Saturday, May 10, 2014

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Second Star
Release date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: YA Romance/Retelling

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 Pete's 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 a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

My Rating: 3.5 Roses

A lovely, haunting YA read, Second Star was absolutely wonderful. I really liked this book. It was an imaginative retelling of an old story and I really enjoyed it.

I loved the atmosphere of this book. The relaxed, almost dreamy tone of laid-back surfer culture. That combined with the question of what was real made the atmosphere totally absorbing and very well done.

Wendy was a good heroine. She was very loyal to her loved ones and quite determined when she set her mind to something. My one problem with her character was that she was a champion at self-pity. She bemoaned, more than once, that her life was horrible and no one could understand her sufferings. I thought that was just overdramatic, especially because she had a very nice life. Yes, it was terrible that her brothers were gone, but she acted like her entire life was crappy. It was more irritating because the original character of Wendy was rather lively and definitely not the kind of wallow in self pity. However, after a while, she grew up, so that complaint faded away and it wasn't a huge problem. I still ended up liking her.

Pete and Jas were both well done. They were both sweet and endearing in their own ways, but they also both had a lot of secrets to hide. I really liked both of them.

The romance in this book was fairly light, since Wendy spent most of her time focused on finding her brothers. But, it was still a major element and I really liked how it was done. It was sweet and had a realistic depth to it. By the end of the book, there was a definite love interest, who I won't give away, but I thought it was well done.

The plot was steadily paced, not very fast, which I think preserved the dreamy quality of the book. I wasn't totally hooked, but I was kept interested the entire way through. There were plenty of secrets that took me by surprise. A lot of people were not what they appeared to be. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. I'm not sure if it indicates a second book with the open way it ended, but I certainly wouldn't say no to more.

Second Star was a fantastic YA retelling. It was romantic, full of secrets, and an absolutely lovely read. YA lovers, this book is definitely worth checking out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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