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Lost in the Never Woods

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When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. It's been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. It's been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don't do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what's waiting for her in the woods.


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When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. It's been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers. It's been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don't do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what's waiting for her in the woods.

30 review for Lost in the Never Woods

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Lost in the Never Woods was one of my most anticipated 2021-releases. I am so happy to finally have a copy of the audiobook to listen to through my public library!!! Can we get a hand for public libraries?! What a great service they provide, am I right!? Original: These 2021 cover reveals are killing me!!! More purple for my bookshelves. Honestly, I am overwhelmed. Do we live in the best time for book covers, or what!? Lost in the Never Woods was one of my most anticipated 2021-releases. I am so happy to finally have a copy of the audiobook to listen to through my public library!!! Can we get a hand for public libraries?! What a great service they provide, am I right!? Original: These 2021 cover reveals are killing me!!! More purple for my bookshelves. Honestly, I am overwhelmed. Do we live in the best time for book covers, or what!?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aiden Thomas

    HEY FRIENDS! i am so excited for this book to be out in the world soon, and i wanted to share some of my favorite tropes that i put into LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS since, let's be real, it's BASICALLY fanfic and i LIVE for romance tropes! if you like: ✨modern au 💖second chance romance 🥺oblivious pining 👀forced proximity/there's only one bed 🩹hurt/comfort then this is definitely the book for you! i'm also running both a domestic AND an international preorder campaign, where you can get beautiful character c HEY FRIENDS! i am so excited for this book to be out in the world soon, and i wanted to share some of my favorite tropes that i put into LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS since, let's be real, it's BASICALLY fanfic and i LIVE for romance tropes! if you like: ✨modern au 💖second chance romance 🥺oblivious pining 👀forced proximity/there's only one bed 🩹hurt/comfort then this is definitely the book for you! i'm also running both a domestic AND an international preorder campaign, where you can get beautiful character cards and a glow in the dark enamel pin! for more information and how to enter 💖: https://www.aiden-thomas.com/never-wo...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    What a fanfreakingtastic book I’ve just devoured! I loved Cemetery Boys! But this unique, this precious definitely whispered to my soul when I saw it at the B&N’s shelves which reminded me of my arc request has been rejected! It hurt like hell and gave me a reason to get my own copy ASAP! After being hypnotized by the cover which was about dragging me into lost woods and made me stood up for three hours at same position till the security guards of the bookstore pulled me back off from the shelv What a fanfreakingtastic book I’ve just devoured! I loved Cemetery Boys! But this unique, this precious definitely whispered to my soul when I saw it at the B&N’s shelves which reminded me of my arc request has been rejected! It hurt like hell and gave me a reason to get my own copy ASAP! After being hypnotized by the cover which was about dragging me into lost woods and made me stood up for three hours at same position till the security guards of the bookstore pulled me back off from the shelves as my salivas dripping down on my cheeks, I finally bought my copy and hired a carrier to take me home ( after three hours standing still could turn your legs into jellies that served at the hospitals) Anyways, as soon as I went back home, I ignored my husband tell me order any takeouts and I also ignored my agent who was waiting for at least ten pages for my next thriller movie script and had an amazing appointment at the Neverland, diving into scary, more emotional, exhilarating, dark, bleak but interestingly promising retelling of Peter and Wendy’s journey! Wendy Darling becomes 18, finishing her volunteer shift at the hospital, still hearing whispers behind her back because of traumatic experience she’s endured five years ago: somebody took her and her two brothers away. After six months later she has found in the woods, suffering from loss memory, traumatized, holding an acorn into her hands, having no idea where she has been during her disappearance and the whereabouts of her brothers. She still deals with her guilt feelings, trying so hard to get back her memories, witnessing her mother and father’s dealing with their grief in different ways, burying herself into daily chores, concentrating on her college education to pursue her career as a nurse just like her mother. But at her birthday, as soon as her shift ends in the hospital, she drives her car to her home but at the road, something suddenly jumps on her car : like a bleak creature with a dark shadow. As she stops her car, she finds a boy lying in the middle of the road. The boy is so familiar. Someone she’s chasing in her dreams. Someone who cannot be real. Someone she keeps drawing pictures of. And he knows her name. How? She wants to make sure she’s not dreaming so she drives back to hospital. The boy wakes up and keeps screaming her name. Later she finds out he’s Peter! Not regular Peter. He’s her Peter! Peter Pan! And this is not the only crazy thing she has to deal with it! Somebody kidnaps small kids around neighborhood. Peter’s dark shadow might be responsible about those children’s taking away. Dark shadow of Peter is feeding himself with little children’s sorrows, fears, guilts, sadnesses, despairs and as he’s getting stronger, Peter is losing his magic and his powers. He barely flies, starting to grow older, getting weaker at each second. If Wendy wants to help him reattach with his shadow, she also needs to remember the terrifying trauma she’s endured five years ago which could help her to find about where her brothers are. Wow! No more words! This was heart pounding, stunning adventure! As a big fan of Peter Pan in Neverland, it was so obvious for me to fall hard for this remarkable story! Before reaching at the middle of the book, I already decided to give it five gazillion stars and after finishing I didn’t change my mind. I’m so sure I’ll read great ya fantasy novels this year, but this book already reserved his unique place in my heart. This is incredible. One of the best fantasy works and amazing retellings of the year I highly recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    it pains me to give such a low rating, but it also pained me to read this book as it wore on. i love a good retelling, especially of a story as magical as peter pan. and after adoring cemetery boys, my expectations of this book were high. that's a factor in my disappointment, but ultimately, lost in the never woods is a far weaker story. the writing style is repetitious, the plot is lackluster and terribly slow, and the whole book screams of lost potential 😭 cemetery boys is exposition-heavy as we it pains me to give such a low rating, but it also pained me to read this book as it wore on. i love a good retelling, especially of a story as magical as peter pan. and after adoring cemetery boys, my expectations of this book were high. that's a factor in my disappointment, but ultimately, lost in the never woods is a far weaker story. the writing style is repetitious, the plot is lackluster and terribly slow, and the whole book screams of lost potential 😭 cemetery boys is exposition-heavy as well, but it's redeemed with well-balanced action scenes, wholesome characters, and amazing representation. lost in the never woods lacks this balance. hardly anything happens. the majority of the book is spent on wendy's repetitious narration. and it reads as really young YA, despite wendy being in her last summer before college. the woods themselves are darkly beautiful, and i like the small town woodsy vibe. peter's character is written in the same adoring manner as cemetery boys's julian (aiden thomas has a thing for these charming, semi-unattainable magical boys!). but nothing else in the story ever comes to life. we have a few brief glimpses of magical neverland, but the book never takes us there, either. not a fairy in sight. there are a million small frustrating things that never add up: wendy's best friend, jordan, who is absent for most of the book and seems to be included as an afterthought. wendy's compulsive handwashing, which at first i thought was very cool to see represented... but after the beginning, it's never mentioned again?? and the lack of lgbt+ and poc representation. (jordan is a poc, but she's hardly in the book) of course thomas isn't obligated to make all of their books gay, but i was really surprised that there's not even any side representation. the romance is hetero, but it's a soft slow-burn, which is really nice. there is one magical moment in particular that made my heart glow for peter and wendy. i can appreciate the bittersweetness of it all: a girl on the brink of adulthood and a boy who's not meant to grow up. it's poetic, but it's not enough to carry the whole book. i was really interested to see what thomas would do with this book's villain (view spoiler)[...not captain hook, but peter's shadow. it has come undone from his body, and is kidnapping and terrorizing local children, growing stronger off their fears in some twisted monsters inc. situation!!! (hide spoiler)] . but it's cliche and cartoonish rather than scary. the villain spends the entire book looming menacingly, but is taken down easily. there's just no fear or sense of urgency here!! this was a buddy read with my friend sofia, and they said it best: the more you think about the details of the plot, the more it all unravels. the book's acknowledgements mention that lost in the never woods was seven years in the making. i wonder if thomas was pushed to publish it now due to the success of cemetery boys? it's a shame, because the premise is lovely, and we know thomas is capable of writing an amazing story!! i'm looking forward to seeing growth in their next book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    Crying because I really thought I would love this but I did not😭 Lost in the Never Woods had a great premise. It is a Peter Pan retelling and so much darker than Thomas’ debut - Cemetery Boys. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The story did not hold my attention and I had a few issues with the pacing. The characters were very surface level with little depth. It was difficult to connect to any of them. Wendy was one-dimensional and slightly bland. However the way that g Crying because I really thought I would love this but I did not😭 Lost in the Never Woods had a great premise. It is a Peter Pan retelling and so much darker than Thomas’ debut - Cemetery Boys. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The story did not hold my attention and I had a few issues with the pacing. The characters were very surface level with little depth. It was difficult to connect to any of them. Wendy was one-dimensional and slightly bland. However the way that grief and loss was portrayed was well done. I felt Wendy and her family’s pain and their struggles with overcoming their grief. The pacing was a bit of an issue for me. It was so slow and nothing happened until the last 20%. Wendy and Peter had no plans or sense of direction when figuring out what to do to save the kids. It was frustrating because it was stressed that they were running out of time and the fate of the kids’ lives rested in their hands, yet they do nothing about it (except go on detours to get ice cream). In terms of the romance, I found it rather forced. Wendy and Peter did not have chemistry and it felt rushed. In my honest opinion, I would have loved it if they had a platonic relationship instead. Additionally, there was something about the romance that felt a bit off to me. Peter was first introduced as a 13-ish year old boy at the beginning of the novel and over the course of a few days, he aged to 19 (around Wendy’s age). In my mind, he was mentally still a kid. Maybe I'm missing something, but it feel a bit weird. Personally, this book was not for me. I do think some others will enjoy it if they like Peter Pan retellings. I’m sad that I didn’t enjoy this, but I will still continue reading Thomas’ future works.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    THIS COVEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram THIS COVEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Astoria, Oregon?!! My brother lived there when he was in the Coast Guard—a beautiful, charming little coastal town with steeeep roads and where the iconic Goonies and The Kindergarten Cop were filmed!! I already feel connected! And was already had at “Never Wood”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Moru

    4 stars. ⚜️ Did I just read a Peter Pan fanfiction? You bet I did. And it was amazing. Let me tell you something, while the pacing of the book is off, the story is great. The premise is great. Peter was such delight and seeing Wendy as a senior was something I didn’t think I needed until now. And the end? Ugh. My heart. You want some angst? Here. Read this book. It’s not going to disappoint. You want some mystery? Here. Read this book. It’s not going to disappoint. You want some second chance r 4 stars. ⚜️ Did I just read a Peter Pan fanfiction? You bet I did. And it was amazing. Let me tell you something, while the pacing of the book is off, the story is great. The premise is great. Peter was such delight and seeing Wendy as a senior was something I didn’t think I needed until now. And the end? Ugh. My heart. You want some angst? Here. Read this book. It’s not going to disappoint. You want some mystery? Here. Read this book. It’s not going to disappoint. You want some second chance romance? Here. Read this book. It’s not going to disappoint. The story was so wonderful that it made me want to watch Peter Pan again just for the nostalgia. I do have to say, that if you want a book that is fast-paced and to develop a plot from the beginning, this might not be the book for you. It’s a book that deals with themes such as grief, pain, trauma, and mental health but there’s also so much fluff and sweetness that made my little heart very happy. Btw, the cover itself should deserve a rating of its own, like what? It’s beautiful. 😌 quote: “Wendy gazed up at the stars, and the stars gazed back.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    ATheReader

    4.5 stars Well well well. It is time to write my review. It is true that this book isn’t as good as Cemetery Boys. It is true that at some points I was aware that I was reading text. BUT I really did enjoy this book. I think that one thing that Aiden Thomas is really good at is writing characters. His overall writing is pretty majestical but his characters just come alive on the page.You really get a feel for their characters and they are all so human and don’t seem artificial. They are never pe 4.5 stars Well well well. It is time to write my review. It is true that this book isn’t as good as Cemetery Boys. It is true that at some points I was aware that I was reading text. BUT I really did enjoy this book. I think that one thing that Aiden Thomas is really good at is writing characters. His overall writing is pretty majestical but his characters just come alive on the page.You really get a feel for their characters and they are all so human and don’t seem artificial. They are never perfect or “dreamy” but always end rooting for them. Another thing about Aiden Thomas’ books that I absolutely love is the challenge that the characters are faced with. They aren’t handed any endings, they never end with a completely satisfying life, but the stories end with definitive endings which I love. I loved this retelling because it remastered the tale and made it it's own. I think that the plot was extremely engrossing and perfectly timed. My blog post for Aiden Thomas: https://athereaderofbooks.wixsite.com...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Arundhati

    An amazing read. It is beautiful, haunting, heart warming, at the same time heart breaking and full of hope. This book covered a whole spectrum of emotions and I felt every bit of it. Lost in the never woods is a Peter Pan retelling. It follows Wendy, who went missing along with her brothers 5 years ago. But Wendy is found 6 months later of missing, alone and no memory of what conspired in that period. As new cases of missing children come into play, Wendy is forced to re live her past and de An amazing read. It is beautiful, haunting, heart warming, at the same time heart breaking and full of hope. This book covered a whole spectrum of emotions and I felt every bit of it. Lost in the never woods is a Peter Pan retelling. It follows Wendy, who went missing along with her brothers 5 years ago. But Wendy is found 6 months later of missing, alone and no memory of what conspired in that period. As new cases of missing children come into play, Wendy is forced to re live her past and deal with her guilt and loss. Also, a mysterious new stranger Peter comes into her life who holds the answers she seeks. The writing is very beautiful. The descriptions are really vivid. The author has done a really good job creating the atmosphere. It is eerie and hauntingly beautiful. The plot does become a little slow in the middle, but it picks up later. The plot is interesting and continues with a air of mystery till the very end. I did have an inkling of what was about to happen, still I would say the execution was well done. A lot of heavy topics were covered in this story with respect and care. Wendy has gone through a traumatic experience in her past which has scarred her deeply. To an extent where her mind has completely blocked off those memories. The author has not just skimmed over the grief which Wendy is dealing with, but rather expressed it in raw and unfiltered way. How much that incident has taken toll on her family and her mental well being is explored in depth. And then we have Peter, who is a ray of sunshine in all this darkness. He brings the much needed humor and hope into the story. His child like innocence while exploring things is so endearing. He helps Wendy in small but significant ways which ultimately help her to come in terms with her past. I loved Peter. He is just too adorable. He tries to make Wendy laugh in the most dire situations. Not only her but everyone around him. It's a story of loss, friendships, family and belief. Belief in magic. In infinite possibilities. How it is so easy for us to believe when we are children and why it is important for us to hold onto that. To not stop believing in magic even when the world wears us down. To always keep facing the light.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Boyd

    THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH GOOD THINGS. I LOVED IT WITH ALL MY HEART AND WAS BAWLING AT THE END.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi⁷ ♠

    The author who gave the world Cemetery Boys A N D my forever love for Peter Pan retellings??? The author who gave the world Cemetery Boys A N D my forever love for Peter Pan retellings???

  13. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    “Shadows are made up of darkness. They feed off of sadness and despair. They manifest what you’re most scared of and use it as a weapon to feed off your fear.” I went into Lost in the Never Woods knowing absolutely nothing, apart from the fact that it is by the same author as Cemetery Boys- a book I haven't read but have heard excellent things about. It was a fun experience to be completely blind, but it turned out I really wasn't because this is actually a retelling of a story I am familiar wit “Shadows are made up of darkness. They feed off of sadness and despair. They manifest what you’re most scared of and use it as a weapon to feed off your fear.” I went into Lost in the Never Woods knowing absolutely nothing, apart from the fact that it is by the same author as Cemetery Boys- a book I haven't read but have heard excellent things about. It was a fun experience to be completely blind, but it turned out I really wasn't because this is actually a retelling of a story I am familiar with- Peter Pan. It follows Wendy Darling, a 19 year old girl in modern day America five years after she and her brothers mysteriously went missing, and she was the only one to come back. She has no memories of what happened while she was gone, but when she came back her family was forever changed by the grief and guilt. Now, more children are starting to go missing in their town which brings the question of Wendy and her brothers' disappearances to the spotlight once again. One night, something crashes into Wendy's car and she discovers a boy who knows her name, but that she has never met. Wendy has only heard about him in her mother's stories- Peter Pan. From there, they go on a quest to retrieve his lost shadow and attempt to save the children of Astoria. Once I realised that this was what the story was about, I was so excited. It seemed like such an interesting plot, how could it go wrong? Unfortunately, it did. The pacing was so dreadfully slow that it felt like trudging through mud, despite having the audiobook to speed things up. The overall tone was not what I had envisioned. Instead of being magical, whimsical and slightly dark- the book felt bleak, dull and lifeless. The characters were also underwhelming. The only ones I felt particularly positive about were Peter and some of children at the hospital Wendy volunteers at. And that's probably just because I had already been exposed to Peter Pan and had preconceived ideas about him, and because children are so easy to love. Apart from that, I couldn't really care less about the fate of the other characters. I sympathised with Wendy and her position in life, but I was also annoyed by her and her decisions. I was also a bit iffy about the romance. It could have been a really good, second chance romance, mutual pining etc. However, the fact that Peter was mentally 13 and Wendy was 19 kinddaaa put me off. It also just felt forced and like there was no real chemistry. All that being said, I didn't hate this book. The writing was well done and the plot was well thought out, just not executed to my liking. I also know I will probably be in the minority here, so if you are still interested in the book and don't mind a slower, more sombre book- I would recommend it! I am also still planning on reading Aiden Thomas' debut in the hopes that it will work better for me than this one. Thank you to Macmillan Audio and Libro.fm for this ALC Release Date: 23 March 2021

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    I want to start off by saying that this book was one of my anticipated releases for 2021 and I was left feeling disappointed and sad. I love Aiden Thomas’ first book Cemetery Boys SO much. In fact, it was one of my favorite books of 2020 and I highly recommend that one. I love the original story of Peter Pan and most of the movie adaptations as well. I was super excited for this retelling and the cover is gorgeous. Also, full disclosure, I do love Aiden Thomas and will be reading their next book I want to start off by saying that this book was one of my anticipated releases for 2021 and I was left feeling disappointed and sad. I love Aiden Thomas’ first book Cemetery Boys SO much. In fact, it was one of my favorite books of 2020 and I highly recommend that one. I love the original story of Peter Pan and most of the movie adaptations as well. I was super excited for this retelling and the cover is gorgeous. Also, full disclosure, I do love Aiden Thomas and will be reading their next book even though this one didn’t work out for me. Writing a negative review for this author pains me. So first off, Wendy was not a good character. She lacked personality and sometimes a brain. I found her useless as well as Peter himself. They were easily distracted from the big issue at hand and I understand it was supposed to build their romance but I found their romance to be unnecessary and a little forced. It took 80% of the book for things to actually pick up the pace. I found the pacing to be extremely slow. Typically, I enjoy Thomas’s writing but something about this one I found a little hard to get into. Some editing would’ve benefitted this book as well. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. ------------------------------------------------ Shout out to to Kelsey from Macmillan for sending me an arc <3 SO EXCITED

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adri

    4.5 Stars CWs: Explorations of familial loss, grief, and trauma; some descriptions of anxiety/anxiety attacks, compulsion, and alcoholism (in parents); allusions to night terrors and insomnia; instances of kidnapping; some descriptions of injury and violence ☆ Check out my spoiler-free reading vlog for LITNW! As someone who absolutely loved Cemetery Boys , the bar was pretty high for Lost in the Never Woods, but Aiden Thomas did not disappoint. LITNW is a story that goes hard in the paint whe 4.5 Stars CWs: Explorations of familial loss, grief, and trauma; some descriptions of anxiety/anxiety attacks, compulsion, and alcoholism (in parents); allusions to night terrors and insomnia; instances of kidnapping; some descriptions of injury and violence ☆ Check out my spoiler-free reading vlog for LITNW! As someone who absolutely loved Cemetery Boys , the bar was pretty high for Lost in the Never Woods, but Aiden Thomas did not disappoint. LITNW is a story that goes hard in the paint when it comes to exploring trauma, reactions to trauma, and mental health. Wendy is an extremely traumatized, extremely anxious person, who is still grappling with the disappearance of her brothers and how that's completely shifted her family's entire dynamic. While she's surrounded by people who intellectually know what she went through all those years ago, very few people actually understand how she feels and how the situation haunts her. That desperation and uncertainty she feels really underpins the writing style in the story. It's a narrative that moves quickly, almost frantically, and leaves the reader feeling breathless with each new discovery and the terrifying implications of those discoveries. I think that's what makes the dynamic between Wendy and Peter so fascinating and so emotional. Peter represents magic, wonder, and in many ways safety, and Wendy is slow to trust him because everything he represents is just another unknown. Wendy is terrified and alone when the story begins, and she's used to making herself small to make everyone's life easier. But Peter is gradually breaking through her walls, offering her a potential connection to her brothers and her past, and sort of reintroducing her to wonder and joy. At the same time, he's validating her fears and feelings, which she has always thought to be "irrational." Peter also represents a chance for redemption, because Wendy has spent all this time harboring guilt over the fact that she couldn't keep her brothers safe, especially since she sees it as her job to protect the people she loves. She and Peter are very similar in that way. They see it as their responsibility to take care of others, even if it means taking on their pain, and they are both convinced that all the bad things happening in town are because of their own failings, because they weren't able to "be better" in some way. I think that really speaks to the lasting impact of trauma and nursing guilt instead of addressing it. I think the story also has a lot to say about how the act of growing up is almost traumatic in itself, because in many ways, growing up means learning how to be hurt, and Wendy and Peter are being forced to confront that pain in a very literal, magical sense. To me, Peter and Wendy represent a reconciliation between pain and joy, and this evil shadow magic growing in the woods represents how pain is a living, breathing entity that grows stronger and strengthens its hold over us the more we feed into it. When we learn to extract joy from painful moments, hope from hardship, and love from loss, we become more powerful for it. That concept is what really struck me the hardest in this story, and I really appreciate how the story converts survivor's guilt into power. It is such a different story from Thomas' debut, but in some ways it is very much cut from the same cloth. There's joy, there's humor, there's an impossibly tragic yet hopeful romance, but there's also a really honest look at the hard choices survivors have to make and the destructive power of grief. While there were some supporting characters I wanted to see more from, I was still completely immersed in this creepy, atmospheric story and I was completely blown away. Aiden was already an auto-buy author and this tremendous story just solidified that fact even further!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars That cover!!! It has been five years since Wendy Darling and her two younger brothers, John and Michael, went missing in the woods. Now other children have gone missing. It is a painful reminder to Wendy and her family that while Wendy was found, her brothers were not. One night Wendy almost runs over a boy lying in the street. A boy who asks, "You forgot about me?" His name is Peter. A boy, she thought only existed in stories. The ones her mother told her and the ones she tells the chil 3.5 stars That cover!!! It has been five years since Wendy Darling and her two younger brothers, John and Michael, went missing in the woods. Now other children have gone missing. It is a painful reminder to Wendy and her family that while Wendy was found, her brothers were not. One night Wendy almost runs over a boy lying in the street. A boy who asks, "You forgot about me?" His name is Peter. A boy, she thought only existed in stories. The ones her mother told her and the ones she tells the children at the hospital where she volunteers. He needs her help! They must go into the woods.... A YA retelling of Peter Pan! This book touches on many things in a brilliant way. Through the book we see guilt, withdraw of emotions, missing children, fairy tales, love, loss, grief, memories, mental health, and friendship. Who could not feel for Wendy and her family? Parents who do not know where their sons are. The grief, stress, and heartache of their sons being missing. Wendy feels guilty for being found, guilty for being with her brothers when they all went missing, and we see a father who emotionally withdraws from his child when she is found but his sons are not and a mother who works long hours perhaps to avoid being home. Peter represents childhood, innocence, wonder, fun, magic and the ability to make things be/feel okay again. He is like a safety net with possibilities. But what happens when a safety net needs help? Peter and Wendy are both likeable characters who both need each other. Both want to help others, yet both needs help themselves. So much more could be said about the characters (and plot) in this book, the metaphors and the hidden magic. But I will let you discover them. Thankfully, the heavy subjects brought up in this book were handled/addressed with grace and care. There is also humor, magic and hope in this book. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. There were times I wanted the book to move a little faster, it felt like it slowed down quite a bit in the middle of the book. If you feel this way, stick with this book as it gears up again! This is a YA book, but it is enjoyable for all. Fans of retellings, fairy tales, Peter Pan, and those who are a child at heart will enjoy this book. Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  17. 4 out of 5

    sol

    i want this book to hurt me

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    forever sobbing I adored this book so much and it surprised me in the best of ways. I preordered this after reading the first page of my eARC, and just listened to the audiobook copy instead of writing my review. Preorder Incentive: Preorder a hardcover copy and submit your receipts to receive a set of character cards & a glow in the dark enamel pin! (US only.)International Preorders can receive the character cards by submitting preorder receipts here!I've read this book twice in as many w forever sobbing I adored this book so much and it surprised me in the best of ways. I preordered this after reading the first page of my eARC, and just listened to the audiobook copy instead of writing my review. Preorder Incentive: Preorder a hardcover copy and submit your receipts to receive a set of character cards & a glow in the dark enamel pin! (US only.)International Preorders can receive the character cards by submitting preorder receipts here!I've read this book twice in as many weeks, and if that isn't an indication of the magic within these pages... I don't know what will convince you. Lost in the Never Woods is a dark and twisty fantasy retelling of Peter Pan that's ultimately about growing up too fast, processing trauma and loss, recapturing a bit of childhood wonder, and moving forward in life. This book is special and the mental health representation means a lot to me. RTC Audiobook Notes: 15/10 narration by Avi Roque; brought the story alive and sucked me into a re-read instead of writing this review. Worth it. I will forever read anything that Aiden Thomas writes because I adored Cemetery Boys to the moon and back, and Lost in the Never Woods has secured Aiden's spot on my insta-buy author list. Representation: anxiety and PTSD rep, Latinx rep (side character) Content Warnings: absent and emotionally distant parents, alcoholism, child death, depictions of grief, loss of a loved one, memory gaps, missing children, obsessive behaviors, trauma, violence eARC was provided to me by the publisher for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon final publication. Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Lost in the Never Woods is a dark, eerie retelling of Peter Pan about children going missing in the modern day. It is a story about grief, trauma, and complicated family dynamics, but also a book about facing your pain and finding truth and healing. For those who have read Cemetery Boys, this is a very different sort of book, but I absolutely loved it and didn't want to put it down. Wendy Darling has just graduated from high school and is volunteering with children at the local high school befor Lost in the Never Woods is a dark, eerie retelling of Peter Pan about children going missing in the modern day. It is a story about grief, trauma, and complicated family dynamics, but also a book about facing your pain and finding truth and healing. For those who have read Cemetery Boys, this is a very different sort of book, but I absolutely loved it and didn't want to put it down. Wendy Darling has just graduated from high school and is volunteering with children at the local high school before college. Her home life has been difficult since her two brothers disappearance years ago. A day she has no memory of. Her mom used to tell them stories about Peter Pan, but he may be more than a myth. And children are beginning to disappear yet again. This was such a great book. I don't want to spoil things but it had some truly chilling moments and a fantastic plot arc for Wendy. There are plenty of scenes that include nods to the Peter Pan film, which readers will probably appreciate. I thought the pacing on this was really great and it deftly handled issues of trauma, grief and depression as they can affect an entire family. Really amazing book and I look forward to seeing more from Aiden Thomas in the future. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Content Warnings include child abduction, death, mild body horror, depression, parental depression and neglect, police interactions, mentions of serious medical issues, loss of loved ones, gun violence, symptoms of ptsd, probably others as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ahaana ☽

    Read the full review on my blog Lost in the Never Woods is a captivating Peter Pan retelling, that had me (captain) hooked* throughout all its twists and turns. Filled with raw and accurate portrayals of loss, grief, and trauma, it’s definitely a read that moved me. Although I loved the friendships, and the elements from the original story, the character development felt flat, and I never felt an emotional connection with any of them. If you enjoyed the original Peter Pan as much as I did, I Read the full review on my blog Lost in the Never Woods is a captivating Peter Pan retelling, that had me (captain) hooked* throughout all its twists and turns. Filled with raw and accurate portrayals of loss, grief, and trauma, it’s definitely a read that moved me. Although I loved the friendships, and the elements from the original story, the character development felt flat, and I never felt an emotional connection with any of them. If you enjoyed the original Peter Pan as much as I did, I’m sure you’ll have a ton of fun re-exploring neverland in this contemporary twist on the classic. *SORRY I COULDN’T RESIST THE PUN ON CAPTAIN HOOK 🙈🤧

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gina Adams

    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 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    rain

    tw & cw // grief, trauma, loss of a loved one, kidnapping, anxiety, shooting i really thought i would love this with my whole heart but...i didn't. this book feels lukewarm to me. i hate to compare it to aiden's debut but this book just doesn't have the same charm that cemetery boys possesses. yes, it has a darker tone to it but the problem lies in the fact that i wasn't able to connect to any aspect of the story. the characters seemed lackluster to me, the pacing was slow, and the story didn't t tw & cw // grief, trauma, loss of a loved one, kidnapping, anxiety, shooting i really thought i would love this with my whole heart but...i didn't. this book feels lukewarm to me. i hate to compare it to aiden's debut but this book just doesn't have the same charm that cemetery boys possesses. yes, it has a darker tone to it but the problem lies in the fact that i wasn't able to connect to any aspect of the story. the characters seemed lackluster to me, the pacing was slow, and the story didn't truly pick up until the last 20% of the book. i also craved for an immersive mystery regarding the identity of the kidnapper in the woods but that also didn't happen here. it's difficult for me to read slow paced books because of my short attention span but i don't exactly hate them, especially if i end up getting attached to the characters as the story ambles on. that wasn't the case here. i found it very difficult to connect to the characters. see, i always go feral over fictional ships but peter and wendy just didn't ignite a lot of feelings in me. sure, they've got some cute moments but i couldn't even enjoy those because in the back of my head i was always thinking, "you don't have time for this. you need to save all those kids." it's also frustrating that every time wendy and peter would meet each other to try and save the kids, they had almost zero plans. it's repeatedly stressed in the book that they're running out of time but they have no concrete plans. on top of that, they even waste precious time on mundane things like buying ice cream and jumping down a waterfall. there's no problem with characters enjoying themselves but in this case, they're supposed to have a sense of urgency because the safety of the kids depends on them. maybe im being nitpicky about this but this particular factor stopped me from enjoying the book to its fullest. the last 20% of the book was really engaging but i wasn't that invested in the first 80% which is why i can't say that i loved this book. however, i appreciate the nuanced exploration of grief and trauma within its pages. i also found the prose quite beautiful (and funny at times). anyway, im just sad that i didn't end up loving this book as much as i thought i would. i still recommend it for readers who love darker and gloomy fantasy books, though. this is also a peter pan retelling so if you love the sound of that, check this book out. note: i received an advanced copy of this book through edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    yasmin rose

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5✨- 4✨. Thankyou so much to the publisher for giving me an early copy of this book. I have to be honest, I hadn’t even heard of this particular book. But when I began to read it, I was so intrigued. It’s a Peter Pan retelling with a dark twist, and I loved it. I haven’t read a Peter Pan retelling before and I love where this book went. It was dark and creepy and suspenseful and I just wanted to know what happened. I found the beginning of the book to be fantastic and captivating, but the middl 3.5✨- 4✨. Thankyou so much to the publisher for giving me an early copy of this book. I have to be honest, I hadn’t even heard of this particular book. But when I began to read it, I was so intrigued. It’s a Peter Pan retelling with a dark twist, and I loved it. I haven’t read a Peter Pan retelling before and I love where this book went. It was dark and creepy and suspenseful and I just wanted to know what happened. I found the beginning of the book to be fantastic and captivating, but the middle part definitely slowed down. I found a few of the chapters to be a bit unnecessary - they felt like a filler to develop Wendy and Peter a little bit. However, the plot kept moving and the suspense-fulness aspect was so intriguing that I found myself unable to put this book down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin Phillips

    Okay, so, this book. This book, y'all. Normally I like to write a review almost immediately after reading the material, but I couldn't do that with this novel. The ending left me feeling all kinds of ways, and I needed time to process. Have you ever finished a really good book, and just had this heavy, sad, almost nostalgic feeling settle in your chest, right under your sternum? If you have, then you know exactly how I felt when I put this book down. Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas, is, o Okay, so, this book. This book, y'all. Normally I like to write a review almost immediately after reading the material, but I couldn't do that with this novel. The ending left me feeling all kinds of ways, and I needed time to process. Have you ever finished a really good book, and just had this heavy, sad, almost nostalgic feeling settle in your chest, right under your sternum? If you have, then you know exactly how I felt when I put this book down. Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas, is, on the surface, a modernized retelling/sequel to Peter Pan. It is a sequel in a sense that the events of the original Peter Pan story happened something like five years prior. The protagonist of this story is an eighteen-year-old Wendy Darling. Five years ago, she and her younger brothers, John and Michael, disappeared from the woods one day without a trace. Six months later, Wendy was found by herself in those same woods, traumatized and alone, clutching an acorn. She had no memory of the six months that had passed, and as of the beginning of this story, her eighteenth birthday, she still has no memory of the events. Her little brothers are still missing. It is summer, and Wendy will be going to college in the fall with her best friend, Jordan. She is ready to grow up and move on with her life. However, the old trauma from her past is brought back to the forefront when children in town begin to go missing the way she and her brothers had. It is brought to a head when, while driving home from her shift volunteering at the hospital, she nearly runs over a boy who is collapsed in the middle of the road. A boy who looks just like 'Peter Pan,' a made up character from stories her mother used to tell her, and which she in turn told her brothers so long ago. And this boy not only seems to recognize her, but he also knows her name. The Mental Health Of It All: Through most of the novel, Wendy struggles with something akin to PTSD, although the memories usually come to her in the form of dreams rather than flashbacks. Her parents suffer from the events of six years ago as well, due to not having closure on John and Michael's whereabouts. Wendy's mom is a sad shadow of the woman Wendy remembers prior to her and her brothers' disappearance. Her father is no longer affectionate with her, and drinking alcohol seems to have become his main coping mechanism. Although it remains unspoken in the narrative, signs point to Mr. Darling having become a full-blown alcoholic. I thought the portrayals of the fragile mental health of a family torn apart by loss seemed very authentic, and they were sensitively handled. For example, while Wendy acknowledges the amount her father drinks, and doesn't like it, she isn't judgmental of him for it, as she understands all too well the feelings that led him to drink in the first place. In addition to Wendy and her mother's lack of condemnation of Mr. Darling's coping mechanism of choice, the author also chose to not depict him as some kind of selfish monster, as many alcoholics seem to be portrayed in the media. Rather, he is a broken man, and although he can be gruff, he is ultimately a sympathetic character. (That being said, it is clear the author is not trying to glorify the over-consumption of alcohol either, as its use, we find out, plays a significant role in a very tragic event, uncovered late in the book). The Romance (which could have been problematic, but ultimately is not): When Wendy nearly runs over Peter, he appears to be thirteen or fourteen at most. A bit older than the Peter Pan her mother used to tell tales about, but not by too much. However, it becomes clear that he is rapidly growing into a more physically mature version of himself, which, he explains, is a problem, because he's Peter Pan. He isn't supposed to grow up. As he changes and appears older, he tells Wendy that he can feel his magic growing weaker. Once he is fully 'grown up,' he will lose his magic, and he's terrified because he doesn't know what that will do to him. I bring up the rapid aging thing, because at first glance, an eighteen-year-old Wendy falling in love with an ambiguously aged (but definitely several years younger than her physically) boy is extremely problematic. However, it is clear that the feelings she gradually develops for him aren't present when he appears to be so much younger than her. She only seems to be becoming attracted to him once he presents as closer to her in age. In this world of 'cancel culture,' I just hope people don't latch on to the whole 'Peter Pan is a kid' thing and give the author a hard time, because Aiden Thomas's Peter Pan ISN'T a kid, which is kind of the whole point. His rapid aging is an important part of the plot, especially once the reader learns the reason it is happening (which I can't go into because spoilers but OH DEAR GOD MY HEART). My Conclusions: While the romance that happens in Lost in the Never Woods is integral to the plot, this novel is SO MUCH MORE than a love story. It is full of magic and wonder, it tackles difficult subjects like loss and grief, and ultimately, it is a story about growing up. That it is a modernized retelling of a beloved children's tale is just the icing on the cake. I give Lost in the Never Woods ALL OF THE STARS and highly recommend it for fans of YA, retellings, Peter Pan, romance, magic, and well....anybody breathing, really. A big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for free access to the e-arc of this book, in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessi Joachim

    I was provided an Arc from NetGalley I am quite torn on a 3/4 for this book. In the first half, I was not enjoying myself a ton. It was a bit slow and I found myself really disliking the parents of the book. The 2nd half picked up, but I still didn't like the parents, I get why they were the way they were, but still, a lot of their characterization bothered me as the typical "aloof uncaring parents in YA fantasy so that the kids can be off doing whatever without parental supervision" . Once I fin I was provided an Arc from NetGalley I am quite torn on a 3/4 for this book. In the first half, I was not enjoying myself a ton. It was a bit slow and I found myself really disliking the parents of the book. The 2nd half picked up, but I still didn't like the parents, I get why they were the way they were, but still, a lot of their characterization bothered me as the typical "aloof uncaring parents in YA fantasy so that the kids can be off doing whatever without parental supervision" . Once I finally got into it, about 50% of the way, I enjoyed where the story was going though it was a tad predictable as it is a Peter Pan retelling. I didn't find any of the reveals shocking or surprising in the least. **** Spoilers from here on out, you have been WARNED************** * * * * I kind of guessed that the two brothers were dead, and I guessed who did it based on this one very strange conversation between the neighbor and the cops when they asked about him having guns in the house...... really obvious here. Peter Pan has always, in my mind, been the one to help the souls of dead children pass on, so it wasn't a very unique retelling in that aspect. The romance was a little cringy because peter was a child, then an all of a sudden teen who was in love with Wendy.....who also knew her mom.... The part that bothered me the most though, was the parents. While I have never experienced the death of a child, I am a parent and they just struck me as not believable. They were both (parents) very much in need of some severe counseling after the disappearance of their children that they obviously never got. Wendy became basically the caretaker of the home and never seemed to get ANY love or affection, which was heartbreaking to me because this is their only child left with them, you would think they would treasure her. Then after the reveal and discovery of the bodies of the boys at the end, they were fine and sorry and completely changed their temperament and selves right away, which was again, very unbelievable. SO while I liked the book, it just wasn't for me but I can see why people do like it for the exploration of grief and magic and the really beautiful writing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex (The Scribe Owl)

    See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Buddy read with Katie! Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 5/5 stars! Didn't see that coming, did you? I had no idea that this would end up as one of my ever-elusive five-star reads. I mean, I was excited and all, but five stars? That was a pleasant surprise! I am a huge fan of retellings. A couple of the reviews for Lost in the Never Woods talked about Peter Pan retellings being their niche, which was a lit See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Buddy read with Katie! Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 5/5 stars! Didn't see that coming, did you? I had no idea that this would end up as one of my ever-elusive five-star reads. I mean, I was excited and all, but five stars? That was a pleasant surprise! I am a huge fan of retellings. A couple of the reviews for Lost in the Never Woods talked about Peter Pan retellings being their niche, which was a little surprising to me. If you had said that a Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast retelling was your niche, I would have easily agreed with you. Now I need to find more of these apparently abundant Peter Pan retellings to read! Those reviews talked about how this is a basic Peter Pan retelling, but because I haven't read any other Peter Pan retellings, I have nothing to compare it to! I guess that worked in my favor! Lost in the Never Woods walked the line between dark fantasy and levity perfectly. There were definitely dark elements, but there was so much fluff mixed in that just made my heart happy! Peter really is adorable, and I loved seeing Wendy loosen up and get some closure. Wendy as a character was interesting to follow. When we are first introduced to her, she's closed off, distant, and grieving. Peter is a sharp contrast, full of light, joy, and fun. As Wendy's condition improves, Peter's declines, making them a study of opposites. All in all, I loved this book! It snuck up on my heart and I need a physical copy now. I might also give Aiden Thomas's debut novel, Cemetery Boys a read now soon! Safe to say that it's been bumped up on my TBR!

  27. 4 out of 5

    talia ♡

    much, much, MUCH to think about....3.5 or 4 stars i think. let me get my Thoughts in order. rating and review to come! ---------- just want to give my local (and absolute favourite) B&N all the love that is in my heart for letting me buy from their ~secret stock~ of Lost In The Never Woods three days early 😭😭 B&N...NOBODY loves or will love me the way you do 💞

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    Thank you so much, NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Swoon Reads, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated read of 2021. Cemetery Boys was my first read in 2020 and now Lost in the Never Woods started the year with me and I couldn't be happier. I love Aiden Thomas' imagination and writing style and since Cemetery Boys was one of my favourite book ever, I was over the moon when I got the chance to read Lost in the Never Woods. I'm a huge fan of Peter Pan, so t Thank you so much, NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Swoon Reads, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated read of 2021. Cemetery Boys was my first read in 2020 and now Lost in the Never Woods started the year with me and I couldn't be happier. I love Aiden Thomas' imagination and writing style and since Cemetery Boys was one of my favourite book ever, I was over the moon when I got the chance to read Lost in the Never Woods. I'm a huge fan of Peter Pan, so this book was already perfect, without even reading it. Now that I've read it I can surely say it's one of the most incredible, moving and brilliant book I've read in a long time. TW: anxiety, kidnapping, mental health problems, PSTD, violence Five years ago Wendy Darling and her brothers, John and Michael, went missing in the woods in Astoria, Oregon. Six months later only Wendy is found, shell-shocked and with no memories of what happened to them and where her brothers are. Years later, when local children start to go again missing in the local woods, Wendy is forced to deal again with the mysterious circumstances of her brothers' disappearance, police questioning her and a mysterious boy who she almost runs over in the middle of the road. It's the boy who lived in her mother's and, later, in Wendy's stories: he's Peter Pan, asking for her help to save the missing children. Wendy is forced to deal with new and traumatizing memories, grappling with fears and the need to save and protect the people she loves and to discover the truth about what really happened years ago. Aiden Thomas wrote a story so captivating I've devoured it in less than a day. In this sort of "sequel" of Peter Pan, Wendy and Peter investigate missing children, lost shadows and lost memories, trying to understand what to do and save the situation. Wendy is a young woman, brilliant, determined and she's trying to move on, to have her life, go to college with her best friend Jordan, but she's still trapped in the past, in her feelings of guilt and fear and when kids starts to go missing, kids she knows and cares about, she can't stand still. Peter is energetic, brilliant, smiling, determined and I loved reading their interactions, so intense, but peculiar, because weighed down by skepticism, lost memories, pain and the need to do something in order to help the kids...and Peter himself. It's a fairytale mixed with a touch of mystery and romance and Wendy and Peter are amazing characters, their relationship genuine and funny, their feelings, fears and doubts relatable and real. It was really interesting reading a book about Wendy and Peter Pan as grown up, or, at least, as teenager, a story where memories of Neverland are interwoven with the crude reality of police, kids missing and families torn apart. With sensitivity the author deals with grief and loss and how people can react to them in a very different way, how pain can change a person, a family, the interactions within it, how people struggle to move on and find closure. I also loved how the author talks about the shadows, how they can feed off and represent bad thoughts, fear, sadness and guilt and I saw this as a very intense metaphor for the depression. How when we are sad, upset, full of guilt of bad thoughts, this part weighed us down, trapping and hurting us. "When you start getting consumed by those feelings, it gives the shadow power over you" "Those dark thoughts can devour a person and take all their happiness away. They want you to feel isolated and alone. It's like they suck the energy out of you and leave you with nothing." (quotes are from the earc, so they can be subject to changes) At the same time, beside being a very fitting metaphor, the auhor conveys hope in how we can find help and strength and fight this shadow. Lost in the Never woods made me laugh, smile and cry, worry and be on edge. The plot is full of twists and intriguing characters, from the main ones to the side ones like Wendy's family or Jordan, all of them skillfully written in their interactions and feeling. It's a story about grief and loss, family and friendship, the struggle and strength in moving on.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)

    Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5/5 Five years ago, Wendy and her little brothers went missing. After six months, only Wendy came back alive but with no memories of what happened. Since then, when children go missing in her town, people start turning to her for answers but Wendy can't answer any of them. Though Wendy has many people around her who have been with her since then, not many people know how she actually feels. The trauma and guilt she carries on her s Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5/5 Five years ago, Wendy and her little brothers went missing. After six months, only Wendy came back alive but with no memories of what happened. Since then, when children go missing in her town, people start turning to her for answers but Wendy can't answer any of them. Though Wendy has many people around her who have been with her since then, not many people know how she actually feels. The trauma and guilt she carries on her shoulders every day seems to drag her down. Then one night she spots the boy in her dreams lying in front of her. So this is the first book I read by Aiden Thomas and I'm not disappointed. I haven't read Cemetery Boys (it's on my TBR) but I've heard many great things about it. Definitely going to check it out soon! I felt that the first 60% of the book was a little slow but I was immersed in the ending. I felt that Wendy and Peter shouldn't have spent so much time hanging out while time was running out. They instead could have used that time to plan what they were going to do to catch the shadow. This book is darker than the normal Peter Pan story and scaredy-cat me definitely got scared when I read it before going to sleep. Personally, I wouldn't recommend reading it before going to sleep but if you can take it, go ahead. Overall, Lost in the Never Woods was an interesting book that takes on a dark retelling of Peter Pan. I liked how the story has just the right amount of differences from the original but also similar in some aspects. For those that love dark retellings, this book will be perfect for you. **Thank you so much to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me an Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour!**

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brianna:)

    Aiden Thomas has officially been inducted into my favorite fantasy authors list. From their sweeping debut “Cemetery Boys,” to their mystery-infused Peter Pan retelling, Aiden Thomas knows what they’re doing. “Lost in the Never Woods” is set in Astoria, Oregon, where Wendy and her two younger brothers went missing. While Wendy returns, her brothers do not. I was really impressed with how the author handled to subjects of grief and guilt. Wendy’s parents lost two of their children and Wendy feels im Aiden Thomas has officially been inducted into my favorite fantasy authors list. From their sweeping debut “Cemetery Boys,” to their mystery-infused Peter Pan retelling, Aiden Thomas knows what they’re doing. “Lost in the Never Woods” is set in Astoria, Oregon, where Wendy and her two younger brothers went missing. While Wendy returns, her brothers do not. I was really impressed with how the author handled to subjects of grief and guilt. Wendy’s parents lost two of their children and Wendy feels immense guilt for the fact that she was with her brothers when they went missing. The author didn’t gloss over the heavier topics, but they also didn’t ignore them and I respect that. Overall, “Lost in the Never Woods” is perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer, Peter Pan, and fantastical mysteries. Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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