I’m so excited to be back with a blog tour with Xpresso Tours for one of my most anticipated 2021 releases: Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the other bloggers on tour!
Also, don’t forget to enter the GIVEWAY (US/CAN) at the end of my post!
Goodreads: Lost in the Never Woods
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: 23 March 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.
Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, winning Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter
TL;DR: Lost in the Never Woods was a slightly twisted take on Peter Pan and was entirely atmospheric. The eerie haunted-forest vibes were strong and defo had chills creeping down my spine a time or two! Thomas’ writing was easy to read and although it was an unhurried mystery reveal and I didn’t feel 100% connected to the characters, Thomas still managed to surprise me in the end. It does read quite young (imo) but I have no doubt many readers will love this especially if they enjoy retellings!
Ever since reading Thomas’s debut at the end of last year, I’ve been so excited for their next book and when I first saw this cover and read the synopsis, I immediately knew that I needed to get my hands on it ASAP! Seriously, let’s take a moment to just look at this cover and appreciate the beautiful design! After reading the book you really appreciate the details of the cover more too! Lost in the Never Woods is a bit of a twisted take on the childhood classic tale and though Peter Pan was never really my favourite story growing up, I did enjoy what Thomas did with it by expanding on the romance between Wendy and Peter, and the myth of the Lost Boys.
Thomas’ writing was just as easy to digest in this and I thought that the story flowed well although it is more of a slow burn read. The eerie haunted-forest vibes were strong and it definitely sent chills creeping down my spine as Wendy and Peter found themselves being pulled further into the heart of the woods. Thomas did a great job in creating a mysterious and spooky atmosphere! The character descriptions also made it easy to picture these more grown-up versions of the childhood classic and while there were obviously minor differences, it wasn’t difficult to imagine these characters and their mannerisms come to life in my mind!
That said, I have to admit that while the mystery was intriguing and the characters were easy to picture, I was a little disappointed to find that I didn’t connect to the story as much as I expected to. I do feel a part of it was perhaps not being 100% in the right mood but I also thought the characters were fairly one-dimensional, making it hard to connect to feel invested in their emotions and the urgency of their situation. The story is told from Wendy’s perspective which is quite heavily weighed by grief and trauma, and compounded with the unhurried unfolding of the mystery, it did slow the pace down considerably. I also wished that we got Peter’s perspective because I felt that we really missed out on the possibility of exploring a more complex and interesting character! I honestly thought that the connection between Wendy and Peter felt a bit more like friendship since Wendy spends a great deal of time initially annoyed by him, and at times I do wish that they stayed friends. By the end, I found their ‘young love’ quite bittersweet though! With all of that, Thomas still managed to surprise me with that jarring reveal towards the end. I was definitely not immune to the rush of heartbreaking emotions and I might have even shed a tear or two!
One last thing I have to say is that this did read a bit on the younger side of YA (for me) despite the characters being in their late teens, and I can see a lot of [younger] readers loving the story! While this may not have been entirely what I was expecting, I do think it’s a story worth checking out especially if you enjoy re-tellings! I look forward to seeing what else Thomas comes out with and I’d be happy and eager to read more of their work.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY (US/CAN) TO WIN A PRINT COPY OF LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS!
GIVEAWAY ENDS 01 APRIL!
enter the giveaway ➡️ HERE
Have you read Lost in the Never Woods or is it on your TBR?