Never Never

Never Never

by Brianna Shrum


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James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child - at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children's dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn't about Peter Pan; it's about the boy whose life he stole. It's about a man in a world that hates men. It's about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633920392
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication date: 09/22/2015
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 320,951
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, two boys, and two big, floppy hound dogs. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She'd totally love to connect with you. You can find her saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum.

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Never Never 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Absolutely amazing one of the best books I've read this year!
AliceGrace More than 1 year ago
Don't let the cover or even the mention of Peter Pan fool you, this is a tale of a villain. Never Never is split into three parts. When the novel begins, James Hook is a boy dreaming of adventure and adulthood. Pan eventually convinces him to come to Neverland and from there, Hook quickly looses his innocence. Pan is very much a child yet not all at once. He is wicked and cruel. But he doesn't necessarily understand or care to comprehend the consequences of his action. He is the perfect example of a spoiled child who is used to getting everything he wants without any resistance. Resistance is met with rage and cruelty. A violent tantrum. Turning Peter Pan into a wicked creature, seems to be quite popular right now and Shrum takes full advantage of it by making him even more wicked than I've seen before. Part two consists of James becoming a man. He isn't supposed to grow in Neverland but, however impossible it may seem, Hook does. This leads us to question: when do we actually grow up? Is it just the physical appearance and disbelief in magical things as suggested by Pan? Or is it as one of the Lost Boys said, experience? Perhaps, it's a combination of both. Forced to leave Pan and the Lost Boys, Hook begins his journey as a pirate and takes his place aboard a pirate ship. Now that he's finally left Pan, he attempts his escape from Neverland, desperate to see his family again. At this point, he's left most of his childish tendencies behind, but still retains a few as well as his good heart. I particularly enjoyed Hook's character. He's constantly conflicted because Neverland challenges the principles of right and wrong. It's a dream land, so do people really die? Pan is a boy but he's clearly been alive long enough to have obtained wicked habits that children clearly don't have. The same is even seen in one of the Lost Boys. Hook hates Pan, but can't bring himself to kill the boy no matter how close he gets. Here is where Hook begins to fall in love and quite the love story it is. I didn't expect it at all. When the novel begins with 12 year old James Hook, I expected a rather innocent novel. Pan challenged this belief; the love story completely obliterated it. Hook desperately loves Tiger Lily, a girl imagined by Pan himself. She exists in Neverland because of Peter Pan. I'm sure you can all imagine the implications behind that detail. As part two closes, Hook has lost everything he's ever cared about. He has witnessed part of the life Pan stole from him in London, and the life he imagined for himself in Neverland is painfully ripped away. All because of Pan. Hook has given up all hope of happiness and leaving Neverland, trapped because of a boy called Pan. Part three is the villain at his finest - if you will. Although, at this point both Captain Hook and Peter Pan are equal parts villain. Hook manages to retain a few shreds of honor but he's obsessed with killing Pan. It is the one and only important thing left to the pirate now. Captain Hook has become exactly what Neverland planned for him. Where this may have tortured Hook before, he has come to a grim acceptance of the fact. Honestly, I came to be has annoyed with Pan as Hook was. Even in light of both characters' villainy, I was constantly betting on Hook's obsession to kill Pan. I disliked Pan nearly as much as Hook did and wished the boy would die, if only so I didn't have to read about his arrogant smile or cackle one more time. Never Never had my entire body tensed f
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Never Never is a retelling of Peter Pan. The twist is that it's told in Hook's POV. It starts with Hook as a child in England, he meets Peter Pan and winds up going with him to Neverland with the promise that he could go back anytime he wanted to. Time goes by quickly and Hook seems to be having fun while creating mischief with the Lost Boys. But things turn bad when Hook starts to grow older against Peter's wishes and he's cast out of the Lost Boys and left to join the pirates at the Spanish Main ship. The story continues from there with Hook growing into a man and being the captain of the Spanish Main. I had issues while reading this book and almost gave up halfway through. I'm a huge fan of retellings and always willing to give one a try. This one just wasn't quite for me I think. Do I think someone else will love it? Yes! It just wasn't for me. I honestly kept hoping that Peter Pan would die, he was a huge jerk in this book. If you enjoy YA retellings, and are a fan of Peter Pan's story I think you might enjoy this one even though Peter Pan is a huge jerk.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wondered why Captain Hook disliked Peter Pan so much? It was always just a given in the story that they were enemies. Come see where it all began - and how it all ended. Take a look at the beginning and meet James Hook before he was pirate. It will change how you see a lot of things. A fascinating way to present the tale of Peter Pan from the viewpoint of Captain Hook. While he becomes the sympathic character, you still never completely believe he's the good guy. There's a dark element, a dangerous element, that is always lurking within him that keeps this from being a true turning of the table for this fairy tale. James never wanted to be a boy forever, but he never imagined growing up in a place like Neverland. We get to see all our old familiar characters from a new perspective and in a new light. Tiger Lily, the Lost Boys, Wendy and the gang, even the crocodile take on a new meaning when you see them through the eyes of Captain Hook. There are plenty of piratey adventures and Peter Pan pranks that help to lighten the story just a little and remind you of the original tale and its fun atmosphere. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite “James felt an extremely personal pain at this that he could not explain, as well as a low, bubbling rage that he could. Arrogance. Again. At the deaths of men. The last thing he wanted was to be there, dripping, among a troupe of heartless children who were reveling in their unprovoked slaughter. Still, the infantile celebration continued.” Have you ever wondered about the real reason why Captain Hook is hellbent on killing Peter Pan? Never Never by Brianna Shrum retells the classic story from James Hook’s perspective, the boy who only wanted to grow up and who meets Peter Pan, the only boy who didn’t, and their journey from innocent friends to the fiercest rivals in all of Neverland. Shrum cleverly delves into the darker side of Pan, a mischievous boy who can fly and never grows up, spending his never ending childhood having adventures on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys, interacting with fairies, Indians, mermaids and slaughtering pirates. Shrum also gives us another version of Tiger Lily, the daughter of the Indian Chief, and her bond with Hook. I rooted for Hook from start to finish. James Hook is, in essence, a boy who wanted to grow up (which he did) and return to his family in London. He discovers that Neverland is not quite the wonderful paradise for children, but a trap. Never Never is a compelling retelling of a much loved children's classic. This is truly a commendable work from Brianna Shrum.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
James Hook is a boy who is desperate to grow up. It is only in his sleep, and the brief moments when he forgets himself, that James indulges his childish dreams of captaining the fierce pirate ship The Spanish Main.The rest of the time, James eagerly looks forward to the day he will be a man and all of the new responsibilities it will involve. When he meets a strange boy named Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, James wonders if perhaps he should spend more time as a child. So strong is Peter's pull that James agrees to go with Peter to Neverland--at least until the end of his holiday when he will return to London and his future at Eton. Neverland is not what James imagined, filled with all manner of strange and horrible things from the dreams of other Lost Boys. Worse, Peter refuses to bring James home. Disillusioned and alone, James Hook soon grows up. He knows who he might have been in London, but when that path is lost to him, he chooses to make himself into the feared pirate captain of his dreams--the pirate who might be able to exact revenge against the Pan in Never Never (2015) by Brianna Shrum. Never Never is Shrum's first novel. It is also a standalone retelling of Peter Pan that begins with Hook's arrival in Neverland as a Lost Boy. The thing to remember about Peter Pan, in any form, is that the story is incredibly problematic when viewed through a modern lens. Peter is as vicious as he is careless. Tiger Lily and her tribe make no sense in the context of Neverland being used to meet the whims of both Peter and Barrie. The Indians in Neverland are also portrayed badly with tired and often inaccurate stereotypes about Indians. The issues surrounding Wendy are numerous as well although less relevant in the context of this novel. The most interesting part of Never Never is, unsurprisingly, Hook himself. The interplay between who Hook is for most of the story (a good young man dealt a very bad hand) and who he chooses to present to Neverland (a villainous pirate) is an interesting one. This duality also leads to some thoughtful meditations on what it means when childhood fantasies are too gruesome--or too grim--to survive into adulthood. The idea of Hook getting older in Neverland without any of the inherent growth and development is also an interesting one. Although James Hook becomes a man called Captain Hook by the end of the novel, he is still very much an angry boy looking for his own version of justice. Never Never is very character driven with most of the novel being very introspective as James makes sense of various catastrophes and slights. This focus works well set against the dreamlike and often sinister Neverland that Shrum has created. It also makes the pacing of the novel quite slow. Tiger Lily is always a troublesome part of Peter Pan. That is especially true in Never Never where she is the girl who has James Hook's heart despite belonging to Peter Pan. The awkward love triangle is made worse by the fact that Tiger Lily remains little more than an exotic temptress. She is further diminished by her complete lack of agency throughout the novel as she is constantly reacting to either James or Peter. (Even Tiger Lily's choice to grow up is predicated on making herself closer to James' age.) While Never Never is a promising debut, it fails to add anything new to the world of Peter Pan instead sticking very close to the source material despite being written from Hook's perspective.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. Peter Pan retellings are one of my favorite kinds of fairytale retellings (yes, says the person who hadn't even seen a version, not even the Disney one, of it until she was 19). But there is something so magical and haunting and curious about the story of Peter Pan. And I'm not talking about the cutesy little boy from Disney. I'm talking the true nitty gritty stories. Which is exactly what we get here. James Hook is a boy who only wants to grow up. The only childish fantasy he allows himself is his dreams of pirates. Then, he meets Peter Pan, who tells him tales of a land with fairies and where boys never grow up. James agrees to go with him on holiday, only when he gets there, Peter refuses to take him back. And thus begins his descent into the Hook that we know from the stories. I loved that this was from Hook's perspective. The most interesting ones often are. And yes, this was a story about Hook and his time in Neverland, but it was so much more than that. It was a book about black and white and gray areas, and about morality and what that really means. We saw a different side of Peter, one I think often gets forgotten: that he can be really, well, evil. I think it explores some great thoughts on being children. And even, the descent into madness. And the story was just beautifully written. It caught my attention from the beginning. For me, it did lag a little in the middle, around 30%, but then picked up again around 50% and hooked (no pun intended) me the rest of the time. I thought this was a gorgeous story, and I loved it.
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
My exposure to Peter Pan stories is limited i.e. I’ve only watched the Disney movies, so I don’t have much to compare this book to. But I thought Brianna did an amazing job showing us the other side of the story, showing us how Captain Hook became the man we know him as. I ended up giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for approving my request for this eARC. So I’ll spill and tell you all that the major reason that I requested this eARC (other than it being a retelling) was because Brianna was one of the mentors in Pitch Wars and I ended up submitting my manuscript to her. She’s an awesome person, and I really couldn’t wait to read her book. And she did not disappoint! We start out in London where James Hook is originally from. He is still a “children” as Peter Pan puts it. We see a little bit of his home life before we’re thrust into Neverland, where we see a twisted, devilish side to Peter Pan that is completely different from the Pan we’re used to. This story is definitely not for the faint of heart, or younger audiences if they don’t like a bit of gore and sadism. After reading this book, I find myself liking Captain Hook and kind of despising Peter Pan. I think Brianna did a great job with the scenery and showing the interactions between the children, especially the dynamic between Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. I felt terrible for James throughout the story. Peter was pretty evil throughout the entire book. I found myself grimacing and feeling a bit of fear at how sadistic he seemed to be. Along with James Hook, Tiger Lily was one of my favorite characters. She’s fierce and beautiful. She’s the proud daughter of a chief. I totally ship the pairing that showed up in the books. I only wish it would have worked out a little better. And speaking of better, the ending wasn’t my favorite, but I understand why Brianna ended it how she did. The way Brianna had the book divided into sections helped us glimpse various stages of Captain James Hook’s life. Each section gave us some insight into the rivalry between Hook and Pan. We got to see James Hook when he first got to Neverland, when he was growing up at an alarming rate, when he first became a pirate, and when he was the toughest pirate in the seas of Neverland. I was so engrossed in reading the eARC that I didn’t make note of very many lines, except two, that I liked: “Yes, sir, I’m afraid I got myself rather murdered, following an obviously deranged fellow wearing the guts of a tree into the dark in the middle of the night.” and “Are you mad? Why ever would anyone want to grow up?” Final note: It’s a really good book, and I recently purchased a paperback copy to add to my personal library. I can’t wait to read Brianna’s next book! Give it a try; I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
James has always wanted to grow up and become a man like his father. That is, until he meets Peter Pan, a magical boy who loves childhood and never wants to grow up. James finally decides to enjoy being young by taking a holiday to Neverland. This fantastical island is full of mermaids, fairies, pirates, and everything a child could ever want. However, when he starts missing his home and family, Peter refuses to bring him back to London, leaving him trapped. In Neverland, growing up is strictly forbidden, but James can’t seem to stop himself from doing it. Thus begins James’ long adventure of becoming a pirate, and his quest to kill Peter Pan. Never Never is a beautifully written re-telling of Peter Pan, a story from Captain Hook’s perspective. From the moment I heard about a book written from the perspective of the cruel pirate, I was on board. It really made me look at the fairy tale differently. I felt very connected to James, the pirates, and the lost boys who were kind to him when Peter wasn’t. Even though there was a lot of unnecessary violence, each death mattered and made a difference in the plot. I especially loved Tiger Lily, because she was clever and sarcastic. I would definitely recommend this book, especially for anyone who loves Peter Pan, Disney movies, or pirates. Full review:
Sandrathebookworm More than 1 year ago
Original review posted @ First I want to thank Netgalley and Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book, reading in Hook's perspective was very refreshing and a very different take on Peter Pan. Hook is a normal boy living in London that can't wait to be a grown up, that is until the day he meets Peter Pan who introduces young Hook to fairies, magic, and tells him all about Neverland; after hearing about the amazing world Peter comes from, Hook decides that he wants to spend his vacation in Neverland but after he spends some time there he realizes that Neverland and Peter are not as great as he thought. This book kept me up to the wee hours of the night! I really enjoyed reading about Hooks descend into darkness and how his hatred for the Pan (as he calls him) came to be. I felt so much for Hook and all that he lost when Pan refused to take him back home to his family, but as much as I tried to hate Pan I just couldn't my emotions for Pan where all over the place, even though Shrum showed me a more sinister side to him; I kept making excuses for him the main one being that he was child and he couldn't comprehend why someone would want to grow up or be with their parents. The love interest in this book had me in an emotional roller coaster, I loved it so much! Hook and Tiger Lily were perfect for each other.The ending and cliffhanger, were done so well, I was not expecting it at all! I need the second book as soon as possible! I need to know what happens to Hook, his crew, the lost boys and of course Pan. I really loved this retelling and how it stayed true to the original, even Wendy and her brothers make an appearance toward the end. If you are looking for a good villain story or just in the mood for a book with pirates, this is the book for you. -SandraTheBookWorm
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I want to thank Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered or influenced my opinion. I love retellings. And I have never read a retelling of Peter Pan. And I can recall seeing this show on broadway with my mother when Sandy Duncan played Peter Pan. I remember her flying out over the audience and it being one of the greatest things I had ever seen in my young life. So given the chance to read this story from Hook's perspective totally intrigued me. The first part of the book introduces us to the young James Hook. As a young boy, James in hopeful and optimistic of what his life holds. He's not the bitter, mean and vengeful Hook we are used to seeing in the original story. All he wants to do is grow up and be a man. I really enjoyed seeing Hook as a young boy. But when he meets Peter Pan, who offers him a short getaway to a magical place, he can't resist. And as he spends time with Pan and the lost boys, he begins to change. You can see it in how he processes what is going on around him, in how he begins to think that he just wants to go home but will never get there. It makes him bitter and resentful. The second and third parts of the book shows Hook as a young man, one who has grown up against the rules of the Pan. And because he's done so, he is exiled from the only home he now knows. And Pan continuously haunts him and taunts him. Slowly Hook starts to realize that the only way he will truly be happy is if Pan is not around at all. Thoughts of revenge ravage his mind. Pan becomes his obsession, to the point that he can barely ever think of anything else. Even when the love of his life, Tiger Lily, tries to make him see there is more than Pan and he should forget about him, he just cannot. The transformation of Hook in this book is amazing. You truly see the story from such a totally different perspective. Where we know Pan to be this young boy who doesn't want to grow up and just wants to have fun, in this book he's so much more vengeful and spiteful than you could ever imagine. One understands why Hook has an obsession with trying to kill Pan, to rid the world of what Hook feels is a plague in his life. And you actually care about Hook in this book because you see the battle he has raged throughout his life with Pan. The writing is really great, as well. It flows easily and I didn't want to put the book down. I love when a book sucks me in like that! I will say that the ending kind of left me wanting something more, something to wrap things up. I'm not sure if the author wants us to see what we will see with how she ends it, or if she thinks there might be somewhere else to go. I don't see there being more to the story, but I will say the open like ending left me a bit on edge. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and for anyone who likes retellings, or even those who don't, this book is a spectacular read. If you are a fan of Pan, you'll enjoy the story as told from Hook's POV. And if you're not a fan of Pan, you will see why Hook wasn't either! A definite must add to the TBR for any fairytale lover.
terferj More than 1 year ago
This is the third Peter Pan retelling I ever read but this is the first one I really liked. This book gave me a completeness that the others books could not. I love this is told in Captain James Hook's perceptive. This book gives a little more of why he became who he is and maybe he's not such the villain that everyone knows him as. I liked how it explained how he became a man whereas Neverland is a place one isn't supposed to grow up. I really liked how Peter Pan isn't the Disney version, think Once Upon a Time. I also liked Hook's relationship with Tiger Lily. I was kinda shocked that it develop the way it did, but I thought it was a nice touch. The only downfall I would have with this is that it did fall into the same timeline of events like in the movie just tweaked a little. Other than that, the book kept my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed it. *I received this through NetGalley