I received a copy of Second Star from NetGalley almost two years ago and am so angry with myself for not picking this book up until now. If you are a fan of Peter Pan, you will enjoy this present day retelling that takes place on the California coastline, and combines a bit of mystery and romance to make this a hit.
The story begins with Wendy Darling, a California girl on her way to Stanford in the fall, grateful to be finished with high school and on a mission to find her younger twin brothers, both surfers who ran away and have been missing for over six months. The police and her parents believe them to be dead – a surf accident where no bodies were recovered, but Wendy won’t believe it until she investigates this mystery herself.
Graduation night she finds herself walking along the coastline and stumbles across a hidden beach that is mysterious and magical at the same time. Here she finds Pete and a group of runaway surfers living in abandoned houses, dreaming of finding the “perfect wave.” Wendy hopes that these surfers will lead her to her brother and moves in with them for a few weeks. (WHAT????? Is she crazy?????) During this time, she also meets Jas (Hook) who is Pete’s arch enemy. Jas, a known “fairy dust” drug dealer, intrigues Wendy because he also knew her brothers. In order to talk with him she had to take the “fairy dust” to be invited in his house. (Really???? Just say no!!!) A love triangle ensues and Wendy is torn between Pete, the protector, and Jas, the evil villain, who entices Wendy by volunteering to help find her brothers.
While there were some parts that seemed unrealistic and some that made me roll my eyes, Second Star was still a fast read and I loved the ending. I believe that we all grieve losses in our lives differently. For Wendy, she struggled to believe that her brothers were dead because their bodies were never found. She needed closure and running away to find them was the only way she could move forward in her own life. Wendy did make some bad choices throughout her journey that made me want to scream, but in the end I had to keep reading to find out if Wendy gets closure that she needed.
If you are looking for a contemporary romance with a bit of mystery and magical realism, I recommend you check out Second Star by Alyssa Scheinmel.