Happy Thursday everyone! This week is kind of sad because last year I was at UtopiaCon but this year given the accident and the expense it created I wasn’t able to attend this year so to all my friends there have fun for me and I hope to see you next year. Bright side is the new Orange is the New Black season is on Netflix and I didn’t marathon it in a day, though it was mostly because the day I found out it was up Netflix was down for most of the day and after that I had work so some sleep was required. I have three or four episodes left though! Anywho that said update there are still a few days left in my current giveaway for a SIGNED copy of The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoki along with the Fierce Reads tote so don’t forget to enter here. Last week I read a re-imagining type book that was also a standalone and I wanted to discuss it, Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell.
Unhooked is about a girl named Gwen who has been moving around all her life because he mom is a bit strange and always running from “monsters” hunting them. This has all taken a toll on her over the years and when they move to London, she finds herself wanting to break free of it and have something real and lasting. Taken by shadowy creatures and dragged from her world, Gwen realizes her mom wasn’t so crazy after all. She is now in Neverland, not the storybook place she read or watched as a child but something much darker. Her memories of who she is and her world slip through her fingers and she struggles to hold onto herself as she tries to figure out just who to trust along the way, the charming flying Pan who says all the right things or the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe. Filled with Fey, shadow creatures, flesh-eating hags and more this is not the Neverland you know.
So I went into this not knowing much other than it was a re-imagining of Peter Pan and as I love me some Disney so I was on board. Plus I also adore Once Upon A Time and one of my favorite characters since they went to Neverland has been Hook, AKA Killian Jones so yep roguish pirate….I was imagining Killian. Maybe that influenced me when reading? Either way I was interested to see a different take on it. Having said that it wasn’t completely as original to me as it could have been.
Still I liked the take on Neverland with the Fey and the shadow creatures and most importantly the idea that Neverland takes your memories. The struggle to remember who you are, to try and make decisions based on facts and truths and not allowing yourself to be pulled into something was real. Also there was a certain allure that she struggled against. Gwen was interesting to read from given the memory issues but even without the full depth of all of her memories we still were able to keep her sense of who she was. She was struggling with so many emotions fear, revulsion, anger, betrayal, attraction, confusion and more and it played into how she reacted and how she moved forward. Same note Captain was even a bit more developed than even our Gwen. Spoilers abound there but I enjoyed learning about him as he wasn’t some grand hero he has a dark side.
There is a bit of everything happening from supernatural, action, suspense/mystery, and even some romance happening. Overall it was a quick and interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes retellings/re-imaginings. I think from the synopsis I was expecting Olivia and her to be battling through things together but she wasn’t in it as much as I thought and she wasn’t as fully developed as I wanted her to be. Though I did like the contrast between her and Gwen. The only other thing was while the ending had some serious edge of my seat moments the very end I still had a few questions. I could have seen easily adding a bit more length to the book but even as is I wasn’t unhappy with it and if anything it just made me want more. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you were hooked on Unhooked, I couldn't help myself, in the comments below.
Until next time…