Cover of Wendy Darling, with a girl grasping a window while her legs float up into the air

About the Book

Title: Stars (Wendy Darling #1)
Published: 2015
Series: Wendy Darling
Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Cover Story: Is That Fairy Dust in Your Skirt or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
BFF Charm: Single White Female
Talky Talk: Descriptive
Bonus Factor: Peter Pan
Relationship Status: Second Star Base

Cover Story: Is That Fairy Dust in Your Skirt or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Really, there’s nothing wrong with this cover–aside from the fact that it made it way too easy for me to crack that (admittedly terrible) joke.

The Deal:

It’s best if you avoid reading any of the official synopses of Wendy Darling. I went in blind, and my ignorance made for a better reading experience. With that in mind, I’m going to avoid spoilers in this review, which means I might have to get reeeeeal vague in parts. (This also means that I’m dying to discuss [REDACTED], so if you’ve read this book, join me in the comments because WTF [REDACTED].)

Wendy Darling has a pretty cushy situation in London with her parents, her brothers, John and Michael, and their dog, Nana. (Even if John is kind of a dick.) But after her father forbids Wendy from seeing Booth, a local boy far beneath her class, she’s engulfed with a desperate wish to escape her life. Cue Peter Pan, a magical, magnetic boy who flies into the house and whisks Wendy and her brothers away to Neverland, where the Lost Boys run free on Pan Island and Captain Hook sails the seas. 

Enchanted by Peter, the Darlings quickly fall under Neverland’s spell, but underneath the shine of fairy dust lies a darkness that might just swallow them whole.

BFF Charm: Single White Female

BFF Charm with an image of the main character from the movie Single White Female

I mean, who hasn’t wanted to be Wendy Darling? She gets to fly, she gets to frolic around Neverland and, most importantly, she gets to hang out with Peter Pan, who, let’s face it, is way hotter than any Disney prince. (More on that below.)

In this adaptation, Wendy is smart, but she’s still sixteen, so she can be a bit silly and waaaaay too prissy. I know she’s a product of her time, but there were many moments when she was all too happy to play the damsel in distress, and I was beyond ready to step into her shoes and TAKE ACTION. And by action, I don’t just mean the kind in Peter Pan’s pants, although I definitely mean the kind in Peter Pan’s pants.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

I remember watching Peter Pan when it came out in 2003 and feeling kind of dirty about the fact that I had a crush on a child, basically. (Then I felt even dirtier when the actor, Jeremy Sumpter, went on to play that asswhipe J.D. McCoy on Friday Night Lights, but I digress.) So thank god Colleen Oakes raised Peter’s age enough to make this a socially acceptable romance between two teenagers. I wish she had spent more time developing Booth, since he’s supposed to constitute the third point of a love triangle, but even if she had, Peter Pan still would’ve blown him away. He’s hot as hell, plus he’s got a whole bad boy vibe that’s heightened by his power as the charismatic leader of the Lost Boys. The desire between Peter and Wendy is absolutely scorching, and there’s a scene or two that would make J.M. Barrie blush.

Talky Talk: Descriptive

Colleen Oakes delights in painting a picture, which means this book is packed with dizzying descriptions of, well, just about everything. Sometimes this suited my taste (passages devoted to Peter’s eyes locked on Wendy, for example) and other times, I found myself skimming (yet another line about the flora and fauna on Pan Island). Thankfully, there’s enough action to keep the reader from getting too bogged down in the details, while the plot twists shake off any description-induced lulls with explosive force.

Bonus Factor: Peter Pan

Screenshot from Peter Pan, with Peter holding a knife up

Oakes revists the beloved tale of Pan and adds her own unique (and sometimes sinister) flourishes. Tinkerbell goes from sassy fairy to unhinged fairy, while the pirates aren’t jolly swashbucklers, they’re vicious murderers. It’s a fun, if creepy, re-imagining, although I don’t know if I can forgive her for [REDACTED].

Relationship Status: Second Star Base

Book, you took me on quite a wild ride, and I was ready to go on straight until morning (if you know what I mean) until [REDACTED] happened. For a few brief moments, you made me feel like I could fly, so even if the landing was rough, I don’t regret it one bit. But I’ll pass on a sequel rendezvous, because our relationship is all out of fairy dust.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Sparkpoint Studio. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review.

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.