Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Second StarSecond Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 13, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 248
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★★

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up—and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

In the beginning, I kind of liked Second Star. I felt really bad for Wendy and her family. I was really on her side—I supported her desperate attempts to find her brothers and her unwillingness to give up. And, at the beginning, I kind of liked Pete too. He seemed nice and friendly. But then things went kind of downhill…

First: Pete and Wendy start making out REALLY soon. Like they basically just met. And then she manages to fall asleep while kissing him (what a blow to the poor guy’s ego).

And it feels as though we might go on kissing forever. In fact, I don’t remember the end of our kiss at all; the next thing I know, I’m waking up to the sound of Pete’s voice saying gently, “The tide’s probably on its way out by now.”

But then we find out that Pete had a GIRLFRIEND at the time. View Spoiler »

Then, Wendy helps them ROB A HOUSE. But robbing it wasn’t enough, they also had to dirty the place.

I glance back at the bed before we leave the room behind; it’s a mess. The beautiful comforter is covered in sand; the pillows are tossed haphazardly on the floor. Ever since I was a little girl, I made my bed every single morning. My parents had to beg and bribe my brothers to make their beds before school, but they never had to remind me to make mine. It feels strange to leave such a mess behind.

So jumping on someone’s bed with your gross, sandy feet doesn’t feel wrong or illegal? It just feels “strange” because you usually always make your bed at home? Does this girl not care about these poor, innocent people she just robbed?

Then the rest of the book deteriorates into a mess of Wendy “loving” TWO guys she’s only known a week (or less) each, Wendy sleeping in a house with complete strangers, Wendy taking mysterious pills she’s offered, Wendy running into dangerous situations head on without thinking for two seconds, and an ending that massively disappointed me. View Spoiler » Honestly, I didn’t hate the book until the ending. Sure there were PARTS of the book I hated (the drugs, the stupid decisions, etc.) but there were peaks and valleys. The book would be “okay”, then there’d be a shitty moment. Then it would go back to “okay”, then another shitty moment. So I didn’t hate the book. But then I got to the ending, and that’s when I hated it. It just left me with negative, annoyed feelings about the whole book.

The Verdict


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  1. I liked the first 25% of the book, because the writing style was actually very pretty and easy to read, plus I really wanted to find out what happened to her brothers. But after that point, it was mostly me forcing myself to finish it. I felt the same way about the ending – I went through ALL THAT for basically nothing?? It had me gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes during the last few chapters. I’ll admit that I kind of liked Jas though; I think he had a lot of potential to be a complex, flawed character with a redemption arc. But I guess that was wishful thinking!

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  2. I rather liked the book myself. I get what you’re saying with everything that’s bad. A lot of people agree with you, and I’m one of them. I don’t think the romance of the plot should have been there, but I think it’s definitely more insta-lust than insta-love.

    And, yes, that ending . What a let down. I almost wish there’d be a sequel to see what happens next because I really want to know.

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