Google+ Reading Teen: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel {Review}

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel {Review}

"Review My Books" review by Becca @ Pivot Book Reviews

by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 13, 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon
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.
First off, I want to send Andye a HUGE thank you for having me here on Reading Teen! Second, if you like my review be sure to check out more on my blog, Pivot Book Reviews

Second Star is the story of Wendy Darling, who is struggling with the grief of her missing brothers and ultimately decides to spend her summer trying to find them, despite the fact that her family, friends, and the police believe they are dead. Wendy sets out on her journey and finds a band of straggler surfers and their leader, Pete, who live in an abandoned house on the coast near the drug dealer, Jas.

Second Star is a modern-day Peter Pan retelling set on the beaches of modern day California. Now, I’ll admit I have seen Peter Pan, but it has been quite awhile. However the fact that this is a retelling of one of my beloved childhood stories is what initially caught my attention. My hype for Second Star kind of began to drop when I started seeing some rather, well, not-so-stellar reviews, but I still had hope that I would enjoy Second Star. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

Second Star is a fast-paced read, and usually I really like them, but not so much this time. Wendy jumps right into meeting Pete within the first few pages, and then she just jumps into liking him after spending a few hours with him. It was a huge case of insta-love, which I’m not a big fan of. I just couldn’t understand it, and I didn’t understand what was so special about Pete in the first place. Right off the bat, he is caught lying, and then proceeds to keep lying. Not only does he lie about important things, he also completely distracts Wendy from her main objective of her summer- to find her missing brothers. It was, as if, the fact that she was supposed to be doing that was shifted to the backburner.

Not only does Second Star suffer from insta love, but it also suffers from a love triangle. The other guy Wendy falls for? Yeah, he’s a drug dealer, and within a matter of 48 hours, she decides she’s in love with him, and willing to drop everything in her life. That was strike two for me when it came to Second Star.

Ultimately, there is a tiny bit of a twist that kind of has me questioning the whole story, but Second Star was just not my thing. It involved way too much random lovey dovey stuff. Wendy was a single minded character, and on top of that, it seemed to be full of her making one bad decision after another, which included stealing and drinking and drug taking. Not a fan at all. I was tempted to give Second Star two stars because while I did not enjoy the story, Sheinmel knows how to deliver beautiful prose. However, I just can’t do it due to the fact that I was constantly rolling my eyes at the actual story line.
- Becca @ Pivot Book Reviews


  1. Ooh this doesn't sound like my type of book. I can't stand insta-love at all, which was one of the key reasons I just couldn't enjoy Romeo and Juliet either. I think love triangles can be okay, but only if pulled off well. I mean well like City of Bones well, nothing like Matched by Ally Condie where it didn't quite cut it for me either... hm. I don't think I will try this even though I do usually enjoy fairytale retellings..
    Check out my post about life:

    1. Yeah, it was a major downer for me! The Matched love triangle didn't work for me either, but this one was just so random and completely out of nowhere. It just threw me off even more than I already was. I usually love fairytale retellings as well, but this one just didn't cut it unfortunately! :(

  2. That's exactly how I felt about this book! There was so much that didn't make sense, then the story just kind of ended. It was definitely disappointing. I did end up giving it two stars though, I think. She does write pretty scenes. Sorry to hear you didn't like it either.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that! I was so disappointed with it! I'm sorry you didn't like it either! :(

  3. I received this book from a GoodReads giveaway. I have yet to read it though. I guess I will need to reserve judgement for myself. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it so much.
    Tammy @ Bo's Book Nook

    1. I'm curious to hear what you think about it, Tammy! Here's hoping you like it more than I did!


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