Never After by Dan Elconin
Review by: Lauren
Copy From: Author
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Official Summary: There is no place like a dysfunctional home.
Leaving everything behind for the Island was Ricky’s dream come true. When his happily ever after is not quite what it seems, he discovers that running away means running toward bigger problems.
Trapped on the Island, Ricky must join together with the only people he can trust to help him face his fears and return home. But the only way off the Island is to confront the person who trapped Ricky and his friends in the first place. With countless enemies and true peril staring them down, Ricky’s mission to leave this so-called paradise will become a battle for their very lives.
Review: The story of Peter Pan has never been so violent or interesting or just plain exciting! I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in awhile. Instead of Peter being the good guy…he’s the villian. Instead of Hook being the villian, he’s, well…the kids call him Captain because he’s Peter’s victim that has been on the island the longest…but you have to read the book to really understand him. He’s a tough nut to crack. Not to mention he thinks he’s on a boat (sort of), hence another reason for the title Captain. I know, I know, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but that’s because part of Never After is a mystery. How will these kids get back home, will home be any better for them, just who can they really trust, and most important…why does Peter bring everyone to the Island anyway?
As a teen (when the book came out), Dan has a greater shot at getting the teen voice right…and especially the guy teen voice…and he nails it! The characters seem so realistic and just like those people you talk to in class everyday. One of the big things I could see throwing people off was all the cussing. Man, do they cuss! But it’s not weird. It’s how teens speak. It’s especially how you can see teens speaking when they are stuck on an Island that was supposed to be an amazing getaway from their real life.
Never After flips between the Island and Ricky’s past…giving you a look into just why he’s so angry and why he was even a target for Peter anyway. That’s because you can’t get to the Island if you don’t really believe…and the ones that really believe are often the ones that need to get away most.
One of my favorite characters in this book was Alex. He’s definitely one of the bigger cussers, but he’s just hilarious. He seemed very real and like a lot of guys I currently know or have known. I’m sure you’ll understand once you read it.
If you want to learn more about Dan, the book, and the characters inside it, check out his website. It’s worth it, I swear.
As far as I know, Dan isn’t writing anything else…but hopefully he will. I’d definitely pick up his next book without thinking about it.
If you have any questions for Dan, leave them in the comments, as I’m going to try and do an interview with him in a month or so.