are definitely in my good books lately.

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  17. I just finished this the other night, but unfortunately, I didn't care for it! I think for me, the writing was a bit mediocre, and it was really difficult for me to connect with the characters. However, I did enjoy when he and Peter would bicker and have their moments were they wanted to kill each other but didn't. & weren't you surprised by the Tiger Lily and James scenes. My mouth was literally hanging open like whatttt. Okay yall getting steamy lol.

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    1. It's a shame this one didn't work out for you while reading :/ The back and forth was done well. And well... I wasn't expecting the steamy romance but I sure enjoyed it :P

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  18. Really great review Olivia! Your review really made me want to read this, I was kind of hesitant before reading your review. I love that the book delves deeper into the characters and explains why they are the way they are. Oh and romance, that really perked me right up. Thanks again for the lovely review, it was very enjoyable! :)
    Miranda's Book Blog

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    1. A little romance in a book always makes things interesting ;) But this one was such a great read and I was addicted to turning those pages. Well worth the time!

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