Cover Image: Never

Never

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Even though it was not a masterpiece it was still super fun and magical. I thought the romance was interesting to say the least but it did keep my very entertained! My biggest complaint is just how annoying Peter was. I understand this is based off the classic novel of Peter Pan and he kind of acts like an ass in it but it was still a little annoying. Peter was an awful character. I hate him more than any male book character I’ve ever hated in my life. His mannerisms, wording, everything- freaking terrible, mans body but a child's mind, I think so. This is not a cute little whimsical fantasy, it’s more of a romance with fantasy elements. Jessa is literally known for writing real, raw and flawed characters (MPU books) so these characters came as no shock to me. Just be aware that reading this hurts and is probably way too relatable.

Was this review helpful?

I love a good retelling on any classic story but especially Peter Pan. When I found out that Jesse Hastings author of the Magnolia Parks and Daisy Haines series was coming out with a Peter Pan retelling I knew I needed to get my hands on it. This book did not disappoint. From the first page of the book I was hooked (pun intended). I loved the chemistry between the characters and all the drama along with it. One this Jesse Hastings knows how to write is heartbreaking stories that will have you second guessing all your choices (in a good way). Over all I really enjoyed this book and hope she proceeds to write more retelling of classic stories because we can never have enough.

Was this review helpful?

This was a new author for me. I thought the writing was good but the story and characters weren’t it for me! I just didn’t connect with them. I’m sure others really enjoyed it! I do love a Peter Pan themed book;)

Was this review helpful?

I forgot to leave a review for this, but I really enjoyed it! It's been out for ages, so I won't say much more than I need to for my star rating. <3

Was this review helpful?

Love the concept. The execution just needed a little more work. But this had the makings of a great novel! And ummmm the cover hello gorgeous.

Was this review helpful?

First of all I want to say thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for an ARC of Never by Jessa Hastings. I have been a longtime fan of her work and this was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2023. I read this book in under two days but put off writing this review for a while until I could read it again so that I could confirm whether or not I truly felt the way I did about it. I would rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5 and here is why...

Things I loved about this book -
• The way that Hastings was able to emulate the characteristics of the original Peter Pan (Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie) in her own style was truly spectacular.
• The cover is obviously one of the most stunning things about this novel.
• Hastings' creativity is unmatched when it comes to filling the page with just enough detail without it being unnecessary.

Things I didn't love about this book -
• Hastings' unique writing style, although it is one of my favorites, does not translate well into fantasy in my own opinion.
• Some of the word choices in this book could be seen as problematic which has been addressed by the author and her publisher.

Was this review helpful?

This felt like this author read The Never King and wanted to write a young adult version of it. And well it just didn't work at all. The writing felt all over the place and very forced. The characters were kind of meh and well the entire thing was just disappointing.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. I was very hopeful for this book, because I love Peter And and Hook. This book failed to catch my attention and was just reading to finish. I did not like the footnotes explanations, the way Hook talked or Peter story. Both Peter and Hook were awful and I could not understand why our female character put up with them.

Was this review helpful?

this was dif than the typical jessa hastings novel and it left me somewhere in the middle. i wasn't as obsessed as i was with the magnolia parks universe but i am "hooked" and will def be tuning into the next one! hoping endgame for daphne and hook!

Was this review helpful?

Jessa Hastings has such a unique style of writing. She stays true to that in her latest fantasy Never. It will transport you to Neverland and make you understand why Wendy didn’t want to leave. I loved her fresh take on this Peter Pan retelling. I will note that I originally had a strong dislike for her Peter Pan character and his juvenile speech and actions, but I came to understand this character and why he was written that way as the book progressed. I really hope she continues this series!

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

OMG I LOVE JESSA HASTINGS & THIS WORLD SO MUCH. I absolutely devoured this wonderful retelling of Peter Pan. The love triangle. The fairies. The description of the island. I really couldn’t get enough of how beautifully written this book was. The scenes of baggage claim will live rent free in my head. And that ending?!!!! My heart dropped. If I could give it one billion stars I would.

Was this review helpful?

“sometimes things are just extraordinarily beautiful fer no reason at all."


as typical with Jessa’s writing, Never is told through a stream-of-consciousness-style lens that makes you feel like you’re living inside the mind of the narrator. in this case, it’s told from one point of view: Daphne Darling. her name is actually much longer than that, but Daphne Darling is so catchy, don’t you think?

the book is dense with detail and can feel slow at times, but in an intentional way. you really will get lost in the whimsical, atmospheric adventure of it all. simultaneously, you’ll relate to the humanity and heartbreak within. Jessa has taught me that I love pain, and she continues doing so with this one.

historically, I’ve never been a Peter Pan girlie. I’ve always thought he was a frustrating character, and Never has reaffirmed that opinion. honestly, my first pen-to-paper thought about him in this book was: “Peter is a piece of sh¡†”, but I’ve chosen to refine my evaluation a bit. the cavalier nature in which Peter manipulates, uses, and abuses people for his own entertainment and gain, plus his aloof lack of self-awareness, is exhausting and infuriating. he’s a man-child with predatory tendencies. and fated to or not, I simply can’t understand the infatuation the Darling girls have with him.

I’m much more interested in Daphne herself, as a young woman coming of age in the 1960s. she has such a strong desire to be free and independent, but you can’t miss the abandonment issues she carries thanks to absentee parenting and the way she lights up when given approval and affirmation from others. she’s quick to runaway and discard emotions that make her uncomfortable, which, honestly, is one the most annoying things about her. her youth shines through with her actions, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand how she can so quickly excuse Peter for his bad behavior, while holding all of Jem’s against him so vehemently.

as for Jem Hook…well, I’ve always loved a misunderstood bad boy with daddy issues. I wasn’t sure about him at first, but ultimately, I became obsessed with him (and his mother!). he’s hot-headed but tender (and also a murderer, but we can overlook that, can’t we?), and he’s the kind of person you’re just drawn to…the kind of person you want to win and protect at all costs, despite his flaws. it’s Jem Hook for me, everyone.

all-in-all, I’m anxiously waiting to see how this series unfolds (beware the cliffhanger)! I love the magic and lore, and I just want to get lost in it forever.



read if you like:
♡ balls (as in parties)
♡ boys with accents
♡ cliffhangers
♡ duels
♡ enchanted necklaces
♡ evil uncles
♡ fairies
♡ fairytales
♡ fishing off a cloud
♡ island life
♡ love triangles
♡ lyrically verbose writing
♡ legends
♡ magic
♡ miscommunication
♡ mermaids
♡ mineralogy
♡ Peter Pan retellings
♡ pirates
♡ secret family members
♡ whimsical stories

trigger warnings:
☞ abduction
☞ absentee parents
☞ discussions of colonization and slavery
☞ kidnapping
☞ manipulative behavior
☞ mention of rape
☞ murder
☞ sexual pressure
☞ toxic relationships

Was this review helpful?

Peter Pan retelling?? Sign me up!! I read all of the Magnolia Parks Universe books prior to going into this so I was so excited to read this book!

Firstly, I would like to take a moment for this GORGEOUS cover! I mean this might be my favorite book cover ever! Truly stunning and perfect! Now going into the contents of the book, I loved the whole fairy tale/magical aspect but the choice of words/terminology used was very questionable to me. I don't fully understand how that was approved and allowed to be published. And the description of one of the characters saying something about his skin being dirty and he was tan, NO THANKS! It took me a bit to get back into reading and I questioned if it was worth even finishing

But if I were to ignore that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was immediately invested in the characters. I was rooting but also frustrated at these characters. It was really giving MPU vibes and I ate it up. I loved how human the characters were and that they weren't picture perfect. The whole world and the aspects of it was very interesting to me. The place in the clouds that allows the characters to "drop off" memories, mind was blown. I just thought it really added to the story. Of course the ending of this book broke me. It's not a Jessa Hastings book if it doesn't leave you heartbroken and wanting more at the end. I am definitely very interested in the direction which the rest of the book series will go!

Was this review helpful?

A re-telling of “Peter Pan”, of sorts… Daphne, the granddaughter of Wendy, is torn between the young Peter Pan and Jamison Hook, the son of the infamous Captain Hook. While this is not my favorite re-telling of this story, it did have its good points: great tension between the FMC and MMCs, great plot development between those characters, and great relationship development between them as well. Would I re-read? Probably not. I am glad I gave it a chance as I love Jessa Jastings’s writing.

Was this review helpful?

If you have never read a Jessa Hastings book, you are in for a ride. One thing I personally love about this author is she writes imperfect characters. They will make mistakes, their story can’t be easily predicted, you’ll both love and hate them. And that’s still true for Never. I personally know next to nothing about Peter Pan, and I was still able to kept up with the story. And as a retelling, I enjoyed it. I’d love triangles aren’t your thing you may or may not like this.

Was this review helpful?

I am a massive fan of Jessa Hastings and I really love the Magnolia Parks Universe so I was thrilled to read some of her works in a different way with this re-telling. Overall I thought this books was super intriguing and had such a great spin on the original tale.

Was this review helpful?

In her latest fantasy romance, a fresh retelling of Peter Pan, Jessa presents a story filled with potential. Centering around Daphne, the novel attempts to weave a complex narrative alongside Peter Pan and Jem Hook. While the plot has its chaotic moments, and the character development, particularly of the adult-like Peter and Jem, can be challenging due to their problematic interactions with 17-year-old Daphne, glimpses of the author's well-known narrative skill exist. Despite her questionable decisions and lack of depth, Daphne's character adds a certain intrigue to the story. Although the book struggles to address the original tale's problematic aspects adequately, Jessa's writing style and the novel's unique perspective offer some redeeming qualities, and I suggest editing it as the idea has potential.

Was this review helpful?

If you have not read Jessa Hastings’ Magnolia Parks series, I suggest you put this book down first and read them to understand the beauty in not only the words and lyrical prose in which Jessa writes, but to comprehend the complexities of characters who are toxic, and yet you can’t help but root for them. Jessa does this again in Never, while adding a bit of fantasy and folklore into the mix. I personally have never been a fan of the story of Peter Pan or any retelling that have been put out there, because the Lost Boys have been a strong representation of the excuses of men’s behaviors in reality for such a long time. What I did appreciate in Jessa’s book is that she shed light to the toxic thinking and behavior of Peter Pan and the boys but inevitably not welcoming it.

This book does end with a cliffhanger. And I look forward to reading the second book once it releases.

Was this review helpful?

I really did not love this story - which is super unfortunate!!

It had such a cool premise - the granddaughter of Mary and Wendy, Peter getting older, the whole plot with hook …but unfortunately it fell so flat for me!

I had a hard time with the way Peter talked, it felt juvenile and at times controlling and possessive.

I think maybe a younger audience would enjoy this book more, but I had a hard time with it!

Thank you Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Bloom Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

I disliked this as much as I disliked the magnolia parks series. Plotless and long winded the prose ruined what could have been a phenomenal story. The cover & inner maps were the best part.

Was this review helpful?