Lost in the Never Woods is a book I so desperately wanted to love. Having truly adored Cemetery Boys, I had such high hopes for this one. Thomas has said that they actually sold this one before Cemetery Boys and you can kind of tell. Lost in the Never Woods has some interesting Peter Pan touches, but it lacked the character pull that I felt with Cemetery Boys. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: anxiety, grief
I mostly listened to Lost in the Never Woods and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it was taking me so long to get through. I breezed through Cemetery Boys with its compelling and endearing characters, but I ended up never really loving any in Lost in the Never Woods. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them! It’s just that they felt underdeveloped to me. Wendy was a character I wanted to love, but I could never quite get a good sense of her. She’s someone who I knew cared about her family and the lost kids, but I lacked a strong emotional connection.
One of those characters who I knew why I was supposed to love them, in theory, but couldn’t feel that insistent pull. That feeling of being in on the inside joke of seeing through their actions to the core of who they were. And while Lost in the Never Woods is firmly centered on Wendy, I never got a sense of Peter at all. While that’s okay, because it’s Wendy’s story!, it meant that I wasn’t really feeling the romantic angle because I didn’t really know how to feel about Peter.
Lost in the Never Woods is a story about forgiving ourselves and finding the truth. It’s a mystery that feels hazy and I wasn’t sure who to trust. I wish that I loved the characters more because I appreciated some of the subtler (and not so subtle) Peter Pan elements even if I guess I was expecting something with a bit more departure from what I might have expected. You can find Lost in the Never Woods on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.