Reviews for Lost in the Never Woods, by Aiden Thomas

astoldbybex's review

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes

5.0

alittlebitheather's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0

 I know I'll be very much in the minority on this one, and that's okay with me.

If you're looking for the astonishing follow-up to Cemetery Boys, keep looking. Lost in the Never Woods is a bland retelling of Peter Pan at best with boring characters and plot at its worst. You know all those great characters you wish you could be friends with in CB? Non-existent in LITNW. Wendy is a one-note MC, and Peter isn't even remotely charming.

I believe I had heard LITNW was Thomas' first book sold, but after speaking with editors or their agent or someone, they wrote Cemetery Boys and that was released ahead of LINTW. LINTW very much reads like a book that got published BECAUSE Cemetery Boys was successful. It's one better left for the hard drive of someone's computer because nothing about it has the charm or originality the Cemetery Boys had.

This was one of my most anticipated releases this year and I am SO bummed that it fell so short 

iamrainbou's review

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dark sad slow-paced

2.0

A lot of thoughts to be had. Sadly, this is not live up to my expectations.

themixedpages's review

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dark emotional tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

amity321's review

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3.0

This contemporary retelling of Peter Pan focuses on college-bound Wendy, who is still putting the pieces of her life back together after she and her brothers went missing five years prior. She returned from the woods, but her brothers did not, and though she has been questioned thoroughly by her parents, friends, and the police, she cannot remember anything. More kids have gone missing recently, and Wendy is thinking about her brothers more than ever when Peter Pan - previously, someone she thought only existed in the stories told by her family - enters her life. He remembers Wendy and their trip to Neverland, but she doesn't remember him or how she once sewed his shadow back on; this is unfortunate because Peter's shadow is missing again, and it may have something to do with those missing kids.

This book didn't click for me. I'm not sure if it's because Cemetery Boys was such a breath of fresh air, and this feels like a standard retelling, or if it's because I don't particularly care for Peter Pan, but I struggled to get through the first 60% of it. Peter is a compelling character, and he and Wendy have some charming scenes together, but I didn't feel connected to the story. I will certainly read more Aiden Thomas in the future as they are clearly talented, and I think this book will have its audience in younger teen readers, but unfortunately, it didn't work for me. 3 bits of pixie dust out of 5.

I also have a question that I can't find answers to, and I'm guessing it's just something I missed, but: if Neverland is a place where dead children go before Peter helps them move on, then why did Peter tell Wendy that he had brought her mom there when her mom was a child? Was he lying? Is Wendy's mom dead...somehow? Did Peter initially fall in love with her like he did with Wendy, and brought her to Neverland despite knowing it was against the rules? If so, did it mess things up like bringing Wendy there did? That said, this is an uncorrected proof from Netgalley, so if I didn't miss something, it's possible this could be answered in the final version.

simoneleafingthroughtime's review

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

caidyn's review

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

I received an ARC from an ARC fairy and this is my honest review!

Another fantastic book from Aiden Thomas. I definitely see why they decided to hold off on this book for the sophomore one as opposed to this being their debut. It was a fantastic read about childhood and struggling with grief, as well as the darker side of a person. I enjoyed this one so much. It's a very creative retelling of Peter Pan, which is a story I don't love but it was very well done here. Definitely will be owning a finished copy of this!

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gggina13's review

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2.0

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this early!

I'm bummed. I hate to compare an authors' books to each other, but I really can't believe this is the follow-up to Cemetery Boys. The characters in Cemetery Boys were so fleshed out and believable, the story was well-paced, the ending flowed well.. The stark contrast between this, Thomas' sophomore novel, and their debut, is really surprising.

It's a Peter Pan retelling, which has definitely been done before, but it's always fun to revisit. Peter feels easy to characterize - manic pixie dream boy-esque, mischievous, child-like, innocent; I think that's the real strength of this story. Peter's character was whimsical and boyish, he really was like someone you'd have a dream about. Wendy, who is the main character in this story, is where it starts to unravel. I mean, it's been a while since I've watched Peter Pan, but Wendy is kind of like... boring. It seems like it'd be hard to assign her character traits, and she doesn't really have any in this story. She and Peter's chemistry feels a little forced, even though they did have some nice moments together.

The story itself is where the bulk of my issues lie. For the first 60% of the story, nothing happened. They just met up and talked in different spots. They also spent the entirety of the story in our world. I wasn't promised anything other than that, but I assumed from the title that they would at least be in a creepy magic forest if not actually in Neverland. So that may not have been false advertising, but I did misinterpret the title and cover and was disappointed because of that. Similarly - which, granted, there were a handful of adult couples and just two teen couples, but everyone (as far as I remember) was straight. I'm not saying an author has to write their story any kind of way, but after the overflow of diversity that was Cemetery Boys, I just expected something different in this story. But yeah, they spend all this time just literally talking about the same thing over and over, and then a plot twist came up that was actually surprising, and the outcome of that was PURE melodrama. All the build-up led to maybe one page of reveals, and the reveal was just so nonsensically fast, and upsetting, that it was enough to send you physically reeling. I will say I recognized part of the reveal as being a popular fan theory, which may have been the catalyst for this book's inspiration. I think it would be fun to try to write, too. The end of this book was also incredibly rushed to have had so much drag in the beginning of the story.

There's a few things that are randomly weird for no reason - Wendy's dad has a study, and Wendy has never been in there. Like, never. No one ever told her to stay out, she just felt like it was off-limits. Her mom tells her to get the trash out of there and she goes in for literally the first time, noticing the wall was painted green and that there was a chair and stuff.. This is a teenager, who has absentee parents, living in a house with a room she "doesn't go in," but that is kept unlocked... yeah, right. The second my dad left for work I would be running in there just for the simple reason of being nosy and that I could. Ya know? So that kinda useless scene was just so absurd to me.

There's also a 5 year time jump between Wendy and her brothers' disappearance and the events of this story, and what Peter was doing in the meantime is never really explained. I just thought it was weird.

ALSO five whole kids go missing from town over the course of this story and the most they do is a search party and only for the last two. Like men who live near the forest these kids were last seen by aren't interviewed, there's no curfew installed in the town, like nothing that would actually happen in real life happens in the face of this serial kidnapping, as it would appear. The most the cops do are come and harass Wendy, whose only connection is that she also went missing from the town at some point.

All in all, the finished copy may change, but I really wouldn't recommend this one, as sad as it is to say. I think younger teens may enjoy it, or anyone who is really passionate about hitting all the Peter Pan retellings, but other than that, I'd say skip it.

madimairee's review against another edition

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adventurous dark sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

rachelnicole's review

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5.0

It's a rare book that makes me ACTUALLY laugh and cry the way this book has.

Somehow I over looked the names "Wendy" and "Peter" when reading the description, so a Peter Pan retelling was not what I was expecting. Fairytale retelling aren't usually my thing, but this book was so wonderful that I just couldn't put it down.

I felt like I was living this story with Wendy, feeling her confused happiness and her devastating heartache with her. I'm telling the truth when I say that I sobbed when I found out the truth about her brothers.

Even though Wendy didn't get a traditional happy ending, she got something better. Peace and closure.

*This eARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.