Girl Lostby Nazarea Andrews
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Northern was supposed to be a fresh start�a place where people didn�t know who I was or how I had spent years in and out of mental institutes. People didn't know about my parents death or the island no one heard of. But when Peter sits next to me in lit class, I can�t stop the memories, and I don�t want to. He looks too much like the boy from the island, and despite my best intentions, coaxes my secrets from me.
He�s gorgeous, irresistible, a little mad, and completely lost�we are a pair of broken cogs in a world neither of us truly fits into. He is somehow gentle and fierce, heartbreaking in his devotion and savage in his defense.
When Belle, his best friend, shows up, pale and lovely and sick, Peter pulls away from me, a startling withdrawal. It�s a relationship that scares and confuses me. She is at times warm and friendly, and other times is violent and unpredictable.
Peter says that he wants me, but refuses to let himself get close. And there are secrets, surrounding both of us, that border on nightmares. As the memories close in, as Belle gets sicker and more violent, I�m torn between what is true and what I believe, and what this magical boy knows about my mysterious past.
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I don't know how to rate this book, and I don't know how to explain it. What is this book? I don't even know what to classify it as. Is it purely contemporary or was there supposed to be magical aspects of it? Was I supposed to be left with the feeling that there was going to be a sequel, and that this was a fantastical novel? I just don't know. And I feel like the synopsis is incredibly misleading, not very true to the actual story-line. The dialogue was choppy, the details were told through the eyes of someone who just doesn't understand the world and the people in it. It was true to a character who has had problems with her mental health. However, it just didn't work for me. Her thoughts were confusing, hectic, and a complete mess. Just like she was. It didn't really endear me to her character, especially with her bipolar moods and utter ignorance about everyone and everything. I was not a fan of any kind of romance or love interest in this story. The little drama with James and Lane seemed to be there just to create jealousy. Peter was a psycho. And the secondary characters didn't feel three-dimensional. This plot was confusing as hell; it was a jumbled mess of nonsense dialogue, characters who seemed to be thrown in there randomly to create angst and drama, and the flashbacks/memories that were tossed in to add to the MC's mental problems were puzzling. I still don't understand where it all ties in and why the book was ended like that. I have never in my life been so confused after finishing a book. I don't even know if I liked it. Am I just completely missing the point? Am I so stupid that I'm overlooking the message of the story? Maybe it's just me. Girl Lost was one of those books that I'm probably going to be in the minority about. I don't even know how to rate it. This was a completely different retake on the popular story of Peter Pan. But I don't think it worked. At least, not for me. "No rating"
Classic NA with a Twist I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This book both fascinated and frustrated me. Most new adult books seem to have the same ‘pattern’ to them — two messed up people fall for each other, one dates another person to distract themselves, they finally get together, something happens, etc. It got kind of boring after awhile, so I stopped reading the genre all together. However, when I saw this book A) I flipped out over that gorgeous cover. I mean, COME ON. Plus, I’m 95% sure to pick up any book with stars on the cover, so that helped. And B) The idea of a Peter Pan retelling from a NA book just sounded interesting. How would that work? Well, it worked fabulously. The weaving of the retelling into this story was done really well. I enjoyed ‘meeting’ all the characters from the original story — I loved that our main character was Gwen (Gwendolyn Barrie), keeping the Wendy vibe, but still changing it up a bit. I loved that she met the ‘Boy’ as a child, but didn’t have a name for him beyond ‘Boy’ so when she meets Peter, it isn’t trite and overdone. Everything about the retelling was done perfectly, down to her brother Micah (Michael), her room mate Orchid (aka Tigerlily), and James (who I imagined as a swoony captain Hook from OUAT). Tinkerbell aka Belle Evans made an appearance and even the lost boys. It was just like reading in a dreamy, whimsical state, where I was floating between reality and fantasy. I loved it. What I didn’t love was the end. The very last scene was perfect, it was a great place to finish the book. However, the scenes leading up to the memory seemed abrupt and unfinished. I am hoping that this author plans to write more, because if not, I have far too many questions to be done with this story. I think with a little more explanation, this could have been a satisfying stand-alone, but without that I’ll always wonder. Another issue I had was some 'jumps' in the story without explanation -- like how James came into their lives. It was one coffee meeting and suddenly he is together with her room mate. I think these jumps jolted me out of the story more than anything, so some smoothing in the background information could have easily overcome this. The NA part of the book was just like every other NA I’ve read. What really made it was the fantasy retelling weaved throughout the story. And going through Gwen’s ‘madness’ and ascent into sanity was done well. It was hard rating this book, because it did keep my attention and the story was well written, but in the end, without the retelling, it was another NA complicated love story. That’s not really the fault of this book, or this author, just my wish that this genre would begin to branch out. And the first step is doing things like this book did with the Peter Pan retelling. It was a bold move, and in the end, I think Andrews really pulled it off. For this review and more, visit Such a Novel Idea.
Before I start this review, I have to admit something – it's been a LONG TIME since I watched Peter Pan, so I'm sure some of the nuances of the book were lost on me. There are several Peter Pan retellings out there currently and I failed miserably with the first (Tiger Lily) because I couldn't remember enough about the original story. That wasn't a problem with Girl Lost at all. This book could easily stand on its own. I bought the movie and plan to watch it... soon... ish... Who knows? Maybe I'll find even more to love the second time around. Girl Lost is the story of Gwen (Gwendy, Gwendolyn, pixie...). After the horrific death of her parents, she spent quite a bit of time in a mental institution. Now she's healed, mostly anyhow, and on her way to college. With the help of her brother and psychiatrist, she's determined to forget The Boy who never existed from a place she never was and be a normal college student. She has an interesting roommate who will turn out to be a good friend and she's looking forward to blending in. Until, of course, a gorgeous red-headed stranger who reminds her so, so much of The Boy sits next to her in class and tries to befriend her. He pushes him away and tries to go out with someone else, but he's too insistent and she's too attracted to him. As they spend more time together, Gwen begins to wonder if he is, in fact The Boy, and if the island was real. Mysterious and compelling with a sexy edge, Girl Lost sucked me in and held me hostage until the final page. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love a good retelling and Girl Lost presented that with a contemporary new adult theme. It was ambitious and unique and very well-executed. Initially, the ending left me scrambling a bit and really makes me hope for more of the story of Gwen, Peter and the others. Upon further reflection, while I still want more about these characters because I'm a greedy reader, I'm actually pleased with the ending. Is it open to interpretation and does it leave some ends loose? Yes. If there are no more books, am I content drawing my own conclusions? Yes. Incredibly well-done all the way around. Nazarea is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
'It was never real. The island doesn't exist. I've repeated those words for two years.' Gwendolyn Barrie has spent the last several years trying to convince herself that she never spent time on a faraway island with the Boy. That the happiest time in her life never happened. That everyone else is right, and that the death of her parents sent her spiraling into a world that she only imagined. But then Gwen meets Peter, and she isn't so sure anymore what's real and what isn't. I really enjoyed this new take on the story of 'Peter Pan.' Imagine Peter and Wendy, grown up and out in the 'real world' of college, drawn to each other by some inexplicable tie. Everyone in Gwen's life warns her away from Peter, afraid that spending time with him will cause her to lose touch with reality again. But Gwen feels safe and whole with Peter, even if he does stir up memories of a time and place that she has been told just can't possibly have existed. She is unable to stay away from him, even when things begin to unravel. Although I was initially surprised by the way that Nazarea Andrews ended 'Girl Lost,'in retrospect I think that she tied things up absolutely perfectly. After the initial 'What?! What the heck?!' I don't think she could have done it any differently and been as effective. This is a 4-plus read for me, as it is a thoroughly engaging and fast-paced read with characters that are at the same time recognizable as those from one of my favorite childhood books, but with an edgier, darker, and more grown-up and angsty feel. Take the time to check this one out; you won't be disappointed.
This book has to have been my most highly anticipated read of the year, thus far. A re-telling of Peter Pan! How freaking exciting is that!!?? I was so eager to see how Andrews would incorporate the magic and fantasy of J.M. Barrie's classic into a Contemporary Romance, and each time I took part in a reveal or saw a new teaser for Girl Lost, I was captivated, wanting and needing more. Gwen’s story was interesting, dark and quite harrowing, but I loved how the idea of the Boy and the island were drawn into the story as a hallucination of sorts that saw Gwen being subjected to years of psycho-analysis, and people thinking she was just plain crazy. Throughout the story we get to see snippets of what happened years before, and are able to draw our own conclusions over whether or not the island and the Boy are real, or just Gwen’s imagination. Things really started to liven up when Peter, a strange but charming and compelling guy enters Gwen’s life. There was obviously something going on. Between the weird fraternity that Peter had such a hold over and the way he was so similar to the Boy, I had to wonder if Gwen wasn’t quite as delusional as everyone made her out to be. With the arrival of Belle things just got stranger, although the pieces finally started to fall into place. I wasn’t completely blown away by this book. I will admit that I was expecting more of a magical element to the story, which I did not find, and I didn’t quite connect with the characters. But it was still an enthralling read. I loved the parallels drawn between certain characters in Girl Lost and those of Peter Pan. They were subtle but there and were like little gems thrown into the story. I’m not sure if there will be a sequel novel, but I really do hope so because the ending was quite abrupt, and although it allowed me, once again, to draw my own conclusions, I felt there were too many loose ends that needed tying up. If there is a book 2, I will be the first in line to grab a copy.
Complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review. Did you ever want to know what happens when the characters of Peter Pan grow up? Well here's your chance, Girl Lost is it! It has amazing characters, a great story, and a little bit of fantasy, mixed with crazy to make this an amazing read! We meet Gwendolyn (aka Gwendy, Pixie, Gwen, etc.) as she embarks on her first year at Northern University. According to her aunt, brother and psychiatrist she's basically crazy because of the "Boy" she swears is real, is just a figment of her imagination. She's been in and out of institutions for 7 years and everyone is worried she won't be able to handle life in the outside world. Gwendolyn is hell bent on proving them wrong. Things seem to go great until she meets Peter who is so much like "The Boy" that it scares her. Gwendolyn tries so hard to ignore Peter, but they end up starting a relationship no matter how hard she tries to resist, she knows he's bad for her, but when they are together it seems so right. Everything goes great until Peter's friend Belle shows up, and she is hell on wheels. The drama this girl causes makes me want to reach through my kindle and slap her! Peter starts pulling away and that only makes Gwendolyn more on edge and pissed off. Just when she thinks she finally is crazy and maybe she shouldn't be at Northern, everything changes.... and then BAM book is over. The only thing holding me back from giving this a five star instead of a four star was how quickly this book ended. I wanted more after that last paragraph. This story has great characters, and is SO different than what you've read before. It really is Peter Pan all grown up and a lot hotter ;) This was the first book of Nazarea Andrew's that I have read, and after reading Girl Lost I will definitely be adding her others to my TBR List. If you're looking for an amazing read, that is out of the norm of all other New Adult and Romance books out there, Girl Lost is definitely the book for you. Trust me, you'll love the characters and how much they grew throughout the book, and the mystery. I encourage everyone to add this one to their TBR list, it's a great read that will have you believing in fairy tales, or having you believe you are as crazy as Gwendolyn.