Unhooked (ARC Novel) | Book Review

Author: Lisa Maxwell

Genre: Fantasy, YA fiction

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Publication Date: February 2 2016


For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?


Thank you to Simon and Schuster Publishing Company for sending me this ARC novel in exchange for an honest review.

When I first saw this book, it immediately caught my attention. Peter Pan, Captain Hook. This book sounds like it was written just for me! I have the biggest obsession with Peter Pan, so this book was right up my alley.

I absolutely loved the concept for this book! It’s intriguing, and certainly brings a dark twist to the tale Peter Pan that we all know and love.  The relationship between Pan and Hook was particularly interesting to read about, as well as how everything in Neverland came to be. Maxwell paints a twisted background to Neverland that keeps you guessing up until the very end.

I loved how devoted Gwen was to saving her friend Olivia, even after Pan constantly leads them on with his lies and illusions. The romance with Hook was also well-done. It was definitely a slow-burn that started gaining momentum as each person discovered secrets about the other. But let’s be real, who wouldn’t enjoy swoony scenes with a pirate? Hook himself was a complex character that unravels as we get to know him more. We’re reminded about how “evil” he is in the book, yet his actions imply otherwise. As a retelling, Unhooked was refreshing and captivating enough to stand out on its own.

Hook immediately reminded me of Hook from Once Upon a Time (just a bit younger in this book of course). But If you picture this Hook a bit younger, you have Captain Rowan Hook from this novel.

Maxwell transports readers into the haunting, and yet breathlessly romantic, world of Neverland that will spellbind readers into making them wish they could stay forever.

This is a perfect stand-alone novel for those who are fans of the fantasy genre or anyone who is interested in dark story retellings. Don’t forget to check this book out when it comes out on February 2, 2016!

-Read On Darlings!



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