Review: Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas was released last week and I am so excited for the world that they get to read another brilliant novel from Aiden! This one is a dark retelling of Peter Pan, and I haven’t read many Peter Pan retellings so it made this one just that much more interesting to me. Check out my thoughts below and add this one to your TBR if you haven’t already!
Lost in the Never Woodsby Aiden Thomas
Published by: Swoon Reads
on March 23, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Retellings
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.
As you probably know by now that at #TeamBookCrushin, we all stan Aiden Thomas’ debut, Cemetery Boys. Which was, as we knew it deserved to be, an instant bestselling smash hit! However, I think it’s important to note that Lost in the Never Woods is not the same book, it is it’s own story, it’s own mood, and it is definitely a testament in Aiden’s ability to craft amazing character driven stories.
With major themes of grief and trauma our main character, Wendy Darling, has just turned eighteen and is trying to survive in a world without her brothers, while keeping her truths locked inside about what happened five years ago when all 3 of them went missing in the woods behind their house. One of the ways she copes is to tell stories to the kids in the hospital where she works, and of course, a lot of the stories are about Peter Pan. Until one day, she is thrust back into her tragic past when more children in town start to go missing. Wendy must confront her painful past in order to solve the mystery of what happened not only to her family, but what is happening to the children in town now.
This spin on the classic story we know of Peter Pan is darker and more mature. It had the perfect amount of call backs to the lore, but also gives us lots of new material, like Peter ages very quickly in this tale as he is losing the magic that keeps him young. I love how that Peter aged up just a tad more than Wendy, and allowed for them to reinvest in their feelings they experienced when Wendy was younger, and to explore that there are things to look forward to as we grow, like love. So we get additional themes of growth, processing loss, grief, and overcoming trauma. There are also some sweet and lighthearted moments, where I legit had tears in my eyes from laughing. And well yeah from some sadness too.
Lost in the Never Woods is an emotional and dark retelling of Peter Pan that will have you processing grief right alongside the adventures of Wendy Darling.
Many thanks to both Swoon Reads/Fierce Reads for sending me a gifted finished copy, as well as to Libro.fm and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a free ALC (audio listening copy) in exchange for my review, which in no way influences my ratings or thoughts on this title.