Review: ‘Second Star’ by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

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

Review: ‘Second Star’ by Alyssa B. SheinmelSecond Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Published by Straus and Giroux (BYR) on May 13th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Mystery, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 248
Format: eARC
Source: requested from publisher
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.

About Alyssa B. Sheinmel

I was born in Stanford, California, and even though I moved across the country to New York when I was six years old, I still think of myself as a California girl.

Like so many writers, I grew up loving books. I loved stories so much that when there was nothing to read, I wrote my own stories just to give myself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, I made up stories and acted them out by myself. I played all the parts, and I was never bored.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


Considering this was based on Peter Pan and the waves it was making on the blogasphere, I just had to see if the hype around it was true. Sadly, this was a miss for me. I honestly don’t know much about Peter Pan except that he doesn’t want to grow up. This is a modern take on it and has the same characters only in a different and more disturbing take.

The beginning was pretty straight forward, then the middle just twisted everything around. There is a beautiful quality to the writing. I love the descriptive passages of when Wendy was surfing and the feel of the sun on her face. That made me remember what it’s like to be on the beach. It felt like I was transported into California. That said, the imagery and symbolism that I found in the book was interesting, but it wasn’t so gripping after all. The book dragged on and what I thought would be a mystery as to how her brothers were found ended up being flat. But I think that was done on purpose. Wendy isn’t herself and trying to figure it out confused me even more. I know it’s loosely based on Peter Pan but I know Wendy Darling would not do the things she did in this book. It was a little scary reading her thoughts when she was stoned.. Yikes. Add in the instant love with a love triangle and you get Second Star.

I would recommend to pass on this one unless you’re a super fan of Peter Pan. There are even mentions to the Jolly Roger. See if you can find it.

reading progress



Worries weigh you down. You need to be light enough to fly.
You think I’m going crazy because I want to find my brothers?
You don’t get to choose what’s real and what’s not.
A boy who led me into the ocean and helped me fly.
Why are you always selling yourself short?
Because if they’re not real, then how do I miss them so much?





  1. Stephanie

    December 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Aw I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I actually just bought it on Book Outlet. I wonder if I’ll like it.

  2. Kyra

    December 5, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    I think I will give this book a pass. I get really annoyed with characters in books who do drugs/get drunk/sleep around and it makes me want to shake them to not be so idiotic. The whole concept of this book sounds like something I wouldn’t really enjoy, so I’m afraid I won’t be picking Second Star up! Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  3. Cynthia

    December 5, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    Too bad that book was not a hit. The cover is beautiful

  4. Cali W.

    December 5, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Good review. I didn’t care for this book; I had high expectations because I like Peter Pan and surfing and I kind of felt let down.

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