Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

February 12, 2015 Review 36 ★★

Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 256
Release Date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Love & Romance, Young Adult
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers.

Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward his nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of J. M. Barrie's classic tale, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up—and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The synopsis for SECOND STAR promises “A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic,” but all I received was a contemporary book set by the ocean that does indeed include lies. The story itself is pretty much based on the lies the characters tell each other. 

So here’s my summary of what the book is really about:

second star summary


So let’s start with the love triangle (love square?) that doesn’t really add anything to the plot except more angst and more lies. We have Pete, who doesn’t necessary lie (according to him) but doesn’t tell the truth either. It doesn’t take Wendy long before she’s smitten, and she becomes quickly swept up into Pete’s world, which View Spoiler » It’s not quite insta-love, but it’s pretty close.

Enter second strange guy, Jas, a drug dealer of fairy dust. No, really, stop laughing-it’s true. Now we pretty much have insta-love. And of course he has to have a weird history with Pete. It’s worse because he’s later revealed to be View Spoiler »

I also wasn’t a huge fan of the writing, some sentences just didn’t make sense and there were some pretty odd metaphors. However, all the surfing aspects were really well written and very detailed so that was a plus.

If you’re looking for a loose YA re-telling of Peter Pan simply because it’s your favorite fairy tale, you’ll probably enjoy SECOND STAR. There are elements of this book that I enjoyed, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. If you are looking for a truly impressive adaption with beautiful writing and a unique spin on the story, try TIGER LILY instead.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

36 Responses to “Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel”

    • Alise

      Ha, yeah. I understand trying to modernize the story but this was a little out there. Some elements really were unnecessary.

    • Alise

      Thank you, thank you *bows*

      The romance in general was unneeded but to add more romance? It just didn’t work very well. Sure!

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    Yeah…I’m trying Tiger Lily. Haven’t read a Peter Pan retelling, but doesn’t really sound like this is one either. Honestly? It sounds kind of pointless, and ugh, love triangle and some insta-love with the bad guy? Yay…I wouldn’t be able to take anything serious with the “fairy dust”. Nope.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Unspeakable

    • Alise

      It’s definitely loosely based, I think it tried too hard to modernize the story. Pointless, yes, especially if you know how the story concludes -_-

    • Alise

      I’ve seen the Disney movie and read some other adaptations but haven’t read the original. Either way, there are better retellings out there.

  2. Kelly

    To be honest, this sounds terrible. Just another cliche YA contemporary that creates unnecessary angst to cover the lack of storyline. Obviously fairy dust is a cutesy name for Cocaine I’m guessing. So she’s in love with both, including the drug dealer? Noice.

    Wonderful review Alise, sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more <3

    • Alise

      Yeeeeeep. See, I’m still not quite sure. I’m pretty sure it’s actually fairy dust but it has qualities that are similar to actual drugs. Basically.

      Thank you!

  3. Valerie

    Oh man. I also really did not like Second Star, and pretty much had the same thoughts as you. I felt really deceived by it all, and that ending was really weird, AND HOW DO YOU LIVE IN ABANDONED HOUSES LIKE THAT? I don’t even know. I also didn’t like how “ocean” and “wave” was mentioned more than once on every page :P

    Awesome review Alise! I really hope your next read is better!
    Valerie recently posted…The Reader Problems Tag

    • Alise

      It’s cool that we felt the same but I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it more either! Yeah, I have no idea about the abandoned house thing, I’m still not sure if they were even real O.o Aha, right?

      Thank you :)

  4. Melliane

    Oh man, many things I don’t really like in a book… I think I would have pretty disappointed as well. I’m ok with love triangles if it’s well done but when it’s not necessary it’s tiring in the end. Plus close to insta-love? it’s the worst for me… I think I’ll pass. thanks for the review.
    Melliane recently posted…One Kiss More by Mandy Baxter

    • Alise

      Same, I adore well done love triangles and this just didn’t work very well. Yeah, the romance in general just brought the story down. Sure!

  5. Tanja

    Ouch you cannot do this to my Peter Pan! Gaaah, no. I have seen this one but haven’t read it just because contemporary Peter Pan story is not something I want to deal with. And that love triangle. Nope. Sorry you had to go through this! Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers

    • Alise

      This book couldn’t do Peter Pan, sadly. Tiger Lily is a great retelling though, I’d recommend that. I know what you mean-this contemporary version was more than a little…odd. Thanks! :)

  6. Tabitha @ not yet read

    I actually really enjoyed this one. And the whole thing at the end of realizing you don’t know all of what was real and wasn’t. The triangle is always in YA it seems so I was able to ignore it. It reminded me of a California summer I spent on the coast as a teen that’s probably why I enjoyed it more it made me nostalgic…no I didn’t surf lol.
    Tabitha @ not yet read recently posted…Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

    • Alise

      I’m glad you liked it! Yeah that’s true, you really don’t know for sure. I definitely get that, I think I would have felt the same. Aha!

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