Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell ~ Review

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell ~ ReviewUnhooked by Lisa Maxwell
ISBN: 1481432044
Published by Simon Pulse on February 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Buy on Amazon

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?


When I first read the synopsis for Unhooked, I was unsure if I really wanted to read it. I actually really like different versions of classic fairy tales. However, Peter Pan has always been one of my favorites so I haven’t been receptive to change beyond what my childhood remembers. Let me get really honest with you and give you way too much information into my life. When I was younger, I had two reoccurring dreams that happened for years. One of those dreams was about Peter Pan. Sure, it was messed up and some of the details are blurry but the basics was that Captain Hook came for me at my Grandmother’s attic and Peter Pan ended up saving me. So I had that typical child’s vision of a heroic Peter Pan. However, there was something about the synopsis that caught my attention. I’m not sure what exactly drove me to try it. Maybe it’s because I’m an adult who likes the dark side of things. Who knows. All I do know, is that I’m happy I gave this book a try.

Unhooked is a delightfully twisted and dark spin on Peter Pan. I won’t get into retelling the synopsis so I’ll just jump into talking about some of the characters. Gwen, is very much different than what we know as Wendy. She’s very head-strong, stubborn and loyal. Moving around a lot with her Mother over the years has caused her to be cautious, which becomes one of the most necessary precautions she could use.

Peter Pan is just down right creepy. Definitely not the boy I remember from my childhood. In the book or in my dreams. Surprisingly, I liked that. A lot. I had to consistently battle with myself on how I felt about him. One minute I was captivated and the next I was completely suspicious.

This book’s version of Caption Hook completely stole the story. He can be cold and calculated yet loyal and loving. He’s a force that can’t be ignored. Once again, very different from the Captain that most of us remember. He was absolutely one of the best parts of the book.

The other thing that I really liked was Neverland. There were so many different components that make up the land. I felt like it was completely alive. Whether it was with something good, some kind of magical energy or something dark, with negative energy. Lisa’s writing is so fluent and lyrical when describing Neverland that it completely sucks you in and takes you on a journey that makes you feel like you are right there.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to let go of my childhood and embrace the dark side of one of my favorite fairy tales! 🙂


About Lisa Maxwell

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep, and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, 2016). When she’s not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

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